Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Mommy Guilt

I will readily admit to you that I'm a worrier. As much as I try not to worry, I can't help but do it. 

The old adage, "Worrying is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do, but doesn't get you anywhere" is something I repeat to myself almost daily. But I still struggle with worry. Matthew 6:25-34 is also one I meditate on: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life…Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" 

So all of that said, I have been worrying about sending Walker to day care since before he was even born. Stupid, right? But as D-Day looms closer and closer {3.5 weeks, to be exact}, my worry has turned to anxiety, and anxiety has turned to fear. 

Will they love him like we do? Will they leave him screaming in a crib? Will he be picked up? Will they be nice to him? Will he hate me for sending him to day care? 

Believe you me, if I had the ability to stay home, I would do so in a heartbeat. But I don't have that ability just yet, as much as admitting that breaks my heart. And I have severe "Mommy Guilt" over that. 

I don't ever want him to think I missed out on something because I was working. I don't ever want to miss a smile, his first laugh, his first steps…any of that. And it's hard to not get choked up about it, even just writing all of this today. 

Yesterday, I had to drop some paperwork off at the day care we signed him up for before he was born. We had already paid the deposit, secured his spot, and written a check for his first week, long before he ever graced us with his presence in this world. But when I went yesterday, I got this feeling - you know, that severe Mommy Intuition - that something just wasn't right. It wasn't the same place I had signed up for more than six months ago. I would ask the infant "teachers" a question, and the center's director would answer for them - and talk over them - every time. I would ask the front desk ladies a question, and the director would again talk over them. I felt like she was only telling me what I wanted to hear and didn't want the staff to say something "wrong." And coming from someone who does public relations for a living - and personally writes talking points and key messages and directs clients what to say, when and how to say it - I saw right through her. And I didn't like it. At all.

As much as I tried to look on the positive side, I just couldn't. And I broke down right there in the middle of the infant day care room with Walker in his car seat, hanging in the crook of my arm with two teachers and the center director staring at me, while I kept wiping my tears and repeating over and over again, "I'm really sorry." All I wanted to do was to take my baby and haul butt right out of there. And never come back. 

I called my mom in tears as I drove away while Walker slept in his car seat, totally oblivious to all of this. I felt "Mommy Guilt" and he hasn't even gone to one day there yet. 

I know that going to work doesn't make me a bad mom. I know that staying home wouldn't make me a good one. I hate that there's even a battle or a discussion about which moms are better moms: working moms or stay-at-home ones. I think both jobs are equally as hard and I frankly don't know how moms do it and keep our sanity. But we do, and we do it for our children. {I found this on Pinterest and I recite it to myself daily.}

Anyway, after I talked to my mom; cried to my friend Liz; and sobbed pretty much all day while simultaneously clutching my baby for dear life, we've decided to switch day care centers. Am I out a good chunk of change? Yes. But is it worth it? I think so. I hope so. I pray so.

Liz sends her daughters there, it's closer to my office, and I know a lot of people who have been quite pleased with the facility and how it's run. And for some reason, I just feel better. Isn't Mommy Intuition weird? I can't even explain my feelings and what I mean by "it didn't feel right," but I know for a fact that it was Mommy Intuition. 

Will I miss this precious face every day? Yes. 

Will I miss loving on him and tending to his every want and need? Yes. 

But I can't do that right now, and as much as I would love to be a 27-year-old stay-at-home-mom, it's just not in the cards for us right now. So, I have to make the best decision for my baby - and for our family - and I hope and pray that it's the right one. 

So, I'm going to make the most out of these next 3.5 weeks and just soak up Walker as much as I can. I'm sorry for the long, rambling post - and I know, as my husband says, that moms all over the world do this every day - but it doesn't make it any less easy. 

Thanks for listening, and Happy Wednesday. 


  1. I wish I had the right words to say but I don't and I am so sorry. I do think you made the right decision, I never question my mothers intuition. My mom always told me that mothers intuition is just the Holy Spirit talking to me and I firmly believe that. It hasn't steered me wrong yet. I am praying for you, friend!

  2. Hang in there! It really will be okay...not easy...but it will all work out. I was a wreck the first week and cried a lot the weeks leading up to leaving him and the first week back, but even now that I've been back to work full-time for 9 months there are still days that suck when I ask myself what the heck am I doing leaving him (there are also really great days too when I feel so happy and at peace with my situation). Just like I know my SAHM friends have days when they question their decicion to leave the work force and stay home. The grass is ALWAYS greener and there is no perfect situation in my opinion. What has gotten me through it is friends to vent to on those rough days, giving myself a break, and like you said, trusting that powerful mother's intiution on what is best for your babe. It's also been helfpul to have a short list of women who I know juggle motherhood and working too...whether it's real life friends or blog friends, it makes me feel better knowing other amazing moms out there who do it. I've learned not to vent to my husband about this topic because he pretty much just wants to provide a solution which for us right now is to suck it up and keep working. He says exactly what Brandon said in that tons of women do this too. Whatever you choose now doesn't have to be your forever choice too...just tweak as you go to make everything work for your family. Most importantly, don't let anyone ever make you feel guilty for doing what is best for your family! I am praying for you! Sorry for the novel...I just totally relate!

  3. No experience on the Mommy Intuition here, but trusting your gut is always the way to go. Glad you found an alternative that's friend-approved!

  4. I'm late commenting on this, but you ARE a great mom! I remember very vividly how hard it was at first, it still brings tears to my eyes just thinking about how sad i was. BUT... I promise you it does get easier! We weren't able for me to stay home after we had Gracie, and now that we have two I work three days a week. It will be hard for a while, and maybe for a long while, but after you guys adjust to your new normal things will smooth out. My mom always worked when I was younger, but I don't remember those times. I only remember her playing with me and being present, I don't remember ever thinking that she missed out. That's what helps me when I'm feeling guilty! I'll be praying for you!