Friday, May 29, 2009

Mommy Guilt

I have mommy guilt.

Guilt because I want time to myself, time off from being a mommy, but I look at that precious face and I can't walk away.

I leave her too much as it is. I work full time, and Monday to Thursday she stays with Grandma. Fridays my husband works from home and keeps her there.

Every morning I kiss that sweet face and walk away. Actually, I do it twice a day, once in the morning and again at lunchtime, which I spend with her. She's a happy girl, she loves being with Grandma. I know she's safe, well looked after and loved. But she's not with me. I feel like I leave a piece of me behind each time I walk out that door and go back to work. I crunch numbers and dream of a day that I can leave my job to take care of her. But I know the reality is that it takes both of us working to make it. So, I work.

That brings me back to my weekends. Two days off from my job. Two days I get to spend with my family. I should look forward to it, right? I should be excited about spending time with Ava. I am excited, but I also long for an afternoon, or morning to myself. No bottles or dishes to wash, no laundry to fold, toys to pick up, no meals to be made. An afternoon to go shopping, or have lunch, or go for a walk. Time alone without worrying that I've left Daddy alone too long with the baby, or that Grandpa & Nana have been with her for oh, 3 hours now and they're tearing their hair out.

I know I COULD have this time. My husband will be the first to point this out to me. But I can't make myself do it. I feel guilty. She sees me so little as it is, and I certainly don't see her enough.

In a couple of weeks she will spend the night with Grandma. My husband and I can go to a nice dinner, see a movie and have a night off from baby duty. We might even get to go out for breakfast the next morning. And I will enjoy it. BUT. It will be tinged with guilt.

I mean look at this face:

How could I not?

Do you suffer the same guilt? Tell me how you handle it? Daddies too!


  1. Yes of course I had Mommy Guilt. It's better now because (a) she's 2 1/2, so she doesn't seem to need me quite as much as a tiny baby, and (b) I'm working part-time now, so she's only at daycare 3 days a week. But that first year? Kicked. My. Butt.

    There is nothing wrong with taking some time to yourself. Schedule yourself a spa day or something fun on a Saturday - heck, schedule it at the same time as her nap so you don't miss quite as much Ava Time. But you should treat yourself to some alone time, even if it's only one day a month.

  2. I stay home with my daughter and I still get mommy guilt if I think about wanting time off for myself.

    I think it is important to take a little time for yourself. A rejuvenated, happy mommy is the best mommy to be. I agree with poobou. Schedule your mommy time during her normal nap time then you won't miss out on much (that's usually what I do).

  3. I had major mommy guilt which is why I am staying home. I loved my job and cried when I resigned but I couldn't have both. It was the hardest thing ever and now I have mommy guilt that I spend too much time with them and wonder if they need a break from me or wonder if I need a break from them. I sometimes find myself jealous of my husband going to work (I know, sick, right?). I think I will have mommy guilt forever.

  4. It seems like we're damned if we do and damned if we don't doesn't it? Parenting HAS to be the hardest job ever.

  5. I don't struggle with the daddy guilt as much. I do have husband guilt when I want time truly to myself, which is very rare these days. My wife works many evenings and weekends, so I have lots of time with the kids when it's just me. I work every day, but I'm always there for bedtime and usually for dinner, and with rare exceptions also see them every morning. And weekends I'm almost always with them all day, either solo or with the wife. So when I long for some time to myself, I don't feel guilty. But we also have two now, the oldest nearly 4, the "baby" will be 1 in just over a week. It was harder when the first one was the baby. Also, time away from them makes me better when I'm with them - more patient, more relaxed, more fun. So I say go do what you need to do for you. That tug you feel is part of what makes you a good parent. You're not going to ruin her with a few hours away now and then.

  6. I agree with what Jenna said :/

    Once my Husband and I did a date night and I left my daughter with my mom. All throughout the movie (except the last 30 minutes) I kept on asking my mom about her like every two minutes. My mom finally turned off her phone.

    We love our kids so much but we also need *some* time away to maintain ourselves sane.