Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Working Mommy Wednesday and Pour Your Heart Out

I found a new blog today and I liked it and I liked this blog carnival she's got going, so I thought I'd join in. I've been thinking about writing something about this topic for awhile and her meme got my brain going. Her name is Julia and her blog is Work, Wife, Mom...Life (Supermom in training)!


 

I'm also linking this up with Shell at Things I Can't Say for Pour Your Heart Out!



Mommy Guilt is a powerful thing. I've been dealing with it a long time, cuz my kids are 17 and 13. I don't really think I struggle with it much anymore. I have moments where I feel guilty about stuff, but it's over things I can't change and I move along quickly, but when they were younger, I felt it so often. It's gut wrenching and causes so much heartache. Mostly, I've realized now, it's unnecessary and not helpful and it is really a waste of positive energy. When I was growing up, my mom worked. I always thought to myself, when I grow up, I'll never work, I'll stay home, my kids will be car riders (not bus riders), I'll have the perfect life, perfect house and it will be sparkling clean, and I'll cook and bake and sew and just be "that" mom, the perfect one I created in my mind, the one that most likely, no matter how hard we try, can never really exist. It's too much for any one person to handle...EVER. Then I decided, while in my tree hugging phase of life, that I didn't want children. That I could never be the mom I imagined I'd be and that I didn't want to bring children into the world as I saw it through my young eyes. I wanted to go to college, Texas A&M to be exact, and become an accountant or a lawyer, and have a lot of money and my own things, things that I thought would make me feel good about myself and things that would make me happy. HA guess who got knocked up in high school...yep, ME...LOL and of course when you get pregnant, married, start a family at that young of an age, work becomes a necessity. I felt guilty when my son was at daycare, I felt guilty when I was at work wishing I was with him, then I felt guilty when I was happy that I was at work and he was at daycare. A few years later, we added a daughter to our family and I went back to work when she was 3 months old. The guilt, it was BACK...only double but in the same fashion. I would take vacation days to go on field trips and to attend school events. I was at every ball practice and ball game for both kids when the time came. I skipped out of work early to see their junior high and high school events. And still, I felt guilty sometimes. Guilty for not being at their beck and call because I was at work. Guilty for not being at work because I was away being a mom. Guilty because I enjoy working and the benefits it gives our family and the fun things we get to do because I work. It is always there but now I'm good at shooing it away because I know, deep down, we are better off as a family because I worked. For our family, it worked best, for other families they must do what works best for them. I struggle with moms not supporting each other and the choices they make for their families. I don't understand why moms, especially moms, can't find it in their hearts to be more supportive of each other. No matter the choice, working/staying home, breast/bottle, cloth/disposable, the list is endless and I think that lack of support causes most of the guilt we feel. We pressure ourselves and feel guilty others put pressure on us and we feel guilty. BUT (and there always is one) at the end of the day, we have to be able to look at ourselves in the mirror and know we did the best we could with what we had based on the needs of our own families. I think lately I have been feeling guilty over things I missed when they were infants and toddlers. First steps, first potty time, first anything that I may have missed while I was working and they were at daycare. I can't get those times back and feeling guilty about it does not help. I had all those firsts at home. It may have been their first time, second time, or even the 10th time, but for me, it was the first and I celebrated each and every time.

Guilt...it's like a parasite. It can eat you up from the inside out, but only if you let it, if you stand strong in your belief that what you do or did is the best for your family, then forcing that guilt out of your mind, your heart, your soul is so easy!!!

24 comments:

  1. wow. fantastic post. thank you so much for sharing and linking up. it's true... you can't let guilt each you up inside. it will only make you sick (literally and figuratively).

    hope to see you again next week!

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  2. I used to be a stay at home, homeschooling mom. Then I got divorced. When i put my kids in public school and went back to school to finish my degree so I could get a good job, I lost my best friend in the world. And it was harder than losing my husband (cause he sucked). Turns out, so did she. She said she didn't respect my decisions and was appalled that I would put them in school and try to get a job. I was doing what I felt I had to do and she was judging me. I wish we could be more accepting too. It might have saved me some serious heartache.

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  3. You better be careful, if you keep posting such deep thoughts you will be in danger of losing that Aunt Crazy Crown...

    Just saying....

    great post A.C.

    P.S. And I would of never guessed you for a tree huger.....ROFL

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  4. Such a great post! I think we all feel mommy guilt for something or other. I'm a sahm, but only b/c my job wouldn't cover the cost of daycare for 3 kids! I do wish all moms could be supportive of each other-it's hard enough to be a mom, w/o dealing with judgement.

