It finally happened… Mommy guilt!
It happened on Wednesday night. I had never experienced it before, but boy does it suck!
You see, it was back to school for me this week too, I’m in my second year at NYU, at the Wagner School of Public Service. I go to school part-time and this semester I have two night classes. This means that I don’t see my son two nights in a row…to make matter worse, my baby boy had his first fever on Labor Day! 102.4… I did call the doctor at 630 am. (he promptly called me back… go Premier Pediatrics!) and I did try to justify my call by adding, “it is the first time my son gets a fever.” The fever was back on Tuesday morning (100.1) but it was not as high, and I could not miss work… so I was feeling EXTRA guilty for not staying home with the little mushball… he didn’t want to eat, he kept saying “ma ma ma ma” OUCH… dagger through my heart. My only consolation was that he was staying with abuela. So not only did I not see him for two nights under regular circumstances, but he was sick as well, so he was extra needy… and I was feeling extra guilty. I swear on Thursday morning he was kind of giving me the cold shoulder, pretending not to hear me calling his name and asking for a kiss.
I read somewhere that babies (I can still call my 17 month old a baby right?) don’t hold grudges. Thank goodness for that! I try to make up not being home by doing other things—I take him to a music class on Saturdays when we can go, and I also take him to the park some days when I get home from work (ok… truthfully, sometimes it is not the park, but the supermarket… but hey, it’s a trip outside the house!) We have dance parties to the Fresh Beat Band, we color, and when I am home I am the one who does bathtime and sleeptime. Another super special way of bonding with my son is to make him his food, I feel like I am doing something that he will enjoy while I am away!
I have come to appreciate the extra early morning time we have… Never thought I’d say that! Usually I pray that he sleeps just a little longer so I can stay in bed just a little longer. But now, I love that extra half hour or so, before the craziness begins, lots of cuddling, hugging and gazing into each other’s eyes! Yes it’s true! The other day I was so tired (school, work and staying up for the conventions can do that to a girl!) that when we were laying down on the couch hugging I just closed my eyes for a minute (I hope it was only a minute) and when I opened my eyes I see baby E in my face grinning from ear to ear. It was priceless.
Perhaps you’re wondering why I’m just experiencing this now, 14 months after I went back to work. Well, truthfully, it is because I enjoy being at work… Don’t get me wrong I do miss my son—but staying home is not for me at this time. I’m the type of person that needs to have a lot going on…I know that if I only had work and baby, I would feel that something is missing. I want to be intellectually stimulated, and my classes sure do that for me… I feel alive! I also want a career in nonprofit, so I am really looking forward to finishing my MPA.
It is definitely hard to not see my sons two nights in a row, but for now, it is what it is. I love being a mother… but I am not only a mother, it is just a part of who I am. I am lucky that I have support from my hubby and family, and I am sure that when I am done, Baby E will be proud of his momma too.
Have you experience mommy guilt? How do you deal with it? Share your thoughts below, or via Twitter, @dianalimongi
Have a great weekend! Cherish the time with your kids!