Updated: Feb 13
"Mom guilt" is absolutely real.
If you are a mom or a caregiver, you have felt this before. You know, that feeling of anxiety because you have to leave you child after maternity/paternity leave with someone who isn't you, that feeling of fear that the someone could harm your child when you aren't around, or that sadness you feel when your little bundle of joy takes their first steps while you work a late shift at work and/or plain ol' inadequacy. All of those feelings plus the thoughts of:
"I should be home with my baby...I'm missing EVERYTHING".
Yup. I've felt this. All of this. Especially since I was breastfeeding. Pumping breast-milk was the least fun thing to do and isolating, but it was an honor to provide my son with nutrients my body made designed for him. Liquid gold...
We, mothers/caregivers, bare children. It happens, daily.
I just want you, my reader, to know that its okay to feel what you are feeling. You are incredibly strong for carrying a child for 9 months* and then nurturing your child(ren) with love, food and shelter; it is not easy. Any time I read a mother/caregiver being asked how having a child has changed their life they almost always say they never knew a love like this, giving birth to their child was the greatest thing they could have ever done, their biggest & best accomplishment.
*not all babies stay in their wombs for 9 months, 40-weeks.
There are a lot of factors that get in the way of truly loving the experience of being a parent such as:
-Relationship issues (not just spousal/marital)
-Health issues, & more
I don't know about anyone else, but I had a hard time with mentioning that I have a child when I was job hunting during maternity leave in Winter of 2015. Not because I was ashamed, but because I didn't know if disclosing it would cut my chances at getting the job. I needed/wanted to start my career especially because I have a child that depends on me and my fiance. I needed a better paying job, too. On one of the interviews i went on during my maternity leave, I expressed I was on maternity leave and would need 2 weeks to let my job know I would be resigning. I'm not very good at lying... I mean not disclosing most facts.
I will tell the truth when asked unless I rehearsed the dialogue at least 1,000 times...So, I'm sure I didn't get the job because I said too much.
I can shrug it off now, but I was so sad. Add my emotions still being out of wack and I'm a mess.
I chalk it up to:
I just wasn't ready.
shy/timid my voice
I thought I needed to jump right in, but what would that had lead to? I get the job and then I'm penalized because I have to pump 4 times during my workday? I wasn't pumping in a bathroom, either! I'm ready now. I used to be . I needed the experiences I had at my previous employer to deal with people of different temperaments. I needed to become a mom to find , I needed to leave my last job to be able to be more involved in the day-to-day with my son. I almost had a job working for a furniture company while transitioning into my current job and turned it down because:
1. I already told this employer, "yes"
2. I needed to spend time with my little family after almost 5 years of varying schedules. I barely saw my fiance some weeks, like I'd come home from work at night and lay next to him and in the morning say, "goodbye" as he leaves to work
The sacrifices I've made will hopefully pay off soon. I don't feel as guilty anymore now that I understand that at the end of the day, I'm doing all of this to better myself to create a better life for my son and my family. That's all we, parents, ever want to do.
They will understand when they get older.