A Working Mom’s Guilt

Every morning while in my mad rush to get ready for work, I re-direct my kids attempts at getting attention from me with reminders to get dressed, eat your breakfast, find your library books and to please for the love of all things holy stop hitting your sister!

Then, after work, I re-direct the kids attempts for attention again while I attempt to get a somewhat wholesome meal onto the table in as little time as possible so that I no longer have to deal with the kids whining because they’re hungry.



We go through the same routine every.single.day. All so that I can have a career. A career that I find to be very enjoyable, and rewarding. One that also contributes to a pension that if luck is with me, I may one day even be able to collect and partially fund my retirement. A career, that because of the high cost of daycare for three kids and commuting, contributes very little extra income to the family.


Every few months, as I look around at the disastrous mess of my house, and mentally compare it to the spotlessness of my stay-at-home mom friends, an overwhelming feeling of guilt overcomes me. How can I be so selfish to leave my kids at daycare for 9.5 hours a day? How can I contribute the same amount of income to the family, still find the personal enjoyment I get from work, yet be home for my family and be able to keep a clean house?

Am I the only working mom with this guilt? How do you manage it? Copious amounts of wine?

2 thoughts on “A Working Mom’s Guilt

  1. I’ll tell you a story. My dad died when I was a kid which forced my mom to go back to school and to work 3 jobs at the same time. There were 5 of us kids at home and if my mom wasn’t working, she was at school or in the kitchen studying.

    My mom didn’t get her degree until I was ready to move out. Do you think she has guilt for not being around. You bet she does. So is the guilt natural? Of course. Am I going to tell you not to feel guilty? No. Because then, and only then would you be a selfish mother.

    You’re guilt proves that you are not selfish. Holy crap, you are working so that you can put food on the table for your kids and if that means they have to spend time at day care, so be it. We don’t all have the perfect, traditional family life.

    I’m married now and living on my own but my relationship with my mom could not be any better. I am SO grateful for every decision she ever made. My mom made new school clothes and lunch money a priority and I appreciate that. I don’t know how she did it but I have more respect for her than any other human being on this planet.

    It’s okay to feel guilty. Your guilt means that you would rather be with your kids instead of being at work but that’s not the hand you were dealt. Do what you gotta do. Your kids appreciate it more than they and you think.

    You’re an amazing mom. :)

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