budget, family, parenting, Uncategorized

Mom Guilt, or, Why I Feel Terrible About Working.

I’ve been a stay at home mom off and on since just before Seth was born.  I’ve worked a few months intermittently but it was always shift work or something I could adjust the hours on to still be home a large chunk of time.  While I won’t say I’m a great mom, I love my baby and have enjoyed spending time with him (mostly).

This December we were lucky enough to be put in a position to pay off all of our debt, and with that weight off of us we took a good look at our finances and realized that we were extremely close to being able to achieve our financial goals in extremely short order.  We can support ourselves solely on Jake’s income and for about two weeks I felt great about that and like there was no need to do more.

Then, of course, I sat down and thought about how well we could be living if I was working and our income was doubled.

Jake and I talked about it for a while, and I finally decided to send out a couple of resumes.

That’s when things started to go REALLY FAST.

I put out my resume on Tuesday.

By Wednesday afternoon I had four interviews set up, one for a job I was very interested in, and I’d gotten a recommendation for an amazing daycare that had exactly one opening for my son’s age group.

Thursday I had two interviews and pulled the trigger on taking the open daycare slot, hoping one of the now seven interviews would pay off.

Friday I had the second interview for the job I wanted most, was hired on the spot, and start Monday, Seth will be starting daycare Tuesday.

The daycare is an excellent Montessori program with an great facility, small classroom sizes, experienced teachers, and a wonderful curriculum.  There is an on site speech therapist, nutritionist, and nurse.  There are all sorts of adventures like pets, teaching them to cook, gardening, all sorts of stuff.  And I know that as an only child he will benefit hugely from having interactions with other kids before he starts school.

The rational part of my brain totally understands that this is all good stuff and for the best but my emotional side is completely devastated that someone else is going to be spending 8 hours a day with my baby.

I keep trying to reconcile going from spending 24/7 with my son to seeing him for maybe 5 hours during the awake part of the day.  I’ve gotten to be there for every single one of his “firsts” (excluding walking because he decided to do that RIGHT AFTER I went downstairs to flip laundry so only his dad saw it).  What if I miss something?  What if he feels like I abandoned him?  What if I drop him off on the first day and make a jag out of myself by sitting in the car in the parking lot and sobbing for half an hour before I drive to work?

That last one’s less a “what if” and more a, “It’s going to be awkward when I…”.

I really didn’t think this was going to happen so quickly.  If the job wasn’t such an ideal opportunity and so perfectly located I’d have passed and looked for something part time.  I keep reminding myself that by increasing our income I’m going to be able to offer him a much better life than he’d have otherwise, and that this is going to take a huge amount of weight off Jake because as our only income if he gets hurt or fired or the business burns down, we’d be out on the street within a month.

But I’m not going to get to snuggle a sleepy baby when it’s time for him to wake up from his nap and I’m not going to get to see him do his Sandwich Dance at lunch time and that he’s not going to be the center of attention there so he might not like it and will cry.

The sandwich dance is typically followed by the juice collapse.

Being a mom is simultaneously the best experience of my life, and total ass.

In case you were wondering.

I realize I’m not unique in this struggle, I imagine it’s something a lot of moms go through.  And it makes me want to get very aggressive with those snide people who like to say, “You shouldn’t have a baby until you can AFFORD to have a baby and that means being able to live on one income” because if that’s what we’re doing the US population is going to drop hella fast.

I’m just going to try and get through it, remind myself that this is for the best, and that he’s such a little cutie that it’s not like anyone can resist loving his chubby little butt.  But it makes my heart hurt a little.

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