Do we all deal with it?

I don’t mean just mothers. Or parents. I mean everyone. Does everyone feel a little bit of guilt at all the things they aren’t doing?

I picked up T on Tuesday night from his friend’s house. I’d worked a 9-hour day and then sat through a 3-hour class on WordPress. I hadn’t seen him since I dropped him off at school that morning. He regaled me with stories from his day. He’d gone on his very first field trip (to the pumpkin patch) and then got to go home with his very best friend. What could be better?

Then I had to remind him that Wednesday I would be picking him up from school, but then I’d be taking him to my friend’s house so I could attend the second night of class.

He broke down into tears. Gut-wrenching sobs because he felt we weren’t spending enough time together. Because I was abandoning him with other people so I could be away from him.

We’ve had this happen before. And it never gets easier. For either of us.

It’s bad enough that I don’t get to be one of those parents that get to chaperone the field trips. I don’t get to go to the class once a week to help out, or teach a new skill. I don’t even give myself time to sit down and have breakfast with my son in the morning.

One of T’s biggest complaints about the week, is that there are not equal parts school days and stay-at-home days (weekends). He loves school, but he doesn’t love being away from me for five days (because I obviously don’t make the few hours we do have on those days awesome enough). He doesn’t understand why he has to go to school five days a week, why I have to go to work five days a week, and why we only get two days for just us.

And I don’t have an answer.

I don’t want this to be our lives together. I hate that I might be missing out. He might not always want to be my best friend. I’m missing out, and I can’t find a way to stop myself from feeling guilty about it.

I want to work full-time. I like this job. I want to keep editing. I want to finish a novel. I want to keep writing and blogging. I want to keep going to school. I want to attend literary events. And, above all, I want to enjoy being my son’s mother. I know that nobody really “does it all”. There is always something that has to give. But how do I make sure that it’s not my child that’s what’s getting left behind?

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2 comments on “Guilt.”

  1. Kir

    oh. wow. well yes, of course. Any mom who works outside the home struggles with this. I think that many times our sons don’t mind it as much because they have one another and so their time away from us is not “lonely” so much. Plus they have been in daycare for close to 11 hours a day since they were 6 months old. They are used to be away from us…and when we are together many times it is them that “need a little time alone, Mom”.

    however, I know about the guilt, maybe in a different way, but still true. When I want to watch a DVRd show, or go out for dinner with another mom, or a friend etc, I always think “shouldn’t I be spending this time with my sons? ” Yet, like you, I feel like those other things make me a better mom, a better woman, someone who doesn’t resent anything.

    I hope you know that I think you are a wonderful mom and that the guilt you are feeling is a valid thing, since you feel it but I do not think that you should dwell on it. Your son, just by your mere existance in his life, knows deep down that he is the most important thing in your life and it doesn’t hurt him to understand that he is not the ONLY thing in your life.

    thank you for writing this and come find me if you need to talk.

  2. Aunt Laura

    Well I chose to do daycare and spend all the time I could with my children and other family’s children. It still was not enough time with my children. Yes they are adults now and have children of their own and everytime the phone rings Iam hoping that need me… But then I have no life other than my children, and wish that I would of had those work friendships now. I wouldn’t be so lonely in my Golden years. You are doing perfect Roxanne, You have a family, Job,and intrests of your own. Don’t ever feel quilty that your not spending the time with Mr. T enough, cause I know and everyone else knows that the time you do spend is quality….. Keep on doing what your doing… You will go down as Best Mother, Best Employee, Best friend and Best neice in my eyes…. Hugs

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