Silver Lining: Working Mom Guilt …rectified.

I work at an accounting firm. I thought about leaving that sentence out in case creepy stalkers are out there trying to find my location, but I figure it’s valid, and vague enough that I’m safe. ish. Anyway.
So, starting January 1st, and ending around April somethingteenth, my social life vanishes, my internet existence diminishes, and the hardest part, my time with my kiddos is minimal.

And I’m a whiner. That loves her job, PS.

And a planner, so I’ve been dreading my time away from home since December. I’ve been tucking them in at night, squeezing them longer, apologizing for coming home late and leaving early in the mornings. I cry about not getting to volunteer at their schools, or even pick them up from school. I worry that they’re going to feel neglected and end up being those really sad kids with messy hair, iffy wardrobe choices, and slippery grades.

The weirdest thing is happening though. They’re surviving.
I’ve taught them to be self sufficient, and I’ve showed them that while mom will always be the favorite person (riiiiiiiighthahahahaha), but it takes a village. And I have one. And they’re amazing, and my girls are thriving. I’m not fine, but they are.

I have so much guilt about being a working mom. Like I’m missing out on all of the good stuff. And opportunities to hug them.

And THEN I was watching Law and Order: Criminal Intent last night, where one of the characters had a wife in the military. She got about a day and a half with him and their five year old girl before being deployed again. I realized that things could be a lot harder. And while I’m not necessarily being heroic at my job (save for handing out taxes with good news, 50% of the time), I do get to be the first to see them wake up for their day, and the last to snuggle them before they’re back to dreaming for the night. They’re brilliant, they’re loved, they’re supported, and there isn’t a bit of guilt worth holding onto about it.

With this madness comes bliss, with this whine comes silver lining. I absolutely bow to all working moms doing everything they can to keep their family both afloat and loved enough, and I’m near tears over the women out there serving our country first. Your strength is astounding, your perspective admirable.

And to my village especially, thank you. For the hours put into their schoolwork, preparation to get them to and from school, healthy meals fed, cute outfits bought, sturdy shoes adorned, beds made, dishes done, vitamins given, car seats secured, and mom comforted. Brandon especially, I could not make it even day to day without your support.

Thus beginning a new blog series. Silver Lining…to be continued.


9 thoughts on “Silver Lining: Working Mom Guilt …rectified.

  1. Being able to flourish without you “helicoptering” over them all the time is by FAR the best lesson you’ve taught those beautiful girls of yours—and you being YOU, every single day, teaches them everything else they could ever hope to learn about love, grace, acceptance, GLEE & general rockstar-ery.
    I love this new series, p.s.! <3! (And you, always!)

  2. You are an amazing mom! Those girls will remember everything, small or big, and it will teach them how to raise their own children…with the love, help and grace of their own wonderful friends and extended family. Way to continue to set good examples for those beautiful girls of yours!

  3. You, by far, my dear girl, have the most amazing support system in the world. I’ve never seen anything quite like it, would love to have one similar, and think you find the most fabulous people to be friends with. Your girls are BLESSED to have you as a mom. Hello? Writer? Photographer? Mother? Girlfriend? Friend? Accountant Helper? Tucker-inner? Nightmare putter-outter? That’s an AWFUL lot of roles for anyone..and you do them all amazingly well.

    And all those roles? Sometimes take a bit of time to accomplish each day. When one hat is hung up, another is put on. And, if no one ever told you, that mother hat NEVER comes off. It’s like one of those swimming hats (you would make it look fabulous!), and it fits under all the others, and sort of cuts off your brain and all other thoughts with it’s resounding tightness.

    We’ll just add “swimmer” to that list of things you are 😉

    (P.S.–Let’s not forget those single dads who would give up anything for their kiddos…and who are feeling the exact same strain and pressure to be dad+, who are relying on their support system too 🙂 ).

  4. my dear,

    I am so happy about the fact that you are able to spend so much time with your kids. I am one of those mothers on a guilt trip. Normal day in my house…. alarm 430am. yoga 45 mins, shower, dress, take dog on two block walk, wake children, dress, medicate everyone (including dog), granola bar for kids, out the door by 615am to make 621am bus, drop kids at school, work from 730am-430pm, pick children up, make dinner while doing homework of kids/batheing them/ putting on pjs, 7pm more medicines (everyone again), story, bedtime for kids. Mommy cleans up house, pack all bags for morning, and does three to five hours of homework til midnight or later then bed.
    Im a single working mother with a boyfriend who is great but out of state. My support system was more detremintal to my children then helpful. It caused the nightmares, scares, and broken promises I swore to protect them from. So here I am doing this single handedly while trying to finish school… HELP! tell me it will be okay!
    -tired 24/7

    • Single mothers, my dear, are heroes. Not only to their children but to those of us out there who are mothers with amazing support systems who look at you when they feel sorry for themselves and think “MY GOD that woman does all of this ON HER OWN!!!!!” really it’s nothing short of leaping tall buildings in a single bound!

      You, Hannah are a hero and it will come around and be A OKAY!

  5. Your timing is perfect… What did I do last night???? WELLLL I came home wanting to know EVERY detail of the horror that was involved in Helen accidentally being gagged on her dinner spoon and then barfing the days worth of meals, then a bath and a trip to her half sister’s drop off location after visitation. The horror was in fact as bad as I’d predicted, she was crying from moment of vomit to being lifted out of the tub to get dressed and ready to go for the drop off–IN MY HEAD THAT IS– After moping around, CRYING off and on for an hour or so I was calm enough to listen to the account with my ears rather than my heart. She did her spewing, laughed it off while Troy ran a bath, she played in the tub a bit, he though shower might be fun and she thought otherwise. Tears, dry baby gathered up and then rocked fast asleep in the car with smiles and paci. So My tears dried up long enough to get into bed then I started again because I imparted to the SO that in fact, my upset was not at his handling of the situation, rather, they were there because I felt soooo bad that I wasn’t there to comfort Helen like a good mommy etc… I love my job…but I hate my job…but I love my job… My girl is fine, her daddy is awesome and grandma too. She is surrounded by many people who love her and who make up her days and nights which is awesome. I still am the one who comforts her if she wakes up needing some love or whatever, I still am the first face she sees EVERY morning etc… You are right Naomi they thrive even though and their lives are rich. So are ours even though our hearts break every now and then at our “misfortune”. I ALWAYS try to fall back on the knowledge that so many mommy’s out there sacrifice more than I do, they make do with less as far as the “village” goes etc… ROCK ON working mommy’s and single mommy’s etc… THANK you for that blog!!! I am putting an article on your wall as we speak that goes REALLY great with your blog today.

  6. Good for you! I know I would feel guilty if I went back to work…at least while the sprout was still young enough to not be in school. Once he’s off on that adventure…things may change. Still, good for you finding balance!

  7. Thank you for this post. I just came off a weekend where I had a project that went bad and I spent all weekend (emails, phone calls, etc) trying to fix it. I work on contracts, so I really don’t have “office hours.” It felt so terrible that I wasn’t putting 100% of my efforts on my kids. But, like you said, things could be worse. You know who my kids prayed for the other day? Me! I couldn’t believe it. I beat out the toys and Grandma and Grandpa. It is those little things that remind me that they are doing just fine.

    • It sounds like you’re an unbelievable mom, Emily! 🙂 The fact that your kids already know how to show you some serious love speaks volumes! Us working moms have insane amounts of strength, and I believe the ones that have to set their own hours to get things done rank at the top! Have a blessed week!

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