Working Mom Guilt

I went back to work 3 months after I had Jacob.  Not because I am some career women, or that I LOVE my job and I feel like I MUST go back or else the whole company would fall apart without me.

No, I had to go to work to make ends meet. We have a house, we have bills, we have car payments…we have a baby (and he isn’t cheap!)

I am fortunate to have my Mother-In law. Who is willing to come over in the morning and watch him while my husband and I go off to our 9-5.

The 1st few weeks was very hard.  I just had this brand new baby, whom I thought was the cutest thing EVER.  I had never been apart from him for more then 2 hours (mommy time at Target) for 3 months and now I have to leave him for 9-10 hours 5 days a week??

It was REALLY REALLY hard.  My first day back, I called my mother in law every hour, talked about him non-stop to co-workers and placed about 5 different framed pictures of him all over my desk.

After a few weeks, I was getting used to the idea of leaving him with my mother in law and sometimes my mom.   I always thought I was very lucky to have them watch him for me.  I never had to worry he was being neglected.  My mom also sends me pictures of him thur out the day on my phone.

After a few months I finally began to relax, and actually thought I had a pretty easy….

I mean, don’t get me wrong.  I am no lazy bum at work, when I am at work…. I work, but comparing this to being a stay at home mom?….  this 9-5 here is a walk in the park. Being a stay at home mom is hard, I know.   You never get a break… you work 24hours a day 7 days a week… no sick days…even on vacation you are working. 

Sometimes I see my 9-5 as my “a break” and being a mommy is my full time, all the time gig.

Even tho I know being a stay at home mom is hard work, I still wish I was one.  Especially on days like this one……………

Let me back track a little here,  Jacob was never very clingy in his first year of life.  I hear stories of babies crying their little hearts out when their mommies walk out of the room. (confession time: I totally envied them)  

Jacob on the other hand could not care less.  Doesn’t even want to look at me when I leave! and when he was old enough to wave, he just waved BYE.  no tears no nothing!

Yes…yes….I know what you’re thinking…. “omg you want your baby to cry?”   you darn right I do!   Can’t he throw me a few tears??? a sad face?? a pout???

 Nope! instead he laughs, plays, smiling at me….. like he’s trying to say “I’m saving my tears for tonight at 3am while you are trying to sleep”

Ok, maybe I was being too sensitive back then, but I was new mom! I wanted some love from my one and only!

(but deep down inside I know its a good thing he was such a happy and independent child)

Now that Jacob is 2 (2 1/2), things are quite different.  He cries, he screams, he kicks, he hurts his grand mom’s feels.  How you ask?  by saying “I don’t want grandma, I don’t like grandma.. I want mommy!”   My poor mother in law.  Of course I always tell Jacob he can’t say things like that and that it hurts grandma feelings and that he is making her sad.  He will say he is sorry to her and then go right back to the crying and grabbing my leg.

So I do what many working moms do….. I bribe him…. something I swore I would never ever do.  (I also swore I would never co-sleep…. HA! (My old baby-free self was a FOOL, what did she know?)

At first it was things like bringing home a book from the library, then it was videos from the library, then it was little toys from the dollar section at target (yes I make lunch break runs to target just for him), and promises of trips to chuckie cheese or toy shopping at toys r us.  

Yes, I have become a “guilty working mom who buys their kid everything he wants because she wants to make up for the fact that she is gone 10 hours a day 5 days a week)

These bribes and promises worked… until…TODAY.

Today was the worse, he didn’t even use his tears, he used his words.

  • Jacob:  Can you play with me in my room?
  • Me: sure!  just for a little bit, mommy has to got work
  • Jacob: (cue sad face) no, mommy no work
  • Me: awww it’s ok…. its Thursday, so after tomorrow mommy will be off.
  • Jacob: no mommy off work now
  • Me: how about I buy you some new toys on Saturday??
  • Jacob: no!
  • Me: no??  you don’t want toys?
  • Jacob: no, i don’t want toys… all i want is mommy
  • Me: (heartbreaking)
  • Jacob: (hugs me super tight) can you stay home?
  • Me: (mumbling in a low voice) tell daddy to make more money…
  • Jacob: huh???
  • Me: nothing baby….

So, yea…. that’s pretty much what happened…. the slow sad tears came in the end as I walked out the door and he waved me good bye.

I really need to stop with the bribing.  My house has been taken over by all his toys.  I can’t keep buying him things!  I would need to move to a bigger house if I have to do this for the next 15 years!

I had a talk with my mom recently about this, and she said she felt the same way when my brother and I were kids. 

Both of my parents worked to make ends meet, they worked very long and hard hours.  My brother and I were alone most days, So starting at the age of 8, I made lunch for us after school, cooked rice (using the rice cooker…. I was not allow near the stove), re-heating dinner my mom made for us that morning, did dishes, help my brother with his homework.. etc etc.

But we had alot of fun on weekends, my parents would take us to parks, mickey d’s, water parks, amusement parks, shopping, camping, road trips, go cart racing, the beach… anywhere we wanted to go.

 My mom said that was her way of making it up to us.  I remember all those fun trips, but I can’t remember one single toy she bought me, she has bought me plenty but it was trips I will remember the most.

She said “toys can be lost, broken and thrown out, but the memories of the time you spent together will last forever”

She’s right…. she is ALWAYS right.  Moms know everything.  Poor Jacob, his mom is CLUELESS!

My Mom and her favorite (only) grandson´╗┐
~
Wing-Yi

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