The Guilt of A Working Mom

Friday, July 12, 2019


There are a lot of things you get miss out on if you are a full-time working mom. I happen to be one and I know deep in my heart that I can’t blame anybody but myself for missing milestones on my baby’s life.

Every day I see social media posts from some of my friends who are homemakers and I can’t help but feel envy. They get to spend the whole day with their kids and track their milestones, they get to play with them and teach them. Worst is I tend to compare their kids to mine. I know each kid has their own timeline but I always blame myself if I see a baby that’s the same age as my daughter that already knows her ABCs, can count to five or hum along to nursery rhymes. Nothing really beats being with your little one with every milestone on his/her growing up years. There are times when I find myself crying about things that I wish I could do for and with her.

I also envy mothers who manage to have a career and seem to be doing great with their children’s developments. How do they do it? Where did they get their super powers? Why can’t I do what they do? Where do they get their energy from? Those are just some of the questions I keep on asking myself whenever I see this kinds of things on social media.



DAY CARE AT A VERY YOUNG AGE


Sending her to a baby day care was our only option since we did not meet all the requirements to acquire our own help from the Philippines (the list was long and believe me, we tried). All we can do was be very particular in choosing a babysitter for her. I believe we went thru a lot of candidates for babysitting and checked on the places personally before deciding where to bring her. Finally, we were so blessed to have found someone we can trust with her and take really good care of her.

During the first week that we leaving her there, I was always in constant communication with the babysitter, checking up on them, how they were doing, if the little one was sleeping well, if she’s already pooped (yes I did that, I’m that paranoid). But after a while I learned to trust and let them be. I love how the babysitter tells me everything they’ve done during the day when I pick her up after work. She even tells me if she’s tripped and fell or if something happened and she has a wound or a bruise. I would hate it if I found a scratch and I would have to ask what has happened.

MISSED MILESTONES


I would always be surprised when I see her doing something new for the first time and wonder how/where she learned that from. Sometimes she would come home and she just knew how to drink from a straw or wave goodbye. It would cry from the inside knowing that I was not the one who taught her those tiny little things.  

WASTED LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

Aside from missing milestones in my daughter’s life, we are also missing a great deal in her brain development. I don’t know if I’m being paranoid because of seeing too many social media posts and comparing my daughter to others of the same age or I’m really being a bad teacher-parent.

I don’t really want to compare my child to others but I can’t help it, I want her development to be at its fullest as possible for her age. Right now, I try to do my best to teach her new things every day and I’m so glad that she engages well with educational toys and activities.

FORGETTING THINGS

One time, I sent my daughter to Day Care without any milk. Thankfully, there was a grocery store near the day care, I had to rush out of the office and buy some milk, bring it to her and rush back to work. This has always been a problem for me especially when I leave things unprepared during the night and tend to rush myself in the mornings.

The worst one yet was when I forgot to refill her diaper bag and she only had one left. I picked her up after work and when I held her, I felt that she didn’t have anything under her pants. I cried just as we entered the house and closed the door on our backs. My poor baby didn’t have any diaper for the whole day. How irresponsible can I get?  

OUR UNTIDY HOUSE AND UNDONE CHORES

Here are a few constant reminders of my failure as a wife and as a parent. Our piled up laundry, our house is a mess, toys everywhere, clothes waiting folded sit around for days in our sofa, uncooked meals that pretty much just awaits expiry lay around on the fridge, the undone bed, the dog hasn’t had a bath in days. I don’t even want to elaborate on this, I feel nauseous just trying to think of all these things I need to do when I get home tonight.


RESOLUTIONS

1.       Hold back on things that I don’t really need to do (binge watch Master Chef Australia for instance, teehee) so I can spent as much of my free time with my daughter.
2.       Try to teach her new things myself, especially at her age now where she can easily absorb things.
3.       Manage time properly. Try to do as much chores as I can while she sleeps.
4.       Try not to compare my daughter to other kids. Mantra – Each kid is different.
5.       Try not to compare myself to my supermom friends who seem to be doing it all and still manage to have a career. I constantly remind myself that people only tend to post the good things in life.
6.       Lastly and most important of all, pray for patience and strength during times where I doubt and blame myself.


COUNTING THE PROs

Since I’ve just ranted about all the things I feel guilty about, I also get to feel a pride for the choice we made in sending her to a day care.

1.       She gets to get out of the house on a daily basis – she gets more sun and more fun rather than staying indoors the whole day. It’s a short drive to the Day Care but at least she sees the skies in the mornings and the stars at night.

2.       She has new friends – staying with mom all day might be fun but believe it or not, I think my daughter has developed a friendlier personality. Ever since she started day care, she would say “hi” to kids we’d see whenever we go out.

3.       Anti-postpartum depression – Don’t get me wrong, I was never diagnosed with depression. I think it was because I went straight back to work after my maternity leave. During those days that I was home alone with my daughter, I couldn’t count the times I cried with her during the day. I guess if hadn’t come back to work, it would’ve led me straight to postpartum depression or insanity.

4.       Blessing – I always think to myself that every child is a blessing and the Lord has directed us to this path.
The blessing of the LORD enriches, and He adds no sorrow to it. Proverbs 10:22

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