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My Guilt is Your Guilt (In other words, I will not go on the field trip)

Mom guilt plagues us all. It doesn’t matter if you’re a stay at home mom, a work at home mom or a working mom, we all feel it. At some point, we have all carried the heavy yolk of guilt accross our shoulders about something we missed, didn’t share, didn’t buy, or any myriad of other things we “failed” to do for our children.

This week, mom guilt has been smacking me in the face all day every day. As if it weren’t enough that I carry all 2,000 pounds of my mom guilt to and from work with me every day, this week it’s extra large, and I must have ordered mine with a side of work guilt.

The princess has all of the end of year activities, and I realized that I have made it to scant few of them this year. With choir concerts and dance recitals and school musicals all on the horizon, my work schedule is getting a little lighter than the company would prefer. (I work for a big company that has very defined hours.) When my boss calls, I’m usually thinking about something that I didn’t do at home. And, when I’m home, I’m usually thinking about a customer that I forgot to call back or a conference call that I have in the morning or any number of other things that keep my mind from staying in the moment with my family.

This week has been especially bad. I couldn’t resolve an important customer issue in the same day that I declined my daughter’s request to chaperone the big field trip. (By “request” I actually mean daily begging and pleading in a tone that makes me feel really bad about saying no.)

There is never a day that it all just stops and the guilt subsides. I’m always slighting someone, somewhere. For those of you who will remind me that “family comes first” and I should dedicate myself to the rearing of my child as the most important activity, I want you to know that I agree. Raising my child is the most important thing to me.

That is why I go to work.

I have to work so that she can have food and clothes and dance shoes and shiny costumes for me to carry around. I am a single mom. That does not mean, however, that I deserve extra guilt or extra pity. It just means that I really HAVE to work. There is no prince charming that provides for my family. I’ll accept no judgement on my need to provide for my family, and in exchange, I’ll concede that even stay at home moms feel the guilt of missing something.

The stay at home parent guilt comes in a few special forms, too. There is the “I feel bad that I miss adult conversation” guilt and there is the “I wish my spouse could see this moment right now” guilt that they carry every day. We all have an albatross, we all carry the yolk.

The moments that I am stealing to write these words are coming from the bank of the princess right now. She is happily reading, but I have no idea what homework lies ahead of us this evening. (Cue the guilt now, please.) This one brief, self indulgence is a necessary step in renewing my soul so that I have more of myself to dole out tomorrow.

Besides, I’ll need the energy to carry around the 2,000 pound guilt weight that I pick up as I head out the door in the morning.

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Article by FairyTaleMom

My name is Mom. I live in Fairy Tale Land with a Pirate, a Fairy and the Princess. My job duties include: head cook, Chief Executive of Laundry Operations, Vacuum Maintenance Engineer, Chief of Picking up Random objects and Primary Sherpa. I spend a great deal of time carrying sparkly, sequined, glitter covered tutus and miscellaneous dance shoes for the Princess. I long for moments of quiet and a mani/pedi. Trying to strike a balance between being a grown up and being a good mom. FairyTaleMom tagged this post with: , , , , Read 52 articles by

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  1. annoyed says:

    Try not to sound so annoyed by women with spouses, or as you like to call them, “prince charming”s. I have a partner, and NEWS FLASH: we both HAVE to work. I promise, the grass really isn’t always greener on the other side. Don’t sound so bitter…

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