I’ve decided to just talk about something that has been on my mind lately. I started a draft of this post awhile back, but haven’t really had the courage to push publish on it yet. However. this subject is pretty applicable to my life at the moment and I wanted to share and hear if others struggle with it as well.
Work guilt versus mom guilt….it’s a thing and it stinks.
My first day back to work from being on maternity leave, Claire woke up throwing up. Well, any other day I would’ve stayed home with her, but it happened that my first day back to work was a conference that I had to attend. So Robert stayed home with her. Enter mom guilt…
Claire has been sick off and on since Christmas (and scattered in there she shared her flu bug with me too) and I have stayed home with her everyday she has been sick. I think since Christmas Day I have worked a total of six full days (and it is January 16th ya’ll and I am home again with her today). I am so thankful I have a job where I have good sick leave/vacation benefits and am able to do this. However…I feel guilty staying home and not going to work. Enter work guilt…
Why? Why do I have both sets of guilt? Guilt if I go to work and guilt if I stay home? I know I am not alone in this. A coworker and I talked about this, because one day her baby boy was sick, but she had to be at work for something and she was like mom guilt/work guilt is the worst. It is so true! On one hand I want to be there for my girls and take care of them, but then I feel like sometimes I get workshamed (yes, I made up a word) in that my boss doesn’t like me to miss time from work. I work at a great place and everyone I work with are moms, but it is still hard sometimes to make that call or send that text about not coming in that day. Why? Why must I choose between feeling like a good mom or a good employee?
I am not downplaying being a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) or even a SAHM working mom, because I know it must be hard/exhausting staying at home with kiddos day in and day out with no breaks even if you are sick, but I have to tell you it is equally as hard to be a full-time work-outside-the-home mom. It is so hard dealing with the work guilt/mom guilt daily. Everyday is hard enough to go to work and leave my girls in the hands of other women for eight hours a day, so when they are sick of course I want to be with them, but I hate the work guilt about missing work I feel that is associated with it as well. I don’t know how to fix it, but it is hard to deal with sometimes. At the end of the day I have to say being a mom comes first and foremost in my book…this is why I have the type of job I have instead of working in a big corporate environment right now. I am choosing to put my girls first and this is why I have decided to not let the work guilt get me down. As long as I am not abusing the system, I will feel no guilt in taking off time to be with my girls if they are sick or even taking time off to just go and have a fun day with them every once in awhile. I want my girls to see their mom is a hard worker, but I also want them to know that they are my first priority and if I have to endure workshaming/work guilt…I will for them.
What are your thoughts on the whole mom guilt vs. work guilt?
Until next time…keep it simple.
P.S. I am entertaining the idea of doing a series about being a full-time work-outside-the-home mom. Please let me know your thoughts and if this would be interesting to you.