    Thanks for linking up!

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  5. Wow! Love your post...it sums up so much of what I think and feel. When my first was a baby and I was {gasp}bottle feeding, I started saying "This is what works for my family". I have every guilty feeling you wrote about, but at the same time I believe that what works for my family is best and we're all happier and healthier. I have often ranted about moms being so hard on each other...it makes me crazy!

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  6. Visiting from WMW - Great post!

    Mary Ellen

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  7. Great post! I've done both (worked and stayed home) and, unfortunately, that guilt creeps in no matter what you do. :/ It would be nice if moms were better at supporting each other.

    I can't picture the tree huger thing either! LOL! And it's a freaking MIRACLE I didn't get pregnant in HS (okay, that made me sound like a slut... what I mean is DB and I could have very easily been parents much sooner than we were). :)

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  8. Wonderful post. You have summed up so many feelings I've had!

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  9. Thank you for this post. As a brand new law school graduate with a 7 week old baby, I've had all these thoughts already. I hate the comments that people make saying "don't you want to see her first steps?" I want to respond..."NOPE! I would love to miss her first steps. Thanks for asking."

    Wow...I think I'm going to have to do a pour my heart out post...you've got me fired up! : )

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  10. Amen every family has different needs and every mom can make it work if they want it is just hard sometimes but we all push through

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  11. Great post... I found you on Work, Wife, Mom, Life. I blogged about mommy guilt yesterday. It's nice to know I'm not alone. The guilt sucks!!

    Tonya
    Letters For Lucas
    http://lettersforlucas.blogspot.com/

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  12. Bitch! Make me cry at WORK! ;)

    You know how bad my guilt's been and you've been a wonderfully supportive friend since my teenager was a toddler. I didn't realize how bad your guilt was too, and I'm sorry. You've done a fabulous job!! And I am happy that you found happiness within it all. It's very easy to judge .. from a far. Walk a mile ... they say. Loved your post.

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  13. Like you, my mom worked growing up and like you, I thought I wouldn't and had very similar ideals about what life would be like and I was on my way...and then I got divorced. I was able to, on a wing and a prayer, stay home or work part time until this year, but it certainly wasn't that idealistic vision I had in my head. Now, with both kids in school, I'm on my way back to working full-time out of the house. But my job requires that my kids leave their school to come with me and so I feel guilty... it never ends! :)

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  14. So funny because my "Pour Your Heart Out" post was about this exact same thing!! It is nice to know I'm not the only one!! :) Thanks for the great post! http://mainstream-mommy.blogspot.com/2010/07/mommy-guilt.html

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  15. I don't have guilt.. cuz I'm a perfect Mom.. nothing to feel guilty about! LMAO

    well... unless you count cereal for dinner cuz I'm too much of a cyberslut to get up from the internet personals to cook dinner.... but who has time for guilt... I'm busy chatting! hahahahahahhaha

    oh... and there's the whole, send the kids for a week with their idiot father so I can go on my solo vacation, which I can't afford, and therefore will not get to do a single fun thing with them all summer.... guilt... what guilt???

    Crazy AuntCrazy! You've done a GREAT job with your kids and I"m sure they wouldn't have it any other way!

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  16. I totally agree. I don't understand why women are so judgmental of each other. Hopefully we each grow a little more compassionate as we age. I know I have.

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  17. I am a working mom and don't have much guilt about it. I know he loves his friends at daycare and that has been a positive experience for him. I'm also lucky though, in that I work at a school, so I do get a lot of good time off with him, especially in the summer. What I do feel guilty about is when I feel tired and completely unmotivated (from working all day) and don't want to play in the evenings and just want to lay on the couch!

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  18. Happy SITS day, by the way!

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  19. Fabulous post! It's just what I needed to hear. It's a comfort, and a necessity, to know that we're not alone as moms. We all have similar feelings. If we were to share them more openly, we'd probably all feel so much better about ourselves.

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  20. So true ... guilt and regret are so poisonous to your life! Thanks for sharing your life~

    Enjoy your SITS day :)

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  21. Visiting from SITS. A very thought-provoking post.

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  22. Love this... quoted from it on Facebook yesterday. Hope you had an awesome SITS day (I'm a little late commenting).

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  23. Amen!
    I love that you said, you "struggle with moms not supporting each other and the choices they make for their families. I don't understand why moms, especially moms, can't find it in their hearts to be more supportive of each other. No matter the choice, working/staying home, breast/bottle, cloth/disposable, the list is endless and I think that lack of support causes most of the guilt we feel."
    Thank you thank you.

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