Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Working Moms Against Guilt

    In less than 2 weeks, I will carry the label "working mom". What a doozy. Me, a working mom? I am the daughter of a stay-at-home mother who created a world of wonder and innocence. My days were filled with bike rides around the nearby college campus, going to the local library, having our own "library time" at home, baking, crafts, naps, and helping mom in the garden. It was just me and her. Every day. I knew when I woke up, my mom would be up soon too and we were going to play all day. {Later I realized she made me feel like we were playing, although she was working to keep up with me, the house, bills, food, laundry etc!} Soon, my little brother came and our days were filled with mommy time too.

     When I went off to school, I still knew my mom was only a phone call away. Forgot my lunch? No problem, I'll just call mom and she'll bring it. {Don't forget the sweet note she wrote out beautifully and stuck in there as a surprise too.} Not feeling well today? Don't worry, mom will come pick me up and she will take care of everything. Teacher needs a volunteer to help out in the classroom? My mom was there, and my friends thought she was cool too, which made me feel special ALL DAY.

     I would think about how one day I would be a mom and I would be just like her, but maybe better since sometimes she was annoying goofy and I wouldn't be like that, right? In the meantime, I went to college, became a teacher, found pride in my abilities as a teacher and in my profession.

Then, little Baby Jack came along.

     Now it's time for me to become that super mom just like my mom was. I HAVE to make sure Jack has every experience, every advantage, every comfort that I had growing up knowing that my mom was always there for me. The only difference is that now I realize all of the sacrifices my mom made. Looking back, my mother gave up so much to be a great mommy, although to me it was literally just a walk in the park.

   Now I am struggling with working mom guilt. The first time I left Jack to go work at the school {only for a couple of hours}, I felt this pang. It was a bad feeling in my gut and I couldn't figure out why it was there. Is Jack okay? Yeah. I'm I okay? Yeah. Is the house okay? Yeah...

    Then I realized. I felt guilty for leaving him. I felt guilty that I was trading a few hours of his precious baby life to leave and go somewhere else. To make it worse, my mom was getting to have those precious baby hours and I wasn't. Should I work? Would I rather stay home with Jack? I spent all summer mentally struggling to figure out which sacrifice is the better sacrifice. Give up 8 hours of his precious baby life to go to work or give up a career that I dreamed of since I was a little girl? My mother sacrificed the career, but that doesn't mean that is the best choice for me too... does it?
     My husband let the decision be up to me. He preferred I go back to work from a financial aspect, but knew if he decided for me, it could cause me to feel resentment. I appreciate that, because the moment I felt the choice was truly mine was I able to find the answer to my question. I am going to be a working mom. And I will fight working mom's guilt every single day until he is a grown man. Will I miss him? Of course. Will I second guess every decision I make? Yes. But teaching is a part of who I am. It is not just a career, it is a passion.

     I still want to be that comforting, always-there-for-you type of mom and I am not afraid to do whatever it takes to be that great mom. I want Jack to have library time, long walks in the park, craft time, and nap time, and he will.

I will make sure of it.


Here is a great article that inspired this post. It's okay, because now I know I'm not the only one.


  1. Hannah that is beautiful! Your mom def is an awesome one of a kind lady! She always has been and always will! I have been lucky enough to have been on both sides! It is hard to not be there for everything. But little Jack has the best sitter in the world and I know he will never regret the choice you have made.

  2. Hannah, I really feel for you. It's not an easy decision, but it is a very personal one. It sounds like you have sorted it out and it will all work out! Times have changed from when we were small. And you know what? The guilt never stops, even if you do stay home. I think that's just part of being a mom. I stayed home and felt hopelessly guilty when I went back to work when my boys were 11 and 8. Even through high school, my oldest would tell me he wished I was home when he got home from school. It never ends! I've been away for a few weeks helping my parents move and my youngest calls and texts me constantly! UGH! You are Jack's one and only mom and he will adore you, no matter what. When he goes to school, teaching will be the best job in the world to have. Hang in there! It will all work out! ((HUGS))

    Teaching With Moxie