Note: I think the term "working moms" are not very apt, since all moms work. Raising children IS work, a work of love with no leave days. But for the sake of to make it easy, I'll just use the term "working mom" in definition of moms who works outside the home.
Lately I've been reading a lot, and watching a lot of videos on YouTube, on the topics of babies, motherhood, and working moms. A lot of working mothers mentioned about the guilty feelings they have for leaving the children to work. Well, I'm a working mom, and I wrote a post about guilty feeling a while back (you can read it here), but it has nothing to do with being a working mom. Maybe because I have many friends whose mothers are or were working moms, and they turned out fine. They are good men and women, and they are very close to their moms. Also, the mothers are good wives, as well. So, I don't associate "working moms" with "neglected children" or "feminism" or any negative connotations.
But I still feel guilty.
Friends have said that I'm a good wife and mother.
My husband has said over and over that I am an excellent wife and mother. (He's so sweet.)
Sometimes I believe them.
Sometimes I don't.
I try to balance being a wife, being myself, and being a mother. I try to compartmentalize my time and schedule (and the baby's schedule) to cater to all of them. I streamline and simplify everything: the menu, the house cleaning schedule, my beauty routine, my wardrobe, etc. I learned to do everything in a shorter amount of time. It required a lot of discipline and will power, but so far so good. I'm very fortunate to have a supportive husband who continuously convince me that I'm doing good, that I'm doing great that I'm doing enough, and that he and his son appreciate my efforts. Baby Michael is healthy and happy. My husband is healthy and happy. I am healthy and happy.
I still have time for myself (much less than I used to, but enough), do grocery shopping, have dinner and nice conversation with my husband almost every night, go out with my husband or my girlfriends once in a while, breastfeed the baby, organize my closet, putter around the house, have a hair cut, write posts for my blog, call my parents once a week, surf the internet, read and go to the office on weekdays. I asked my husband whether he thinks he still get enough attention from his wife after baby, and he said yes. The house is clean and relatively tidy, though it's no longer meticulous like it used to. My boss has said that I'm doing well at work even with all the new possibilities and lack of sleep.
But often, when I'm looking at my baby's face, I feel guilty.
Like very early this morning, around 6 am, I took the sleeping Baby Michael in my arms and took him outside to the terrace so he will get some clean, fresh early morning air. I do this whenever I could wake up early enough, since later in the morning it would already be too warm. I cradled him and looked at him peaceful, sleeping face, and suddenly I thought: "I should have done this every single morning, and more than just 30 minutes at a time."
Yesterday evening I was playing with Baby Michael for about half an hour, then I left him in his crib to have dinner (my husband was working late, so I ate dinner alone). Baby Michael was content playing by himself, so after dinner I did some blogwalking. And suddenly I thought: "I should be playing with my baby. Why I'm here playing with my laptop while my baby is playing alone in his crib?"
Then many times, when I breastfeed Baby Michael, I thought: "I'm not a good mother type. I only spend time with my baby when I'm breastfeeding him. Other times I'm busy doing something else and left him alone in his bouncer."
THEN when I took a short break from breastfeeding to grab something to eat because I was hungry and I had been nursing him for over an hour and had not had anything to eat since lunch, I felt guilty again. I felt guilty because I was so hungry and I had to eat and Baby Michael had to stop nursing and finish his "meal time" with formula milk. Repeat that again. I felt guilty for getting hungry after not having a bite for over 9 straight hours!
I know. I know. It's not logical. I very well know that I cannot, should not, carry my baby around in my pocket to keep him sage. That would be selfish. That won't teach him independence and self reliance. I know all of that.
But I still feel guilty.
When I'm writing this post, Baby Michael is sleeping in the nursery, right across my bedroom. And I feel guilty for not having him right next to me. Duh.
Yes. I know it's ridiculous. But still...
Motherhood. How many surprises and lessons you have in store for me!
Please share with me, Friends. Is this normal?
And if it does, as many people said it is, how long it usually lasts?
These pictures were taken when I was twenty weeks pregnant. The dress was altered they way I did my other dresses to fit my growing belly: I opened the seams at the waist area.
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