Feeling Guilty for Working Full-time

Updated on March 06, 2008
A.O. asks from Cartersville, GA
28 answers

Does anyone else have that aweful mothers guilt for working full-time? I feel like I don't ever have enough quality time to spend with my child during the week because I work so hard. When I get home it takes all I have to make supper, clean up, and get him bathed and ready for the next day. I really need some support!

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N.H.

answers from Memphis on

A.,

I totally understand how you feel. I have a 21 year old and a 3 year old - the first one I got to stay home, now I am a full time working single mom and believe me there are many of days when I wish I could just stay with her. However I try to think of the positives that come about from me working when I feel guilty, like she is well cared for, she is with her peers instead of clinging to me, just stuff that she would not have if I was at home.

Let me know if you just need to vent, trust me I completely understand where you are coming from.

N.

[email protected]____.com

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S.

answers from Atlanta on

I don't know a working mother that doesn't feel guilty. My mother (who is a neat freak) told me something that helped with some guilt. She said that none of her friends (all with grandkids and greatgrandkid) ever say I wish my house was cleaner while my kids were small. I have learned to try and not sweat the small stuff - like cleaning the house everyday - I am learning to cook quick meals and getting the kids invovled in cooking dinner to spend more time with them. Good luck and believe me you aren't the only one!

1 mom found this helpful
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V.W.

answers from Nashville on

Boy do I ever. I'm constantly keeping my eyes and ears open for a work-at-home opportunity. I feel like I'm going to miss out on all the good stuff like first word and crawling, all the things that make you feel like a successful parent. I wish we could make an income off of being mommy.

1 mom found this helpful

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S.L.

answers from Atlanta on

This past week, my daughter (who is one) had a severe stomach virus and I had to stay out Tues, Thurs, Fri and then Mon and Tues again with her. Being with her those days really opened my eyes to how wonderful it would be to stay at home with her. I work at a Medical Transcription company. All of our Transcriptionist do work at home, but I am a trainer and I have to work in the office. I approached my boss about working at home, and she approached her boss who said that she would see what she could do. She then had to approach her boss, who said no. They did propose a "compromise" (if you call it that) that I can work at home when my daughter is sick, but I don't see that as a compromise, since I want to be with her EVERYDAY ALL DAY.

There is not the option of me not working from a financial standpoint. I am trained in Medical Transcription and could do that from home, and am seriously thinking about it. I love my job, by my daughter and my mommy feelings are going to come first. I am giving this situation to God and asking Him to lead me to the right decision for both me and my family.

So, yes, I understand completely how you feel. And quite frankly, it stinks.

Good luck and if you ever want to chat, email me at [email protected]____.com, You've not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind. So from now on, I won't let the tempter's lies turn my eyes away from the prize that you have set before me.

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J.S.

answers from Knoxville on

A.,

Boy - do I ever understand! I'm a full-time working mother to a wonderful almost 3 year old son. I feel guilt every day. This morning, he woke up at 6:30 (typical time) and said, "Mommy, come snuggle with me!" As we snuggled, he smiled his sweet baby smile, put his hand on my cheek and said, "Stay here with me today, don't go to work." It broke my heart to tell him that I had to go.

I just keep telling myself that I'm working for a reason: my family. If I didn't work, we wouldn't eat, or have a place to live, or be able to pay our bills. These are all things he doesn't understand...but I do. He understands toys, and baby einstein, and Camp Faith at our church, and storytime at the local library on Mondays, and the dog.

Anyway - it is perfectly normal to feel that guilt and I'd think you were strange if you DIDN'T feel it. But as long as your son knows you love him and and you understand that you're working for HIM...you'll be OK.

Hope this helps! Contact me anytime at [email protected]____.com if you need more support! :)

J. S.

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S.J.

answers from Knoxville on

WEll i know how you feel. I only work part time (every weekend) but i feel very guilty for working. I spend the weekddays with my boys but i miss them soooooooo much on the days i work. You are doing what you have to do A. to support your family, when feeling guilty just remember that you are doing a wonderful job at supporting your family. I am sure that when you are home you do all you can to get time with your child. I think that you are a great mother for working taking care of your son.. Keep up the good work.......

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S.B.

answers from Nashville on

Hi A.,

I was a single Mother with two girls and a terminally ill parent. I went through it and then some. If I had to do it over again, I would put my child close to my job and visit on my lunch hour. It would also add time together in the car and less time apart during the day. I really dont think they miss you like we miss them.

When my Mother was living she would check the newspaper for specials "kids eat free" places. We would meet out twice a week at Shoneys or at a Mall. The other few days I would use my crockpot and our meal or at least the meat would be ready when I got home. Some weekends I would cook ahead and put dinners in the freezer. The more you do ahead the better.

House cleaning.... Yuk, I would get up 30 minutes early and do it. I had the energy in the mornings.

