Working Mom Guilt


Working mom holding a baby.Do you suffer from not-enough-hours-in-the-day syndrome as I do? Do you wish that the precious at-home time with your little ones could last as long as the 2:00 hour does at work?

Initially, the subject of this post was going to be “me” time. But to be completely honest, “me” time during this season of my life consists of my coffee in the morning and my glass of wine at night. (Deprive me of one of those, and I get cranky!). The way I see it is that I don’t want the luxury of “me” time right now because I am away from my children already for more than 40 hours a week. A sad truth that makes me weepy. So I take my “me” time when they are sleeping or engrossed in a fun activity with Daddy, but hardly ever when we have our free designated time together.

This may sound absurd to some of you, and I know that some of it stems from what I like to call “working mom guilt.” During the week, there isn’t time to have a leisurely breakfast or nature walks outside to look for signs of the new season like I might want to on a Monday morning. It’s more like “Put your shoes on!” “Sorry, mommy needs to get dressed,” “We can go there on Saturday,” a constant drone of a routine that leaves all of us wanting a little bit more.

I see it in their faces. I feel it in my heart. It makes me want to make the weekends and evenings special and drag them out as long as I possibly can.

Now that my daughter is older, it is even harder because she realizes that not all mommies work. A dagger in the heart moment was when my daughter whispered to me at her party this summer that her birthday wish was that I wouldn’t have to go back to work. You and me both, kid.

Our children are desperate for our attention in these early years. Not just being in the room with them with our mind on a million other things, but engaging them, listening to their new ideas, and encouraging their creativity.

Unfortunately for many of us in this new generation of mommies, family time is not regarded as a high priority by our society as it was in the past. We are accessible 24-7 with texts, e-mails, etc. I both despise and depend on my cell phone equally. I often long for a simpler time when I could not be reached easily. Yet I love the connection to friends, relatives, and other mommies at the click of a button. I have to remind myself to put the cell phone down and exist in the moment.

This season of my children being fully aware of when I am present and when I am not will not last forever. I know that in a few short years, I will have more “me” time than I may even desire at that point. Free time is not divided equally amongst each period of our life, says my college self with a laugh! Seriously, if I could borrow a couple of those hours from my college days! But that is not possible.

Until the next season, I’ve got my coffee in the morning and my wine at night!

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Shannon has lived in Fairfield County, CT for most of her life and currently lives in Monroe. She has a daughter L (September, 2008) and a son B (May, 2012). Shannon balances being a wife and mom with working 186 days out of the year as a special education teacher. Thank goodness for vacations, summer break, and snow days! You can be sure that she fills those days with as many amazing activities and outings that she can think of to make up for the time that she is at work. In a distant life, way before babies, Shannon was an aspiring actress and musician. You can sometimes still find her leading sing-a-longs with her guitar at the kids’ playgroups or at her daughter’s school.



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