If Traffic Had A Face I Would Punch It

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Work, Kids and Guilt…

If Traffic Had A Face I Would Punch It

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It seems that as much as you believe in the decision you’ve made to maintain your career after having kids, you will never escape the guilt that goes along with that decision.

It’s an unnatural feeling for any mother to be separated from her child, and everyone always talks about how important it is to bond with your baby in the first few months. My biggest fear when my daughter started daycare at the tiny age of 8 weeks old was that she wouldn’t know I was her mother. I know that sounds ridiculous, but at the time having never experienced any of this, it was a genuine fear. I was jealous of the bond she’d form with these amazing women and I had accepted the fact that I was going to miss most of her firsts. You want so badly to be there the first time they crawl and the first time they walk but instead, you get second-hand news. You will always wish to have been there at the very moment they are looking for reassurance and you are not one of the faces there to praise them for their accomplishment.

A working mom never wants to get a phone call from daycare. My heart sinks into my chest every time I do because historically it can only be bad news. Your kid will always come down with a fever the day you have an important deadline.  You will always feel guilty about the time you spend at home away from work to care for your sick child, and you will always feel guilty about the days you spend at work instead of home with your sick child. It’s a vicious cycle. You always want to be there to hug them when they fall down or get hurt, but you learn to trust that your choice in childcare was thoroughly researched and that these women are giving your baby everything they need when you can’t be there.

There are triggers everyday. It’s easy to get caught up in the work day but then something happens and reminds you that they exist and that they are experiencing things without you. It will make you miss them terribly and it’s a cruel test of your inner strength. In the midst of the day’s madness you will find toys in your pockets and rocks in your purse. A tiny bow or sock will stop you dead in your tracks and make you challenge your decision to be away from them.

Being a working mom changes the dynamics of the relationship you build with your children. There are many tearful daycare drop offs but they only make the pick up that much more blissful. The hug my daughter gives me and the way she runs into my arms is just the reassurance I need after a long day. There’s no secret to make the guilt go away. You only feel it because you love your kids. I’ve tried to maintain balance by committing to being a parent first before anything else. You can still be good at your job, but there is no job more important than being a good parent. You only get one shot at that and you are lucky if your able to be awesome at both.

Make the time you do get to spend with your kids count when it is limited, and the bond you form with your children will remain unbreakable. A love more powerful than anything I could ever imagine possible. Your children will always love you unconditionally just as you do them. If you told my insecure self two years ago that things would turn out this way I would not have believed you. As much of a struggle it may be for you to regain your sense of normal after having a kid, try to remember that this is their normal and they are doing just fine.

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6 thoughts on “Work, Kids and Guilt…

  1. Kelly Constantino says:

    I have felt that guilt a lot in my 14 years as mommy. Being a nurse I have missed a lot of holidays, birthdays, cookout etc. I always told my kids “I have to go, someone has to take care of all those sick people” . The worst was when they were sick and would say “I’m sick you need to take care of me” . I would have to still go to work and Rich or my mother in law would be with them. I knew they were taken care of but there is no substitute for mommy when they are sick. They will always want mommy first and that breaks your heart. This is the main reason I changed jobs because I am a mom first and my new job works better for them. I tuck them in every night and thank God, their normal though crazy life is doing them just fine. ♡

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kelly it’s so true, nothing ever replaces mommy when your sick! I cherish my weekends dearly!! 🙂

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  3. leanne thorne says:

    The guilt I felt leaving isaiah for work was horrible. Being a hair stylist there was many days in the beginning of my career I had to sit around the salon when I didn’t have a client and just wait for someone to need a service done without getting paid. The whole time doing that I would always think, what’s my baby doing , is he ok, did I miss something important. Then being a single mother on top of that I had the guilt of not always being able to be with him when he was sick. I had no choice. Now that.hes older he knows how difficult it was for me and knows all the hard work it was and is thankful for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t imagine doing it all on your own. You did it though and you did an amazing job Leanne!! And Now look at how awesome your little family is! Xoxoxo

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  5. eliisarod says:

    I am about to go back to work next week and I am also experiencing a huge amount of guilt any time I’m away from my little girl. Why does it feel so wrong? Why does it have to be so hard to do both? Your words help, reminds me that it’s hard for everybody. I’m not alone!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely not alone! It took me a good year to finally get my “groove” back. The guilty feeling never leaves…but your baby will always love you first before anyone else! My daughter is attached at my hip (in a good way) and the time apart makes us both appreciate each other more. I am sure you will find the same thing! Good Luck…You can do it!!! 🙂

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