Monday, March 26, 2007

A Resolution

During the two or so months I have been blogging (both reading other blogs and writing my own) I have noticed much discussion about the guilt surrounding being a working mom. As of right now I resolve to stop writing about feeling guilty for working. This should be easy enough because I have determined that the majority of my guilt does not stem from working.

I feel the most guilty for being a person with my own needs. Ninety-nine percent of the time LP's well-being comes above my own. This is apparent when I go an entire day without peeing; or when you consider that I still wear a hideous nursing bra on days when I am not in the office or change into one immediately after getting home from work; or when you can't help but notice that LP's wardrobe is much more attractive and extensive than my own.

Yesterday, in an attempt to remedy some of the wardrobe issue, I left the Hoos and LP in the car while I ran into a Talbot's outlet. I love to get a bargain and when in the right mood I can spend at least an hour going through sales racks. I spent a grand total of 15 minutes inside this huge store. When I got out, LP was upset and the Hoos was ready to get going.

As I strapped a crying LP into her car seat, I kept telling her: "I'm sorry mommy was selfish and wanted to get some new clothes. I should have considered that you would rather be anywhere than sitting in the car on a nice day and done my shopping at a different time." I spent the car ride back home sitting in the back seat playing with LP. At least I got two shirts and a new skirt.


Shari said...

So I've read all of these stories and blogs on mom guilt and was relieved to see I was not alone, but then the more I read the more I could not believe how much guilt is out there and what an epidemic it has become. I was able to stay home the first year with my daughter but with my son's impending arrival I was nervous about juggling the working mom routine the first year. The more I've read the more I realize it's not work that I feel guilty about, work is a necessary evil to provide for my children... yet like you, when I buy a new shirt I feel guilt that does not go away for minimally a 24 hour period. I agonize over purchasing a head band for myself, but don't give myself credit for the fact that I need the head band because I've gone without a real salon visit for a year and a half (which is only justified by the fact that I went to cosmotolgy school and can do it myself most of the time).

Most working mommy blogs I've read are more upset about the fact that they aren't the complete fashion plate they used to be and you just said what I feel all the time.

I work with the fashion plate, no children-ites and feel frumpy in comparison... but I know my kiddo's are total fashion plates.

I am Karen D. (a 'WAFHM"): said...

Thank you for this post Amy! I sooooo need a good dose of perspective from fellow WAFHM's (god, I hate that acronym!).

You are sooooo right! I know my guilt for working outside the home (which my entire blog is basically dedicated to) is totally stemmed from the same thing: my needs vs. Gracie's needs. I feel guilty when I think I may be placing my needs over hers, triumphant when I think I've done the right thing and devastated when I think I made a totally selfish call.

Placing every purchase, activity, major decision on the life-scale of, "whose needs are most important" is tricky. Most of the time- it never balances. It usually requires some measure of psychic power or blind faith.

I'm just glad that it seems normal to battle this debate in my head on an almost daily basis along with soooo many other women. I think this just means I'm human in a world of mixed messages.

I need to change my perspective. Try to not be so hard on myself. Thanks for the kickstart!

AmyBow said...

This guilt exists no matter if you work outside the home, stay at home, or are a dad. My best friend is a stay-at-home mom and she feels guilty taking her son to run errands.

We need to get over it and give ourselves a break. LP, Gracie, and Shari's kids are really very fortunate to have moms that care so much. That means a whole lot more to them in the long-run than whether we carved out a small portion of the weekend to focus on ourselves.