The rest of the time I prayed ALOT.

S.

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J.R.

answers from Knoxville on

Hey A.,

Yes, I know exactly how you feel. While I do enjoy working, I miss my kids so much and have that guilty feeling of missing out on things they are doing. You are not alone. I have 2 girls- ages 2 years old and 11 months. My husband and I both work full time and when we get home, it is rush rush to get everything done. I am always tired it seems.
Like many others have said you just have to spend quality time with him as much as possible and know that you are doing the best for your family!! Hang in there!!

J.

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N.T.

answers from Chattanooga on

Hi A.-
Well I would like to tell you not to feel guilty, but that's easier said then done. I'm a stay at home of 2 kids, but my husband works & goes to school. He feels guilty for being away from the kids too. But your doing this to help out, and that's appreciated more then you probably know. I would also like to say that I grew up w/ both parents working, and my mom was gone the most. But she tried her hardest to be there for me & my sister when she could. She always helped w/ school projects, and finding a way to spend quality time. Her being gone just made time w/ her more special. Just make every minute count w/ your son, and it'll work out. He's just happy your home & lovin' on him =)

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M.W.

answers from Nashville on

Hi A.. I have had these feelings since I first put my daughter in daycare at 8 weeks old and she is now almost three and my feelings have only slightly gotten better. The only thing that has helped me is knowing that she is getting a great education at school and has fun around other children. I do feel like I have missed out on many great moments with her and I do not plan on having another baby until I can stay home. I know what you are going through though. Hang in there! One thing I have done is taken a pay cut to have one day off a week. This is our day and I cherish every hour of it! Now, I had to threaten to quit to get this but work gave in. Hope this helps! :)

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L.

answers from Atlanta on

I think it should have a title - WMG - working mamas guilt or something. I always feel guilty dropping him at the sitters (although I love her!) and am so anxious to pick him up for our few hours of quality time. All I can say is make the most of the time you have. When I'm with my son I push the guilt out of the way so we can concentrate on having fun together. Don't let it win. If you're confident in the decision you made for your family's wellbeing as a whole, focus on that, not the guilt.

Hang in there - you're definatley not alone!

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J.F.

answers from Nashville on

It is normal to feel guilty and to miss your child. By Thursday of each week, I am desperate for the weekend so I can spend more time with my 5 month old son. One of my colleagues told me when I went back to work to not feel guilty because studies have shown that stay at home moms do not get that much more quality time with their children than working moms. You have to do what is right for you. I work because I can't afford not to but I also work because I love my job and I spent years in school to have the career that I have. I hope that I can be a good role model for my son as a working professional, which I believe is an important part of parenting.

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M.

answers from Atlanta on

I completly understand how you feel. Have you considered proposing a compressed work week to your job. When I came back from maternity leave I asked to only work 4 days a week but I still work 35 hrs. which allows me to keep full-time status. I have a 9 mo old son and that extra day is my saving grace. It's still hard but 3 full days with him is better than 2.

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S.W.

answers from Atlanta on

I'm a stay at home mom but I have lots of working mom friends. Some stuggle with guilt, but many believe working makes them better moms. Staying home doesn't by any means make you a good one. My husband works long hours and hates being away from the kids but their time with him is soooo special and they are by no means closer to me than they are to him. I don't know if any of that helps... just some thoughts!

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C.

answers from Atlanta on

Wow... does this sound familiar. I too work full-time. My husband and I have a little boy who will be 5 on 11/10. I am blessed to have a wonderful job that pays me well and a great boss who is a family-man and who is very understanding and flexible with me. I also have a great husband who is very much there for me - being an equal partner in caring for Justin and for the household. My husband and I have been talking about having another child for over a year. We really want one and have been praying about it. We are very blessed to have the grandparents - both sets - very close and they trade off watching our son during the work week. He goes to pre-K 4 four days a week for 3 hours a day. I really want another child - I'm the oldest of four and really treasure growing up with siblings and my relationship with them now. My mom stayed home with us - with four it just didn't make sense to try to work outside the home and she didn't want to anyway. I would love to be able to stay home but I just don't know what I would do. While we make good money - my job pays our health benefits in FULL, we aren't frivolous with our money at all - we put as much as we can away for savings, retirement and Justin's college. We want our children to go to a Christian school (my sister is a 5th grade teacher in public school and you wouldn't believe some of the things I hear from her). All of this takes money and we couldn't do anything but just get by with our everyday bills if we had to exist on my husband's income (which would be even less since we don't have to have anything taken out for insurance at this point). My mom doesn't understand and has not encouraged me to have another child at all. While she hasn't been mean about it she has let me know that she doesn't think me working is fair to Justin and that she doesn't think we should have another one unless I was able to stay home. We have a great relationship and it is very hard not to be able to talk with her about this. She doesn't have the same frame of reference as I do - times were REALLY different then (I'm 35 and the oldest) - it isn't a cliche. Everything costs more now - health insurance is out of this world - housing (my house is the same size as my parents but our house note is almost 3 times what they paid and we had perfect credit) - no pensions, no social security benefits, college is out of this world (and we expect our children to work for scholarships and to have a job during college and contribute). My youngest sister has a 6 month old son and she is trying to stay at home right now. Her husband doesn't make as much as mine does - they have no savings, no retirement started, no college fund. I don't want to end up having the tension that I grew up with with my father working his butt off to try to feed/clothe 4 kids and the constant arguments about money. We never wanted for anything but it was really a strain on my parents, individually and on their relationship. I keep my eye out for things that I could possibly do at home but it would have to be pretty high paying to come close (right now with my annual bonus and the fact that my employer pays our family healthcare in full my compensation is around $75K a year) AND we haven't had a week's vacation in 4 years! I know our son is missing out and one of my biggest obstacles about having another one is that I would have to put that child in some kind of daycare - home or facility - our parents are getting to old to deal with a baby and I couldn't ask it of them. All I can say is that we need to continue to pray about it all and not feel guilty about it. If you are trying your very best - spending time, quality time, with your little boy, being there when he needs you most, that's all we can do. I wish you luck and many prayers. Maybe God will lead us to something we can do at home.... C.

