Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mom Guilt

There are quite a few things about motherhood I thought I understood, but now I know I didn't.  There are things that just simply can't be explained to someone about being a mom.  You have to experience it to get it.  Some of these things are good, and some of them are...well...less than awesome.  One thing I can say I have found to be not so great is this new found guilt I have.

I know you've probably read or heard this story a million times.  "Boo Hoo!  Mommy is sad because she has to leave her new baby and go back to work."  Well, you've heard it a million times because it is seriously traumatic!  My emotions my first day back were straight up comical.  I must have kissed Benjamin a hundred times trying to get out of the door.  I kept showing my mom different things around my house she might need to know to procrastinate my imminent departure.  I'm surprised I didn't take her into the basement to show her what I reckon to be the best corner to crouch in case of a tornado.  After running out of things to show or tell her, I then walked out the door with my tail between my legs.  I think I got out of the driveway before I started crying, but that might be a lie. 

Once I pulled myself together and headed on in to the office, I think it took me about thirty seconds to start showing off pictures of my baby.  Mind you, most of these people are on my Facebook page and had probably seen the 78,973 pictures of Benny I had already posted...the day before.  However, none of this mattered to me.  I missed my baby and I felt guilty for leaving him.  I sat down at my desk, plugged in my computer, and looked down to see wet spots letting me know that I probably should have put breast pads in if I was gonna think about my baby this much.  Awesome. 

I know it seems ridiculous, but I ACTUALLY felt like Ben was going to resent me for this.  In my mind, my ten week old son was somehow going to suffer severely one day because mommy went to work.   Isn't that what the blond chick from The View was always saying?

After I finally logged in to my computer, I started getting my almost three months of email in check.  I slowly but surely started wrapping my head around what I had missed.  You see, I REALLY love my job.  I am not kidding.  I LOVE what I do.  Because of this, I slowly started to realize that I actually missed it.  I started catching up with my boss and my co-workers, and I started to feel great!  This was so nice until it hit me.  Not only was I a horrible mother for leaving my child, I was an even worse mother because I was enjoying myself!  The NERVE!  What the hell is wrong with me?!

As I am writing this, I have been back to work for almost a full month now.  Things definitely got easier after that first day, but I still struggle.  I just thank God every single day for how blessed I am.  I have an amazing career that gives me the ability to see my son throughout the day and even spend my lunches nursing him.  I still feel guilty from time to time.  I just can't shake it.  I am guessing all mothers experience that guilt from time to time.  Even if I did have the opportunity to stay at home with Ben, I would probably feel guilty when I spent my days cleaning instead of playing with him.  Ahhh motherhood!  You are one complicated role that I am positive has never been completely mastered in the eyes of the women who play it!   It's a role that comes with no script and is slightly or dramatically different with every woman who takes it on.  It is the most fulfilling, terrifying, and enlightening role you will ever play.  Whenever I feel that guilt popping up, I'm just gonna have smash it back down.  I need to realize that I love my son more than anything on this earth, and I will never fail in making sure he knows it!  If that doesn't work, there's always a Late Harvest Riesling that will do the job.

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Would love to hear your thought, comments, advice, or emotional outbursts!

-xoxo Jamie