Monday, August 29, 2011

Parent Guilt

Even though I stay home with the kids, I do work from home. And that means that every Monday starts out with me feeding the kids quickly, grabbing a cup of coffee for me, and running downstairs to my office to start sending out client retainer hour reports. And then I make a gameplan for what items I need to complete for the week, what projects need more attention, check on time for other projects, discuss SEO items with my bosses and clients, and more.

What are the kids doing during this time? Eating alone upstairs. Or watching tv downstairs. Or playing outside without me (in our privacy fenced backyard), or simply reading stories in their room.

My point is though, that it is WITHOUT ME. Like right now; I am in the middle of writing some SEO blog posts on a ton of condo spotlights for a client (and thus taking a quick break to jot this personal blog post down) and the kids are outside playing without me.

Champ is here sleeping next to me (since he is a baby with older bros, I never leave him out of sight for long, lol) But I feel GUILTY.

Guilty I have to work.
Guilty I have to make the kids go do things without me.
Guilty that I have to say "I can't play right now, Mommy needs to work"
Guilty I have to say "Go find something to do"
I'm guilty that I can't keep the house spotless or the laundry caught up.
I'm guilty that I can't always have dinner done on time
I'm guilty that I get behind on work for work!

I'm just guilty all the time, and feel like I just can't measure up or get everything done.

And I know I would feel differently if I worked outside the home. Then I know I would give myself a break on some of those things, like dinner, or laundry, or even having to tell the kids to go play.

Most of my guilty feelings come from the fact that I AM home, I'm HERE, and I should be more engaged in all the household stuff, all the kid stuff. Surely, as a stay at home mom, I can find the time to read some stories during the day? Right?

But there are some days, where the only stories read are right before bed. And I feel ever so guilty about it.

I don't remember my parents ever playing with me or my sisters. I remember being told to go away A LOT and it kills me when I have to tell the boys I can't play. That I have stuff to do.

And yet, somehow, I can never catch up.

I feel like, since I am at home, that I should have all the HOME stuff taken care of for Bill. He shouldn't have to come home and help with laundry (in my mind) because I"M HERE. I should do it. It is part of my stay at home job! Dinner should be done, the vacuuming done. The dishes done. The kids mostly clean and letters practiced, books read, and some time spent at the park. That is my opinion of what a stay at home mom DOES.

But throw work in, and somehow, I lose most of my time to do those other household things, which is fine and understandable, but I just can't get myself to accept the fact that I am WORKING. I can't do it all, all the time; I realize that. But somehow, deep inside, when I see the boys playing alone, or Bill coming home to a stack of dirty dishes, I get hit by huge waves of guilt.

Guilt that just won't go away.


Caitlin said...

I think you are superwoman. I stay at home with Colin. John works from home. My house is still a mess, laundry gets done when I remember, and John does the majority of our cooking. Did I mention that I just have the one?

Stay at home mom doesn't have to mean "keeps a spotless home and greets husband at the door with dinner and a beer". Looking after three boys is as much of a full time job as what Bill does. Then you have your work on top of it, and various domestic stuff. Which by my calculations works out to like 2 full time jobs. You should give yourself a break!

Miche said...

I love you Caitlin :) I needed to hear that; it helps :)

Caitlin said...

You are welcome friend! I think you are setting an excellent example for your boys. They will grow up seeing that while mommy loves them, they are not her whole life and that she has interests and abilities outside of them. Their wives will thank you for this. You are teaching them to be self sufficient and independent. I think that is amazing!