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Remember when I went to Texas in March? Maybe not because I was too crazy dealing with the constant sickness that consumed the first three months of 2012 (along with some other random reasons). During that time, my friend Annie from RealMommy Chronicles wrote a guest post that talked about the decision to be stay-at-homemom or a work-out-of-the-home mom.
Her post could not have been more aligned with the feelings I had during that trip.
To be brief, the Texas trip was a dis.as.ter. I was stressed because poor Marie had been diagnosed with pneumonia just hours before I was supposed to board the flight. I was so unsure what to do, but in the end I wrote down the medication directions and trusted that the grandparents could handle it. (Although they did a fantastic job, I can’t say that I would make this choice again).
I was able to keep it all together . . . until the end. On the plane. With everyone from the conference riding together.
It was the kind of cry I couldn’t stop, and the more I stopped the harder I cried.
I think it came down to the stress of caring for sick kids coupled with the feeling that I was losing some footing on me and my goals. I was nursing The Babes back to health. I was supporting Greg at his conference. And I was tired and overwhelmed.
I think what brought this all to the forefront was the fact that the president of this male-dominated field conference is a woman. Not only is this woman the president of this conference, but she runs a company as well. Oh, and she’s a wife and a mother of two young children.
I envied her. To me she appeared free and successful. However, she does have a live-in nanny.
And underneath my envy was the inevitable guilt. Guilt for wanting something in addition to being a mother.
I am smart. I went to college and have a degree. I had a career (albeit not something that made me happy). I even have a master’s degree. It can be frustrating to always be in the supportive role when I know that I am capable of doing something different.
Here’s the thing, I don’t want a nanny lifestyle. And I don’t always want to rely on my parents or my mother-in-law to take care of The Babes. I know this time is fleeting, and I don’t want to wish it away. Once their time as children has passed, there is no going back.
But on the other side, being a full-time caregiver can be overwhelming, especially when there are sickies involved. There have been times when I think it would be best to take myself off the stove completely; however, this will not make me happy. I know it’s best to keep my goals on the backburner, slowly simmering gradually adding elements so when it’s time, I have a rich, well-developed place to start.
In retrospect, why was it easier for me to entertain the thought of taking myself off the stove rather than the guilt? Why do I insist on torturing myself with this notion that having something for me is cheating on my family?
Do you ever feel mom guilt for wanting something in addition to being a mother?