Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Working Mom's Guilt Complex...

As a new mom I now know why my mom always worked tirelessly and could never rest...I think it is GUILT!!

Guilt that I'm working too much at work and not giving enough time to Claire. Guilt that there's always stuff to be done at work when I'm playing with Claire. It's a never ending cycle!!

I recently (about a month ago) changed to a 4 day workweek at work and it has been GREAT!! However, I have found that I now work more than I was before, because even though I am "off" on Fridays, I find myself checking my e-mail more from home and spending time on work related items because I feel guilty about not being there at work (even though I have already worked a full, 4-10, workweek on Monday - Thursday). ALL of this stems from GUILT and my innate people pleasing personality. I don't want any of my co-workers / managers to think less of me as a colleague, so I make sure there are no unanswered e-mails on a Friday that they have to wait for until Monday - even though I know they probably won't look at them that closely on a Friday afternoon anyway.

Despite all of this - having Friday's out of the office has been great for me and Claire even if I am working during her naptimes. I feel much more rested and look forward to the work week on Monday mornings much more than I did before. I am able to run some of the errands that would take all day Sat-Sun to do on Friday, which also gives me more quality family time with Grant and Claire together on Sunday, since he works every Friday and Saturday. It has also definitely helped satisfy my desire to spend more time with her and helps assuage some of my guilt about working too much and not spending enough quality time with her.

Am I the only working mom that has this kind of guilt complex going on?? Please tell me I'm not just going crazy!! I now know what my mom meant when she said, "Life will always be a balancing act." It truly is - especially with a baby - but it is a role that I would gladly take on all over again! Being a mom is truly the greatest job in the world, and slowly I'm figuring out how to balance it with work! I just hope that I can learn to enjoy my time with Claire and my time at work without feeling guilty in either place. That is something that will take ongoing practice...

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