Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mommy Guilt

See this photo.

It makes me feel all lit up inside – I can’t believe that there are people out there who call me Professor Rawlings.  (In fact, I just have them call me Erin because Professor Rawlings makes it sound like I should sitting in a library filled with leather-bound books while I drink scotch and smoke a pipe).

I cannot believe that I am teaching again.  And not teaching English to a bunch of teenagers who could care less, but social media strategy to students that pay to be there.

Seriously?  Mind. Blown.

I took the job with much trepidation because I didn’t want anything to get in my way of being a good mom.  I was afraid to be committed to anything else but my kids. 

I was so nervous that I think I made up my mind not to love it before it even started.  If I loved something like a job, wouldn’t that take away my love that I have for my kids?  Wouldn’t it take up time that was meant for them? 

Well, after beginning my third semester a few weeks ago, I have to admit that I am really enjoying teaching again.  And it seems like the administration likes me since they have asked me to develop additional curriculum.  Not only do I like teaching, but it also gives me some sort of structure to get my blogging stuff done.  I do believe that this will help me achieve my goal of world domination while still wearing my pajamas.

I think I would be totally soaking up all this happiness and accomplishment if I didn’t feel so damn guilty about devoting time to something other than my kids.

In my mind, I was going to be a stay-at-home mom until Thomas was in kindergarten.  This stuff wasn’t supposed to happen this soon. 

I think my preconceived notion of what I thought motherhood would be like is the main factor of this particular brand of mommy guilt.  Kids are all consuming, but if you do your job right, they leave the nest - not all at once, but in little steps. I don’t want to be left wondering who I am if my whole identity is tied exclusively to being “Marie and Thomas’s Mom.”   On the flip side, I feel that I could totally get sucked into teaching and all the opportunities that come along with it.

So maybe the true factor in alleviating this mommy guilt is to find balance.  I so badly want to find the magic equation that will balance motherhood and career, but if I have learned anything, balance is all about trial and error.  Getting it right one day doesn’t mean I have figured out the secret code. 

How do you strike that balance between motherhood and whatever else makes you happy?  I could you a little pep talk . . .


Sassy Mom in the City said...

Funny, I just wrote a post this week about having it all and balancing life too. It took me almost 6 years before my guilt set in so I'm a little behind the mommy guilt train. It took me this long before I could let go of my addition to working. I finally got tired and decided to reduce my work load this year and my girls are in school. weird, right? I've always had the motto that moms should put themselves on the list. It's good to lead by example and your kids see you are doing something for yourself. As long as you have time to give your family what they need, taking a new job is good for you! Congrats!!

Erin Janda Rawlings said...

I needed to be reminded to put myself on the list. I got my hair done today and window shopped. And then I felt guilty because I had work to do and stuff around the house and do stuff with the kids.

Thanks for the reminder how important it is to take time for me!