I belong to a mini chat group on WhatsApp that is made up of my very best girlfriends … and I must admit this mini chat has given me countless hours of stomach-spasm-laugh-out-loud entertainment and much needed heartwarming support. Since all our lives have gotten busier and busier, with new babies, new homes, new projects and new husbands, sometimes this chat is the only contact I have with my besties for weeks on end. However, it has gotten quite quiet lately and if there was a ‘tumble weed’ emoji, I would definitely employ a line of them in our silent conversation. Or perhaps a cricket? Anyways, this morning I woke up to an explosion of messages on this very treasured chat and I read that one of my fiercest BFF’s felt like an inadequate mom. But the baffling thing is, she is one of the most generous, accomplished, and strongest women I know. So that got me thinking, is it true that somewhere between giving birth to baby and just before the placenta, moms also give birth to something I call “maternal guilt”?
Since I’ve just rejoined the workforce after maternity leave, my daughter is now attending day care. I feel guilty the moment I drop her off in the morning up until the moment I pick her up and on most days that’s from 7am to 5:30 pm. That’s a lot of time to be holding on to so much gilt.. and let’s be honest, that’s not the only time I feel guilt ridden.
But wait… who said the only way we can be good parents is to spend every waking moment with our child? Who is to say that somebody, other than ourselves, can’t provide the same if not better level of engagement and stimulation? Yes yes, I know that we as mom’s don’t want to feel replaced, inadequate or worse yet… failing our children!! But I think I can confidently say we will not.
As a working mom, I have crafted a few simple truths that make my guilt more manageable:
- I work hard so that my daughter can one day be proud of all that I have accomplished
- I cannot and should not be everything and everyone for my daughter
- Quantity of time spent together doesn’t equate quality of bonding
- I need to focus on me in order to be the happy, healthy mother and wife my family needs me to be.
So on that note, last week was curriculum night. So instead of a 9 hour work day it was 12 hours long. Thank goodness for the amazing gramps (my parents) that cared for my daughter as I meet the parents of my students.
Curriculum night outfit: wore maroon and blue to bring out the colour of the student chairs and cork-board trimmers hahaha!
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