Thursday, March 31, 2011

Working mom guilt and other problems

So I've been working 3 days a week for a month now.  In general, Tuesdays are good; I get dressed up, our nanny comes and the boys get excited to see her.  I go to work, Eric cooks dinner while I am there, and I come home and we have a lovely adult dinner.  Wednesdays are ok... but by Thursday... ugh.  I often wake up early with anxiety about leaving my boys, and then I feel guilty that I want to eat breakfast, rather than play with them, knowing that I'll be gone most of the day and miss out on their play time.  Thursday nights I am so happy to come home to them and their beautiful faces.  Unfortunately, they have usually missed me so much that I spend the hour between when I get home and when they eat dinner just holding them on my lap.  They won't let go of me and fight for space on my lap.  I love the attention, but I hate that they've been without me all day.

The other four days of the week I want to spend every minute with them.  I want to take them with me everywhere I go, or only go out while they're napping.  If we make adult dinner plans, our reservations are for 7:30 or later so that the boys will be in bed before we leave the house.

Part of me thinks, "that isn't right." Just because I go to work doesn't mean I can't go out some other day.  My adult time is not limited to work; I can socialize, too.  But the mommy part of me feels pulled-- not out of obligation, but out of desire-- to spend every possible minute that I can with my boys.

This weekend, one of my best friends is having a birthday gathering, and the boys are not invited (let's be honest, their conversational skills are lacking).  I really cannot even fathom not going, but I have anxiety about being away from the boys.  I don't want to short-change my friend by being a party pooper who is pre-occupied with her children (who are fine without her), and I don't want to short-change myself by moping through my time away.  I'm not sure why I can't give myself permission to enjoy my adult time without them, but it's a struggle.

We are also having a hard time with our child care situation.  We had hired a young woman to take care of them from 9-5 on Thursdays, but she told us two weeks ago that she has taken a 5 day a week job with another family.  So we are back to looking for someone who will come take care of our boys every Thursday, and most of the people who are interested in the job are interested in it as a temporary position.  So while we've met some wonderful young women who want to help care for our boys, the prospect of repeating this search again in a month or two is not appealing.  We would also love to have some consistency in their lives, and right now we have Cindy as our nanny on Tuesdays, my mom on Wednesdays, and someone else on Thursdays.

At this point, we are not sure what the right answer will be for our family, but we are handling it in our typical fashions: I worry about it constantly, and Eric worries not at all; he is always telling me not to worry, but that is kind of like telling a fish not to swim.  In the end, we certainly will not hire anyone who doesn't love our boys!


  1. Working sounds tough, I will be there some day too. Happy birthday (sorry it's belated) to the boys!

  2. I'm right there with you on the working mom guilt and the nanny search. Hang in there!