Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Mommy Guilt - A Way to Ease the Guilt

"My name is Susan and I experience mommy guilt on a daily basis."

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to diminish the importance of 12 steps programs (my dad when through one when I was in my late teens).  Mommy guilt is my daily struggle.

I've been struggling with the mommy guilt a lot recently.  Both of my kids have been sick and on some days I had to put my grown up panties on and go to work.  I left the care and nurturing of my children to someone else, someone who was not their mommy.  Ouch, it really hurts on those days when I get in the car and drive away.

This is the first time in a long time that I have felt my employer values what I do.  Being appreciated for what I do at work brings me joy and satisfaction.  Being away from my kids when they are sick brings me sadness and a heavy heart.  How can I have my cake and eat it too?

I came across this post on the Working Mom's Against Guilt blog earlier today.  It talks about A Simple Solution for Mommy Guilt.  It was perfect timing!  The post encouraged me to ask my kids "what do you like to do with Mommy?".  Here are their answers from tonight:

Emily (4 years old):
Cuddle with you
Play with my toys with you
Spend time with you

Abby (6 years old):
Spend time with you
(then went into a silly giggle fit)

Seriously, they don't put my handcrafted valentine's for they classmates at the top of the list?  They don't like the fact the kitchen counters are free of clutter (well, they are never really free of clutter) or the fact I tracked 950 boxes of girl scout cookies for their troop?  They don't value the fact I keep their clothes organized in their closets or get creative with what they eat?  Hmmm, I need to rethink my priorities!

Talk to your kids, ask them what they like best about being with you.  The answers are simple and humbling.  Time to cuddle more and worry less about a stack of mail on the counter.