As a new Mom I found myself experiencing “mom guilt” or on some occasions feeling guilty about doing some of the things that I enjoyed before I became a mother, and leaving my child for a few hours a day to accomplish some of my own personal and career goals. I know that some mothers may feel mom guilt after the arrival of their new born child and making the transition of going back into the work force or just taking time away from home during those first few weeks home. When my son Mandivamba was born in 2008. I did not want to go back into the workforce or send him to day care until he was about one or two years of age. I wanted my son to be able to have to power of the English language, and if something happened that he did not feel comfortable with during the time that he was away from me he could say “No,” and “Leave Me Alone,” Also I wanted him to be able to report back to me if any harm or discomfort happened during his day.
The journey of mom guilt began for me after I actually had to leave him in daycare at the age of two. I knew the caregiver very well, the place that he attended for daycare had the best meals, activities, and I could trust that he had the best care possible while I worked and volunteered outside of the home. However, my heart hurt the first day and the first weeks after putting my son into daycare. I didn’t know if it was because he was my first born, or did i feel guilty for leaving him at such a young age. The confidence that I had in myself and the feeling of guilt took control. I could not believe the person that I carried for nine months and stayed at home with for a year and half, and the person that I breastfed for ten months, would be in the hands of someone else for seven hours a day Monday through Friday. I wondered if our bond would be as strong after he could socialize with others, learn from his caregiver, and depend on a different environment for his day to day needs. I battled with myself for a very long time until I decided that it was best for both of us to grow and learn outside of the home.
I thought that this feeling of guilt would go away during my second pregnancy in 2013. However, after the birth of my daughter Maliah in June 2013, the feelings of not only guilt but worry have entered into my heart. I think that I do not feel as guilty now that I am a second time mother, although I do have a sense of worry for her safety, growth, development, and overall milestones that I may miss by going back into my career. I know that it will benefit the entire family by me taking the step and working outside of the home. But at the same time, I would love for my businesses to” build” and “grow” enough to create an income for me to continue to work from home.
The only conclusion that I have reached is that I only want to work part time, and continue to grow my various businesses. Maliah will turn one in June and I told myself that I would have my true decision made by the following fall. I have bonded with my baby girl in the same way that I bonded with my young prince. I remember the words that my own mother told me when I left for college, she told me that, “It doesn’t matter how old I am, that I will always be her child and she will always worry about me.” The words from my mother ring true to this day with my own children. I will always worry about my children if they are five inches s or five miles away from me. I have decided that at times Mommy guilt is the “ultimate” equalizer with your feelings, emotions, and thoughts on motherhood. I am constantly weighing the pros and cons for each child, myself, and my husband to have a good quality of life for the whole family. Some days are easier than others and some days are more difficult, and some days the weight does not even itself out for you or the family. The good thing is that you can always start all over and balance out the guilt, worry, frustration, hope, and love with support from friends and family. The most important thing is spending as much quality time with your children as they grow and learn with you. Ia,m certain that guilt and worry may be a part of my life as long as I am a mother. However, I am hopeful that I will do my children justice as long as I stay in prayer, and continue to seek wisdom for the future.