It is so cliché I almost don’t want to write about it: the guilt of the working mother.
I feel guilty when I am working because I want to be with Belén.
I feel guilty when I am not working even if I have already put in far more than eight hours.
I feel guilty I spend too much time at work.
I feel guilty I don’t spend enough time with Andy.
I feel guilty when I workout as I could be accomplishing other things with that time.
I feel guilty when I don’t workout as it is something very important to me for both my physical and mental well-being.
I feel guilty when we have an evening out without our daughter.
I feel guilty that I don’t see my friends as much as I used to.
I feel guilty if I blog.
I feel guilty if I don’t blog.
I feel guilty if I spend two hours at the hair salon.
I feel guilty (or I guess I should say crappy) if I let my hair get nappy like it is right now.
I feel guilty if I have lunch with a co-worker or friend (I could be working or exercising.)
I feel guilty if I miss out on networking opportunities.
I feel guilty when I don’t cook nice meals for our family.
I feel guilty if I spend time cooking as it is time I could be playing with Belén.
I feel guilty our house is not cleaner.
I feel guilty our flower beds have a three-foot high weed I just noticed today.
I feel guilty there have been weeks when Belén barely got two baths.
I feel guilty our dog does not get walked.
And I do need some time for myself, occasionally…
I think you get the point. I really could go on and on unfortunately…
Yes it is cliché, but this guilt is a very real thing. If you are not careful, it can eat you alive.
I try and listen to all of these guilty signals in my head and course correct if any of them get too out of whack. I have found that the key is to not be too hard on myself and to let the less important things go.
The house does not have to be spotless EVERY day.
My work hours can be flexible when needed so I can put in more hours after Belén is in bed.
If I get a workout in during the morning hours before Belén is awake, the entire day works out better.
On days when I really feel like I need more time with B, I do the daycare drop off so I can get an extra 30 minutes with her.
I communicate with Andy about roles and responsibilities I am expecting him to do. I ask for help (usually.)
I talk with moms and dads in similar situations. Commiserating can make you feel better even if it doesn’t solve anything.
In short, I do the best that I can…just like all of you amazing people. This is okay, it has to be okay…otherwise I will implode or go crazy or cry.
Do you have any tips for minimizing the parental guilt and/or doing it all?