I read this blog post today and could relate so much. I have SO been there with the whole mommy guilt thing. Next week and the year ahead holds many travel engagements.
It’s so easy to book them at first. I love traveling. I love speaking and attending workshops. Then the mommy guilt for me usually sets in on just the few days leading up to departure.
And it sucks.
But I have to believe what I am doing is worth it and will benefit my family in the end. These last couple of months more than ever, I’ve evaluated every opportunity that has come my way and to see the impact it will have on my business AND my family before accepting it.
For some time I’ve been wanting to share how my life as a proud working Mom is part of my family’s plan and my own desires…and that it works…for us.
I’ll never forget the day when I was around 4 months pregnant and I posted on my blog that I was looking for local daycare recommendations. An anonymous commenter snarked at me for being so newly pregnant and already looking for a place to shlep him off to.
The comment stung.
And then I promptly blocked her IP address from every commenting again. Sorry folks, only positivity around here!
When I was younger I dreamed of having a big family, one where I would stay home with the many kiddos and we’d happily make crafts, play and every day would be a new adventure. As I entered into my 5th or 6th week of maternity leave after Colin was born, I realized that dream wasn’t the same plan for me. I was bored. I craved my work. I craved getting out of the house and having adult interaction. I missed everything about my former life. This new baby was amazing, but I couldn’t picture being home full-time would fulfill me personally. Not to mention, my corporate job paid well and was a great benefit to our family.
Yet I still felt so guilty when I went back to work as Colin turned 8 weeks old. Not only for the normal mommy-separation guilt but also for the shame I felt was upon me. It’s pretty common around here to be a stay at home mom. When we first moved here and we’d meet new people and make introductions, almost always the second question after they asked my husband what his profession was, they’d turn to me “do you work outside the home?” As if it was odd that I would. Even then, there were many instances where they didn’t even ask what I did. This was so awkward for this west coast gal where working mommas are more common. I grew up in a household where my Mom always worked and all my friend’s mom’s did too.
But Colin is now 3 years old and my views still haven’t changed. He enjoys pre-school/daycare and has learned so much there. His daily activities are structured and he gets plenty of arts & crafts & play time. My ideal mom-life would be to work 4 days a week and have 1 day a week for the “stay-at-home mom” experience. I have to say I get jealous of my stay-at-home mom friends (often in the summer-time) who can take their kids to the zoo or pool any time they want. I crave that opportunity…just not all the time. I hope to achieve this ideal work schedule sometime in the future when the timing is right. But for now, this works, and it makes me happy.
Does that make me a selfish Mom? Absolutely not. I love this little man more than life itself. Is my son affected by me working outside the home? So far haven’t seen it. He is still with me 15 other hours of the day. Do I think different of my friends who are stay at home moms? Absolutely not. I believe that every family should do what works for them and I have no judgements on anyone.
I hope the above does not make me sound like a selfish-career-business-entreprenuer woman (there I go again with the guilt). I love my son and my family. I just have to believe there are many of us working moms out there who want a voice to say they’re proud to be one.