Working Mom Guilt

Updated on March 05, 2009
K.W. asks from Mukwonago, WI
4 answers

I'm a mom of a 3 year old daughter. I'm interning right now to finish my bachelor's degree. I work there 4 days a week. I also have a part time job on Fridays and Saturdays (gotta pay the bills! The internship doesn't pay). I also have a very long commute to pick up my daughter. I'm starting to go crazy with how little time I can spend with her. It feels like no matter what I do, I still feel insanely guilty for working so much. Before January I was able to spend much more time with her. Now I feel like she's getting raised by her daycare. Sometimes she cries when I pick her up. And she'll say, "I miss my teacher." It just breaks my heart and I feel like a bad mom.
Also, she's been getting naughty lately and it's so hard to spend my precious little time with her disciplining her. I hate that.
I guess the guilt is just starting to overwhelm me. I feel like I'm missing out on her growing up. Any advice or encouragement would be really helpful. Thanks.

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answers from Minneapolis on

It sounds like your situation is temporary. Does your internship end in/around May?

This type of situation seems so overwhelming while you're in it, but like another mom pointed out, it will soon be a distant memory. To put it into perspective, a few crazy months in the context of your child's entire lifetime doesn't seem so bad.

Try to remember that your daughter doesn't understand finances, the economy, or higher education! All she knows right now is that she is seeing less of you. She also can't comprehend that this is all temporary, but years from now, she likely won't even remember this time.

I like the idea of trying to make your drive time more enjoyable: a CD or something like that. Also, you probably have precious little time in the morning, but maybe you could wake up a little earlier and have a special breakfast with her, if not every day, maybe even just a couple of days/week.



answers from Grand Rapids on

I think your being to hard on yourself. It's not going to last forever and you are trying to advance yourself to be a better person. Just think of is as a stepping stone in life, it too will pass and you'll be back to a normal life and it will soon be a distant memory.



answers from Minneapolis on

I'm with ya! I can't really tell you a solution, but wanted to say I know exactly how you feel! I feel lucky I am able to take one day off a week, unpaid, to spend time with her, and I make sure to do something fun, like the zoo or an indoor park, so the day doesn't just flit away. Maybe it would help if you use your one day off and do a special activity, I know that sometimes when you are at home there is so much to do and then it's hard to focus and spend quality time with her. Call it something special (we call ours Mom&Mya Day) and talk about what you will do the next one, give her something to look forward to. But try not to beat yourself up to much, you are obviously doing what is best for your family! I think guilt goes with the territory of being a mom. I have friends that are stay at home moms and they feel guilty that they get crabby with their kids after being with them so much. I feel guilty that I'M not going back to school to make a better life for us. It's always something!
And as hard as it is, be thankful she likes her daycare so much, it would be even harder if she (or you) didn't!!
Hang in there and Good Luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

could you do something during your commute?? Get kid cd's and sing together or listen to a book on tape, one that you could talk about later? Could you leave her love notes in her lunch box??

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