Lately, with the girls starting preschool and Claire crying every day, I have been feeling more and more guilty for being a working mom. Kylie says almost every day "I just wish I could stay home with you every day, as a family" and it breaks my heart. I keep telling myself it's irrelevant because she will be starting kindergarten next year anyway, so staying home is pointless because she will eventually have no choice. Then I decided to train for a 10K, so my runs 3 nights a week have turned into at least one hour runs, so by the time we eat dinner, do baths and I run, Pete has already put the girls in bed so I feel like I'm missing out on the few minutes I get in the evening with them. There's a constant struggle with spending time with them, or doing things to make myself healthier and happier. Last night Kylie was complaining that her stomach hurt, and got up several times during the night, but didn't get sick. I took her to preschool today because she had no fever and no signs of being contagious, but she clearly didn't feel 100%. I sat at work all day and wished I was able to stay home with her and hold her and baby her so she would feel better, instead of sitting at preschool where no one cares if she feels bad. Then, my friend Erin posted a link to a blog on Facebook, and it was perfect for what I was going through:
It is worded so well, and goes through the guilt that both working moms and stay-at-home moms feel. I think a mom probably has guilt no matter what, because there's always going to be something we wish we did better, or we did more of, or we could do to be a better mom. I don't know any mom that sits down at the end of the day and says "I am a perfect mom and I did everything I wanted to do today, and couldn't have done it any better!" I so, I want to meet her! There are obviously merits of working and of staying at home, but I don't believe kids that are products of either environment necessarily turn out "better". It's a personal choice, and both are good decisions for different reasons. I choose to work because I went to college for 6 years to work. I enjoy working, it keeps me busy and keeps my brain working. It gives me a reason to dress up. It helps me interact with other people. It helps me appreciate the little time I have with my kids. I've thought about staying at home many times, but I know myself well enough to know I would wear PJ's every day, I wouldn't fix my hair, most days I wouldn't leave the house, and I definitely wouldn't interact with any adults besides my husband. I would be miserable. I'm lucky that all of my best friends are also working moms, so I am able to talk to them and share my feelings and they share theirs, and it really helps to have that support system. I know once the kids are in school it won't matter as much, but right now it's hard to leave the house for work on Monday mornings.