Friday, February 10, 2012

The right decision?

I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner's SUYL Fridays.  Todays topic is working moms.  This ones right up my alley! :)

It's no secret that I question daily whether deciding to go back to work after Kason was the right decision.  Some days I still cry when I leave my baby sound asleep in his crib and know that I won't see him for 8 hours.  It's hard.  And it's not getting easier.  I'm not sure it ever will so I will continue to teach this year and then rethink my decision next year.  There are a few things that have made teaching hard this year:

1. Guilt - The guilt I feel from working full time is unbelievable.  I look at moms that stay home and am so envious of them.  I'm jealous of the extra time they get to spend with their children.  However, the real guilt comes when I think about doing things without Kason outside of school.  Date nights are hard because I feel so guilty leaving Kason after being away from him all day.  We would also like to join a small group at church but that would be another 2 hours I'd be away from Kason every week.  I don't know if this guilt is normal, but it's so hard to handle.  I know that date nights and small groups are SO important for my marriage but can't seem to make them a priority when I am constantly away from my baby.

2. Exhaustion - Whew!  I thought I was tired when I was 8 months pregnant and teaching last year!  Wrong!  That exhaustion holds nothing to the exhaustion that I've felt lately.  Getting up at 5 am and leaving the house at 6 is hard work.  Add in a 45 minute drive, teaching/parenting 25 6th graders for 8 hours, and a 45 minute drive home and I'm ready for bed the second I walk in the door.  I've lost my patience and my energy for the day.  I love my son and am always so excited to get home to see him but feel like I never have enough energy to give him the mom he needs.  I teach at an inner city school.  I'm not going to say that my students' parents don't care, they are just really busy.  Therefore I spend a large chunk of my day parenting 25 pre-teens and therefore I have no energy to parent my own child when I get home. This is probably the hardest thing about teaching and being a mom.  Yeah, the schedule is awesome, but the amount of energy I use up everyday is crazy.

I am by no means trying to throw a pity party for myself.  There are SO many people that are desperate to find a job.  I have a great job and am lucky to teach where I do.  I love and care for my students very much and do enjoy my time with them (most days).  I guess I am just having a hard time finding a balance.  I feel like If I give more of myself at school, I'm a bad mom.  If I give more of myself at home, I'm a bad teacher.

 The silver-lining in all of this is that I have an amazing husband that is so helpful and sensitive to the fact that I'm having a hard time being a working mom.  Without him, I would be a real mess!  I'm hoping that these feelings are normal and will get better with time.  In the meantime, I will just keep praying for God's direction for what I should do next year.

Thanks for listening.  I'd love to hear your thoughts and advice! :)


  1. I found you through Kelly's Korner blog, and I'm so glad I did! Your post pretty much sums up my whole life. I have an eleven month old little boy named Langdon who I love more than anything in the world. I'm also a teacher. I teach 4th grade in a low-income rural school. I have to leave my precious baby every morning too, and it absolutely breaks my heart. He was born in March, and I was able to take off the remainder of that school year, then I had all of the summer off. So, when this school year started back, he was five months old and I was VERY attached to him, perhaps more than he was attached to me :)! I understand exactly what you mean about the guilt that you feel for leaving him on a Saturday night for a date night. I yearn for some time with just my husband, or for that matter, just a day of shopping by myself, but I feel so guilty to give up any amount of time with Langdon for that. I feel like I miss out on so much of his little life, and I just feel so guilty for leaving him for one minute on the only days I have to be with him. I would love to stay home with him; unfortunately, due to financial reasons, I have no other choice but to work. We need my income and my insurance in order to make it and to give my baby the things that I want him to have. As far as teaching, one thing that has helped me with being a working mom is that God has given me the ability and the talent to work with young children day in and day out. I can teach them things that their parents are unable to teach. I can love those children and give them the attention that sadly their own parents don't give. I can make a difference in their lives, when often they have no other authority figure who truly cares about them. I know that sometimes the hug I give them in the afternoon or the pat on the soulder I give them for getting the right answer is the only amount of affection they receive for the day. This reminds me when I go home every day to love my child more than I can think possible and show him in every way how very special he is to me. I sure didn't mean to ramble on so long, but your post just really struck a cord with me because I KNOW how you're feeling. I KNOW what it's like. I just go day by day, and look forward to holidays when I'm off. Good luck with your school year and your sweet baby. He's a real cutie!

  2. Hey Kelly! I clicked over from Kelly's Korner. Great post! I have been a working mom since my oldest child was born 8 years ago. I know exactly what your saying about the guilt and missing your kids while you're away from them. My kids are 8, 4 and 1 month and, yes, I still wish I could be home with them rather than go to work each day. I won't say it gets easier but I have found peace with being a working mom. I could stay home, but then we would all have to make huge sacrifices that, right now, I'm not willing to ask of them. My daughter takes gymnastics and ballet and is involved in girl scouts, my son is about to begin soccer, we take a week long vacation to the beach each year, we are planning a trip to Disney, we have a camper and go camping a lot, we enjoy Friday nights at our local mexican restaurant each week. These are all things that we would have to give up if I didn't work. I'm not sure if those are valid reasons to continue to work, but that's what's best for our family right now.

    I have learned over the years that whether I work or stay home does not determine if I am a good mother of not. Do you think you would love your son more if you stayed home? No way!! I imagine your son is your first priority all the time.

    Only you can decide what's best for your family, but don't beat yourself up. You sound like a wonderful mother and teacher. Give it to the Lord and keep on loving your little man!

  3. Hey! Visiting from Kelly's Korner... I don't have answers for you but I just want to throw a hug your way and tell you that you are not alone in feeling torn about working and being a mom. I think our whole lives as mamas we will be trying to figure out what is the best thing for our kids and often that will mean making really hard decisions. You are doing GREAT--I can tell you are a great mama to your little one :)

  4. Thanks for the support ladies! I was so excited when I saw Kelly's SUYL topic, because I def. need to connect with some other working moms. It's so good to know that I am not the only one that is feeling this way. Thanks for all of the advice and sweet words! :)

  5. I completely understand what all you said. I'm also a working momma (to a just turned 7 yr old boy a just turned 2 yr old boy). I have exteme mommy guilt. I also would love a date night or to be more active at church, but don't want to give up that extra time with my boys either... It's so hard to know what is "right". I rarely do anything like that, even though I know I do need that time for myself and my marriage b/c I just can't leave the boys any more... but my own mom was a working mom and also involved in activities outside of her job as well and I don't remember ever feeling unloved or that she wasn't there for me.