Back to work... feeling like a bad mom

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2009
Back to work... feeling like a bad mom
Thu, 10-15-2009 - 12:28am

I stayed at home with my son for most of the first year after his birth... I took up a couple of part time seasonal things but that was it. My husband has a very high stress, long hours (and high income) career, the choice to go back to work is mine alone. Although, I do all of the childcare and chores, I feel so bored and useless being a housewife. So, when a family friend offered me a job where I would be working approximately 30 hours per week, I jumped.

The bad news, 2 weeks ago I went back to work and low and behold another employee quit and I am doing 40 hours plus maybe a couple overtime. Since I am working for a very good long time friend, I can't really ditch at the last minute.

The good news, my son has been staying with my mother during the day, who has been depressed since the death of my father about a year ago. Although she complains that caring for him is hard, for the first time she is getting out of the house and going places. She hit the gym for the first time the other day. She is also going to bed at a decent time, since she has to wake up early to care for him.

I'm also battling feelings of guilt. I miss my son so much during the day. I also feel like I am a bad mother! Maybe it's because I know in the back of my mind I don't need the job to support my family, and that it's really just an excuse to get away from him for at least a few hours out of the day?

How do you deal with these feelings?


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-04-2009
Thu, 10-15-2009 - 2:58am

You realize that it's okay to work, enjoy it sometimes, hate it others and miss your kids while you're there. It's okay for them to grumble about you going, even while you know they're in perfectly capable hands.

It's okay for you to do stuff for you. It's okay for you to miss your kid while you do it.

AND, it's perfectly okay for you to go to your friend and say, "I like working and I especially like working for you, but I didn't sign on for these kinds of hours and after , I need to go back to the 30 hours, or look for another job." That gives her a good long lead time to find someone else (which should NOT be difficult in this current job market), and get that person trained and up to speed before you go back to your part time schedule.

Emotional conflict is a part of motherhood, and I'm sure you realize, you had a bit of it even BEFORE you started working, else you wouldn't have leapt at the chance to work part time, right? The trick is finding the right balancing act for you, your family and your situation. It doesn't have to look like anyone else's situation because it's not them, it's you and your family.

Make your best decisions with the information you have and no one (not even you) can ask more of yourself than that.



The boys: Cyduck, Buster and Ricki

The girls: Solstice, Trini and Maisie



"If you can't annoy somebody with what you write, I think there's little point in writing."-- Kingsley Amis, British novelist, 1971 t .

Avatar for rollmops2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2009
Thu, 10-15-2009 - 4:34am
Hey! You saved me a lot of typing, and you type better than I do anyway.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-06-2009
Thu, 10-15-2009 - 7:20am

I would listen to everything Puss told you --- it's ok to love your son and ok to miss him and also ok to be glad for a break. motherhood does not instantly make us want to velcro our children to us for all eternity (my now 10 year old was in daycare from 14 weeks - 5 years when she went to kindergarten and there were some mornings i barely slowed down to drop her off...LOL)

sage advice puss gave you about getting your original agreed up on hours back too. good luck to you and don't let guilt rent any space -- you sound like a great mom...

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2007
Thu, 10-15-2009 - 8:47am

I think the best way to deal with your feelings is first recognize that it is okay for parent to work outside the home and still be a wonderful parent who has a healthy bonded relationship. Secondly, you have some wiggle room to change your situation.

I would find alternative daycare for at least three of the five days. That will give the reprieve to your Mom and allow her to be a big part of your child's life and have her life. This is what my sister did - she works three days a week. When her children were young- they went two days a week to a stand alone Bright Horizon's daycare and spent one day with their paternal grandparents. It proved to be a wonderful arrangement that had flexibility. Now both of her boys are in school and they have a great relationship with their paternal grandparents.

In this economy, it should be easy for your friends to replace the worker who quit - fairly quickly- and thus allow you to return to 30 hours a week.

IME, 30 hours at week is a great place to be. It gives you the time at home to be with child and to take care of home life things and be able to do a few "me" things. I did this when my boys were young. I ended up quitting to be a sahp when one was 4 and the other was 2, due to other extenuating circumstances.

IME, dual wohps who both work long hours have a harder time balancing everything. To make it work without burnout, they hire an "other parent" - nanny or aupair and hire out other household tasks like yardwork and house cleaning.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2006
Thu, 10-15-2009 - 10:54am

you know,the sitting arrangement you have for your DS with your mom might be a blessing in disguise.


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2006
Thu, 10-15-2009 - 11:00am
great post..esp the face to face talk


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2000
Thu, 10-15-2009 - 11:09am

Great post. I pondered Munkey_mom's post last night but didn't have the words. Now I don't have to.


The truth may be out there but lies are in your head. Terry Pratchett

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-06-2007
Thu, 10-15-2009 - 11:37am

"I'm also battling feelings of guilt. I miss my son so much during the day. I also feel like I am a bad mother! Maybe it's because I know in the back of my mind I don't need the job to support my family, and that it's really just an excuse to get away from him for at least a few hours out of the day?

How do you deal with these feelings?"

Quite honestly, I dont deal with those feelings because I dont have those feelings. I know that my WOH is setting the example my DH and I want to set for our children, it is what we both agreed upon is best now for our marriage, lifestyle, family, etc. It just works for us, so it's not an issue. Granted, the situation is always subject to change, but at this point it is best for our family.

Maybe your WOH isn't best for you or your family right now. It sounds like your mother is benefiting from it, and it's neat that your little guy gets to spend one-on-one time with Grandma daily and do special things with her. BUT, if this is causing you, and thus your family, more stress than it's worth, perhaps SAHM (if feasible, of course) is best for you. At least for a bit longer...

Hang in there! Dont let the Mom guilt get ya! ;-)

melissajune21.jpg picture by ambersspace


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Thu, 10-15-2009 - 11:43am

Well said.


Community Leader
Registered: 04-18-2003
Thu, 10-15-2009 - 3:48pm

You deal with those feelings by not letting a book written by a bored suburban housewife and published by a group of men who realized if this book got published, it would mean men wouldn't have to work as hard make you feel that the role of mother is a boring and useless job.