I have a pretty good working arrangement for a lawyer. I have a full-time job that allows me to work from home 2 days a week and be in the office 3 days a week. I work flex hours (7:30-3:50). I have lots of vacation days, sick days and personal days. I never have to work evenings or weekends. If I need to leave an hour or two early one day for an appointment or if I need extra days at home, it’s never a problem. I feel fortunate to have found such a family-friendly work environment, and I know that most other female lawyers don’t get to spend as much time with their kids as I do.
On the days I am at work, Dylan is in a wonderful, warm, nurturing home day care, with 6 kids and 2 or 3 caregivers. He receives a lot of attention and love. When I pick him up from daycare he is always happy, smiling and having fun.
Yet I still feel mommy guilt! While I do have a lot of time with Dylan, it feels like it is never enough. When I am leaving for work in the morning Dylan sometimes says to me: mommy, where are you going? I respond and say: I am going to work today. He then says: why do you have to work? And I respond: to make money. And he says: why do you need to make money? I am often stumped by this question. Why am I making money? Do we NEED the extra money that I make? Would our lives be better if I was home full time? Is the extra money worth the hassles we go through to get ready in the morning and get Dylan off to daycare? Is it worth the struggles when Dylan is sick and can’t go to daycare and we scramble to find someone to watch him? Is it worth missing all the hugs, kisses, cuddles and laughs that we could have been having while I am working?
Sometimes in the morning when we are getting ready for the day, Dylan will say to me: mommy don’t go to work. Stay home with me. I don’t want to go to daycare. It tugs on my heartstrings and brings on the mommy guilt with a vengence!
I am looking forward to my upcoming maternity leave that will start in December and all the extra time it will give me with Dylan (and of course baby #2). Until then…I go to work and Dylan goes to daycare…and the mommy guilt continues!
How do you manage your mommy guilt?