Daily archives "August 21, 2014"

Guilt when working

Let me start by saying that my daughters are the greatest gifts in my life. I cannot imagine my life without them. I also cannot imagine my life without my work helping people with chronic medical illnesses or mental illnesses. And that is where the guilt stems from. I love my time with my girls, I love weekends with them, I love to travel with them. And I feel overwhelmingly guilty when I drop them off early in the morning and pick them up after 5:30 Monday through Friday. I also could not imagine my life without my work. I spent years in graduate school earning my two advanced degrees in areas that I believe help me to make a difference in my little corner of the world. And I think I am pretty good at my job. And many of my patients say the same thing. If I miss work, I feel guilty, like I am letting down people who really need help and support in their lives. It is a catch-22.

I often get invitations to mid day activities and think “I am a terrible mom because I can’t take the girls to this activity or playdate”. And then I gently argue with that voice “but they love daycare and they are learning so much and have a wonderful group of friends here”. This happens every day. EVERY SINGLE DAY. And I continue to ask myself, “why do I feel guilty about having my job?” and “why do I think I am less of a mom because I am not with my kids every second of the day?”.  And you know what??? I don’t have an answer to those questions. But I can say I hear and read many messages that say I “should” be home with my kids. And I “should” take them to activities during the day. Should, should, should. It’s the mommy mantra. Bean is 4 years old and this has been going on long enough. I think I am more exhausted by the shoulding in my head than I am from my life. And I really like my life. So, good riddance to you guilt. Feel free to stop by anytime, just don’t plan to stay too long. You aren’t helpful to the life I am living or to the parenting I do. I have decided to accept that sometimes I feel guilty and inadequate and that’s ok. I don’t need to argue with it, just accept it as part of my life. Take a deep breath, focus on the moment.  And then do my job. All of them.