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Hello Guilt My Old Friend…

So on Monday I go back to work, today is officially my last day of maternity leave and boy oh boy am I bashing myself with the guilt because ………. I’m looking forward to going back to work! I have such mixed feelings about that. I feel guilty for leaving Ava and I know I’m going to miss her terribly but when I’m at work, I really really enjoy it. Even the few meetings I’ve attended while being on maternity leave I’ve really enjoyed. Don’t get me wrong, as soon as those meetings were over, I couldn’t wait to get out of there and get home to my little sausage, but while I was in it, I didn’t feel like I didn’t want to be there.

I was concerned initially about starting to assist from home for the last 2 months of my maternity leave but in hind sight, I realize I would never have survived almost 5 months at home if it weren’t for the bit of work I did get to do here. There’s just so much sleeping/reading/cooking/baking/TV watching I can do in a day without feeling like I’m totally going to lose my mind. And while Ava is still so young and sleeping so much, there are large stretches of the day where that was pretty much all there was to do. So I realize now that I wouldn’t have survived these last 4 and three-quarter months without having the bit of work to do.

I just know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that as wonderful as being a SAHM sounds, it just wouldn’t be right for me. I’d either go crazy or bankrupt or both. It was totally necessary for me to be on full leave for the first two months with Ava, they were extremely difficult as we both tried to find our feet and get a routine going. I don’t think I would have managed working then, but since everything has settled, I think we’ve found a compromise to keep everyone happy.

My mother says I’m like my grandmother on my father’s side, she also just couldn’t be a SAHM and worked from the time my dad was a small boy right up until she was 60 years old. So I guess I get this from her as my mom was a SAHM from the time she found out she was pregnant with me.

Now if I could just work through my guilt about leaving Ava because a part of me feels as if my needs are now secondary to her, which of course on some levels is true but not on all.

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10 Comments

  • Reply skrambled

    I’m sure it must be a big adjustment, and I hope it goes smoothly.

    April 30, 2010 at 10:19 am
  • Reply niseysmusings

    I think lots of people share your view. i know i do. much as i love j i couldn’t possibly be a SAHM, the most important thing for any child to see is that their parents are happy. that teaches and allows them to find happiness in their own lives. if the thing that makes you a better mom is working then find your peace with that for Ava’s sake

    April 30, 2010 at 11:02 am
  • Reply tanyakov

    I also had the guilt, but I’d rather have that than the resentment I’d feel if I didn’t work, and the feelings of low self esteem and boredom I’d have too. I also reckon that if I didn’t have this guilt, I’d have other types of guilt – guilt for not working when others work so hard, and guilt for spending my husband’s money when I’m not making my own.

    Make friends with the guilt – we’re going to have it for so many reasons! Lol!

    You’re allowed to enjoy work, and to enjoy being someone other than a mom. I relish having another identity…

    April 30, 2010 at 11:58 am
  • Reply Zeu

    Re the guilt on being happy to go back to word : Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.

    You are trying to find a balance between being Ava’s Mommy, and Sharon the Professional, nothing wrong with that. And with your altered work hours, I think you onto a winning recipe.

    Make sure you have some tissues handy Monday morning, the tears will flow, but you will also love being back at work, doing “grown up” things.

    Good luck for Monday in advance.

    Deidre

    April 30, 2010 at 12:34 pm
  • Reply elna3

    I am the same and I always think ‘I am a better mom for going to work’

    April 30, 2010 at 12:55 pm
  • Reply charnetrollip

    o Shaz i know its hard… but dont beat urself up… praying monday will go well

    April 30, 2010 at 3:09 pm
  • Reply taryn29

    All the best for Monday Shaz, the guilt only shows what a fantastic mommy you are!

    April 30, 2010 at 4:56 pm
  • Reply kirstymac72

    As awful as it sounds… you still need to be Sharon. Not just Ava’s mummy! You are so blessed to be in this situation, and to be able to feel this guilt. It is completely normal… and for me, working part time makes me a better mum x. Once you’re into the swing of things, you’ll love it x

    May 1, 2010 at 9:07 am
  • Reply orbit365

    Thank you so much for posting this.
    I have never, ever admitted this to anyone before (because I felt soooo guilty to even think it) but I hated being on Maternity leave (after 2 months I was ready to pull my hair out) and could not wait to go back to work. I craved adult company and mental stimulation like you would not believe. I love, love, love my boys with every fibre of my being but just cannot do SAHM even if I was in a financial position to manage it. There are days when I wish that I could be a SAHM but I know that I wouldn’t last for longer than 3 months. I think that you have the best of both worlds and that you are incredibly lucky.
    The first day or so will be difficult and of course you will miss her intensely. But it does get easier. It’s just a matter of adjusting to the new routine.
    All the best…

    Julia
    xxx

    May 1, 2010 at 7:59 pm
  • Reply mayflowerladybugs

    Me too… definitely NOT cut out to be a SAHM. I would go NUTS! Plus, like you I really love my job. However, the back-to-work thing is always tough so good luck for Monday!

    PS ‘guilt’ is by now my middle name!

    May 1, 2010 at 8:39 pm
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