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D.R.

answers from Johnson City on

I understand...I have 4 kids and work full time. I wish I know what to say to make it better for you. We go through the same night time rush. Mornings are worse for me. I get so moody, being worried about getting eveyone out the door on time. But, I am providing for them. I enjoy my job and would miss the people I work with. But it's nice to know that I'm not alone in the way I feel.

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M.K.

answers from Atlanta on

I think you are going to get a lot of these, but YES!!!!!! I feel that way every day and hate that I only have an hour or two of "quality" time to spend w/ my baby girl everyday :(

But I stop and think of the Pro's and Con's - she is getting a GREAT education at daycare learning stuff that I would not think to teach her or have the resources and she is gaining the experience of interacting w/ other kids. Even though work is work I think of it as my "adult" time and take advantage of my lunch hour running errands that I find difficult doing w/ a toddler.

Keep your chin up and smile, you are not the lone ranger by far!!! :)

M.

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H.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi,
I think a lot of other mothers can relate to your "mother's guilt"
I have twin boys that will be three in December. I am a full time student and jsut found out that I am pregnant. I feel guilty everyday when I drop the boys off at daycare. Just make sure you take a few minutes (even just 10) in the evening
to sit down and read a book to your son. My boys love our time together and I try to make it special eveyday. Usually after about ten minutes they are ready to run off and play so I can get to the housework or dinner. That has worked for me.
Also I moved the boys to a daycare that was closer to my school than my home so they are in the car with me longer and we talk about their day at school and they tell me what toys they played with that day. I leave the radio off so I can really listen to them for that time.
Hope this helps! Also remember you are working to give your son a better future. It will help him as an adult to see your great work ethics!!

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G.H.

answers from Macon on

Oh A....Please do not feel guilty...I am a stay at home mom...always have been,I have 3 sons...26,21 and 18 and a 3 YO daughter (all with the same dad,LOL) and it does not matter if you are a stay at home mom,a part time working mom or full time working mom....we all feel guilty for one reason or another...I sometimes feel guilty because I am never away from mine...I think it makes me a better mom when I get away for a few hours...it rarely happens...We moms just need to support each other,there is no right or wrong...just hang in there,give your son plenty of love, and he will be just fine....I can speak from experience that just because a mother stays home,stays married for 27 years , does not do drugs or alcohol will not result in a perfectly functional child each time...LOL...Try to enjoy your son,he will appreciate that the most...G.

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L.R.

answers from Nashville on

If you feel "guilty" maybe you should think about cutting back your hours so you can have more time with your child.

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T.I.

answers from Atlanta on

I think it is natural to feel guilty, but don't let guilt (a negative emotion) be your driving force. I see a lot of people saying you should work from home. Personally, I think this is a BAD IDEA. I tried that and I spent a lot of time shusing my kids and running to the bedroom to take calls. Needless to say, this was not quality time and I think they would much rather be somewhere structured than just having mommy's body there. If your work from home job is flexible, you will then stay up at night to complete it which would leave you extremely tired and that wears on you too.

I am in school full time to become a nurse. This is my second degree. I chose this so I could have a 3-day work week and spend more time with my kids. I also enjoy caring for others. I took my pre requisites while working, and now I am in a fast-track program. So it is like working, without the income :( I take out student loans to help out and keep telling myself it will be okay in one year. That is how I decided to resolve my guilt issues. I am sure that you will be able to find a creative way to make it work for you.

