Mom guilt. I know all moms experience it at some point, but lately mine has been kicking into overdrive with the end of summer practically here, my babies’ upcoming birthdays rapidly approaching, no more vacations planned and work picking up pace.
Since returning from our family beach vacation a few weeks ago, I find myself constantly daydreaming about the endless, stress free hours spent on the beach with my two little boys. Now that we are back to real-life complete with real-life schedules of two working parents, daycare and pre-k, reality has sank in that I won’t get an extended break with my littles for a while. In addition to constantly looking online for another wonderful vacation spot, I can’t help but feel like a twinge of the dreaded working mom guilt.
A million thoughts go through my head. Am I missing out on too much? Am I too busy? Do I pay enough attention to the little things? Is the time that I do get to spend with my littles quality time? Time truly does go so fast when your kids are small. Then the big question “is working really worth it?” I can list a million reasons how it’s beneficial to my children financially, studies that show children with working parents are more successful, etc… The bottom line is me working is what is best for our family and I enjoy having time outside of the house and my family. However, even knowing that doesn’t erase the guilt when I look at my boys’ small faces and hear their tiny voices about how much fun they had with no “werk” for the week.
The way that I make myself feel better is to truly make all the time that we spend together special. I am a huge believer in quality time over quantity of time. Although I may not get to spend all day with my littles, I make sure that I am 100 percent present during the few hours I have with them. In the morning getting ready for school – I make sure to leave my phone and any access to email in my work bag until I drop them off at school. And in the evening, once I pick them up at school, my phone goes on silent and I really try not to spend time checking emails when the kids want to play outside after school. I save chores that can’t be delegated to someone else until after bedtime if I can help it. Most importantly, I have fun with them. I listen to their stories and their questions. I play in the dirt, I run through the sprinkler, I go for bike rides, I sing silly songs and dress up as a ninja turtle or super hero when asked.
My mom guilt probably will never go away. Instead, when it starts rearing its ugly head, I need to remind myself that the reason these boys are so happy and so content is because of the life my husband and I have created for them. They know they are so loved and that’s truly all that matters.