I’ve never had a bad case of mommy guilt. I realized early on that taking time to work out was good for my physical and mental health, therefore making me a better mom. No guilt. I knew date nights with David are important and so we’ve used a sitter a few times. No guilt. But now, now I’m starting to notice it creeping in.
I’m blessed that this little blog I started a couple years ago has brought some really neat opportunities my way. I don’t talk about it much, but I do some freelance and social media work on the side and I love that it allows me to maintain an identity outside of “mom”, that it brings in a little extra cash and that I can do it while spending my days with my favorite 15 month old in the world.
But lately I just can’t find the time to do what needs doing. I consistently get up around 6:00am, or earlier, which gives me a solid 2 hours before Hailey gets up. I spend this time on the computer, getting things done, setting things up, emailing, etc. Once Hailey is up, I “clock out”. I’ve made a concerted effort lately that time spent with Hailey is time spent with Hailey, not on my phone. So I put my phone up and we play, and run around and keep ourselves busy. She takes 1 nap that lasts 2 hours, but those two hours are usually spent doing household things, like laundry, prepping meals and picking up, with only a few minutes for computer tasks. Once the evening winds down around 8:00, my brain is fried and most work is pointless.
So, I finally ready to admit I need a little help.
Why the guilt? I guess it’s my identity as a stay at home mom. I’m staying at home, so my (wonderful) job is to take care of Hailey, right? How can I justify spending money for help when being with her is what I do? Let me also say that this guilt is 100% self-inflicted. David is incredibly supportive and believes I should get any and all help I need.
So yesterday we went and toured a preschool. It was clean, friendly, safe and Hailey kept wanting to hop down and play. The staff was incredibly friendly and had all been there a long time. All of this eased my mind. It helped me realize that not only would a few hours a week be good for me, but it will also benefit Hailey. Sure, we do play groups, but it would be nice for her to learn to interact with other children her age without having me there to run to.
…right? Or am I making excuses to have a few hours to myself?
Can you see the crazy circle I’m going in?
Right now I am fairly certain I will start Hailey in a preschool/mother’s morning out program in the fall. It is just in the mornings and I’ll pick her up at lunch. I just need to decide whether she should go 2 days a week or 3. Right now I’m leaning towards 2… I think.
I’m usually so confident in my parenting decisions, but this has thrown me for a loop. I guess what I’m asking is what do you do? Any advice?
I know you amazing working moms had to face this sooner and I’d love to hear how you chose where your child should go and how you handled it.
Stay at home moms, do you feel the same guilt that I do? That taking care of your child is what you do, so how do you justify needing the extra time?
Non-moms… do I sounds like a crazy lady?
Part of me can’t stand the thought of her being away from me and another part wants to know what I’m supposed to do until this program starts up in fall! Haha.