One more thing. Working is positive in that it gives you adult interation. I've been on both sides of the fence. I thought I wanted to stay home. Truthfully, the stress about money made me a miserable person and not a very good mom so I actually am better off working. I can interact with peers and devote my time to my kids when I am with them. My mom worked when I was a kid and I do not think I was traumatized in any way by this :)

So good luck and God Bless!

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K.S.

answers from Macon on

Hi A., I am currently a stay at home mom. I lost my job a few months ago and proceeded to look for work from home to keep up my end of the bills. I have found a company that makes all natural products and they pay me to work at home. If you are interested, please contact me at [email protected]____.com. I love being with my family and setting my own hours.

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P.R.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi A.,

I do have a position available. It does not require selling a product, it requires cross serving a dream and a wondering opportunity to protect your family.

I own a marketing business in Atlanta, Georgia. We are looking for new recruits. It is a very lucrative business opportunity. you do not have to have a business background. You must like people and have a passion for money.

You can own your own business, right here in Georgia. Please contact me so that you can be on the next conference call or I can find a seminar in your area.

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www.prepaidlegal.com/hub/pnrice
www.price.qhealthbeauty.com
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L.J.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi A.,

I know exactly how you feel. I felt the same way as I was working on my doctorate, working full-time, and raising my children. I continued to feel this way even after I entered the workforce upon completion of my Ph.D. But, what I found was that there was another option out there that would give me the chance to make myself more available for my children, if I committed to making the difference in my lifestyle.

I recently joined this group, and saw your request for assistance. I AM A FUTURE DIRECTOR with Mary Kay cosmetics, and being one of their Star Recruiters, I would be more than happy to share more information about the business opportunity AND career path that will afford you more time to spend with your children. This may or may not be a fit for you, but you can reach me at ###-###-#### or by email at [email protected]____.com. I can also arrange for a time to meet with you in person.

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C.K.

answers from Nashville on

Read all about the MK Opportunity on my site
www.marykay.com/ChristyKennedy then call me, I would LOVE To tell you about how my MK business has changed my (mom of One) life. I've been a stay at home for 2 yrs, and in MK 2.
It is only $100 to get a starter kit. MK consultants are their own boss and have flexibility, and there are SO many ways to work your business it's unreal. You make 50% commission on each sale. It's a proven marketing plan that has changed SOOOO many women's lives for the better, helps you grow as a person, in so many ways, including spiritually (that was important to me). These are such sweet positive women to work with you can't help but catch the positive attitude. I would love to talk more privately with you. If you would speak to my director on the phone, just for about 10 minutes, also, I would give you a free lipcolor/gloss. When we spread the word about MK (no matter what the response) we earn prizes just for telling others about it. It's such a passion of mine, living in this pink bubble, that I can't shut up about it, so just chick on my site and I will talk to you soon when you respond, I hope! Looking forward to hearing from you.

I am also selling Tupperware
You have NOTHING to loose by looking at the website. http://my.tupperware.com/christykennedy
I fell in love with these products and after two years of using them decided to start my own business selling them. These products are so versatile and fit virtually any budget. You can earn free, awesome products just by showing the products to others. Check out the website or contact me for more information at [email protected]____.com

We need Tupperware Reps in Tennessee and all other states! Looking to supplement your income? Join for a small fee of $99! Perfect for stay at home moms, college students, and anyone wanting to earn extra income or looking for a new career! Visit for more info and to get started today!

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Y.D.

answers from Atlanta on

oh yes this website www.greatjoboption.com is the best to help you balance work and family without guilt. Please contact me about it ###-###-####
Y.

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L.T.

answers from Augusta on

Hey I can't say I understand how you feel but I know how it must feel. I stay at home with my kids while my husband is in the military. But we still needed to have money. Well I have recently started Mary Kay and love it. I can decide when I want to work, and can schedual apt. at my home and away when my husband is home. I'm not saying this would replace your income right away but it's just a thought to keep open minded because alot of women I work with have had jobs and then started replacing their income with Mary Kay and have quit. We have an assistant principle that is quitting this year because she more than replaced her salary. So I wanted to write to you because I would love for every mother to be able to have a choice on staying home with their kids. If you or anyone else would like to get a little more information please feel free to write me back and I will fill in the details. Tonight we have a National Sales Director speaking at 7pm at my training center and would love to have you or anyone wanting more information to let me know if they want to come. I hope this information can help you.

A Little About Me: I stay at home and work Mary Kay. I have 2 kids Gabrielle 2 will be 3 in April, and John who just turned 1. My husband is in the Army and we have been here for about 3 1/2 years.

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B.A.

answers from Chattanooga on

Nobody has said this - Maybe you should be at home with your son. I made the choice to become a sahm when my first child was born and it was the best choice I ever made. I totally understand some moms are not best at home but some are. Look at your lifestyle and your desires. Maybe it is a possibility for you to be home! Just a few thought I had...

B. A.

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