“Come here, baby…”
He snuggled closer to me, allowing me to inhale a faint smell of his shampoo on his thick, getting-too-long hair.
For a boy who is no longer a baby who can be dead stubborn about his ways sometimes, I am lucky he still wants to snuggle close to his mother.
His working mother that is.
Yes, I returned to the corporate world last December after being a work-from-home mom for almost a year.
While I enjoyed returning to my old job, excited that my previous employer offered it to me, and happy to see my old friends again, there’s part of me that feels guilty – again.
Same old cycle of guilt…the working mom’s guilt.
This guilt isn’t something new to me. I’ve been here before nearly 3 years ago. Sitting here feeling guilty for I am losing time with my son.
“Are you okay with Mommy going back to work?” gently, I kissed the top of his head.
“Yes, but I like being with Mommy.” He looked up and stared right into my soul, making me want to hold him tighter.
“And I like being with you too buddy, but Mommy has to work.”
“To buy me Legos?” This time his eyes lit up.
“Yes of course, and to buy other things that you need.”
“Like paying for my school?” He mentioned the name of his soon-to-be elementary school.
“Daddy pays for that. Mommy is helping buy other things for school, okay? Don’t you worry about that!” I gave him a serious look. God forbid my child has to worry about the cost of his schooling. School in Jakarta is very expensive and that is worth a different post on its own.
Yes, of course there are public schools, but unfortunately the quality isn’t very good and even at the good ones, it still costs a lot of money. So that’s one of the reasons I decided to return to working full-time outside the home.
It’s only been a little over a month now since I went back to work full-time. With my schedule and commute, I have to leave at 6 every morning. Add my gym schedule of 3 to 4 times a week with my friends after work. Yeah, I realize I’ve been spending a lot of time away from him.
So to ease the guilt, I will soon take a weekend off and spend it in a hotel with him. Just us two. Like we did over a year ago.
I know it’s still early and we both still need to adjust to the new beat of our lives, but we are happy, we are joyful – and that’s what matters, right?
Are you a working mom? Have you ever feel guilty for not being a stay at home mom? How do you deal with it?
This is an original post for World Moms Blog by our single-mother of one, Maureen of the blog, Scoops of Joy, of Indonesia.
Photo credit to the author.
Best of luck with your job!!
I’ve recently had to go out and buy yoga and pilates dvds. I’ve fallen off the wagon for actually attending a class with the kids so small, and I found the dvds are working it back into my lifestyle. I know your workout is more hardcore, but that’s how I’m trying to incorporate exercise and being around my kids. They roll out a mat right next to me and try it, too!
I’m looking forward to hearing how the job goes!!
Getting that home/work balance right seems to be the task of modern mothering, doesn’t it?
We all make the best decisions we can, and all we can do, sometimes, is trust ourselves. All the best with your new adventures. 😀
I know exactly how you feel as I went back to work after four months of maternity leave. Now my daughter is three and still attends a full day childcare while I work from 9-6,7pm. But I make up for it by spending lots of quality time with her after work and over the weekends. It tough especially on days that she wants to be home with me after long weekends. Though I would love to be home with her, I do enjoy my work, having my own friends, earning my own keep and ensuing we have financial security for the future. Of course knowing that she’s happy in her childcare helps take a load off my mind too.
Dear Maureen, your post really touched my heart. I really wanted to be a stay-at-home or work-from-home mom, and did manage that for a while. Unfortunately (too soon for my liking) I had to go back to full-time employment outside the home. The irony is that the separation was harder on me than the kids! In fact they flourished in Day Care. 🙂
My “babies” are all grown up now. In fact, pretty soon I’ll be experiencing “empty nest syndrome” for myself! I can honestly tell you that neither of them feels in any way “hard done by” because I wasn’t always around when they were growing up.
Like Karyn so rightly said, “we all make the best decisions we can”. Most of the time things end up working out just the way they were meant to.
I can totally relate Maureen! As a working mom there have definitely been many times when I have felt the “working mom’s guilt”. As Karen mentions above, I think we make the best decisions we can…for our famlies and our childrens’ future. As Susan does, I try to make the most of quality time with my girls when I’m not working to make up for the time we are apart during the week. Enjoy those snuggly moments with your son 🙂
Set A Schedule: Although working from home allows flexibility, if a schedule is not set, and kept, you are more apt to get off track. It is easy to start putting a project off to run an errand, or go for a swim, if you do not specify your hours to work. Tell family members you are off limits during this time.