I spoke to a woman with a brilliant career who says she constantly feels guilty for taking time away from her kids to work.
I feel guilty about many things. Many, many things. But not this one. I’m a much better mother because I have a career. I’m not saying everybody is like me or that I’m a better mother than anybody. What I do know is that I – me, myself, not another person – would be a much, much worse mother if I didn’t work. I’m too much for any kid to bear without spreading the burden. Getting 100% of me would be a punishment. I’d leave no space for her to develop and grow into her own person. I’m intense. Most people are a lot more mellow, and that’s good.
Today, for instance, there was a slight change in Klara’s school schedule. She has to go into a different door, basically. I became completely nuts about it. Wrote six emails to everybody at school and deleted them because it was insane behavior. Asked N to take her and went to work because I was creating unnecessary drama over nothing. At work, I was distracted by a lecture on neoliberalism in Chile, and it got better. But imagine if there were no lecture on neoliberalism. I’d drive the poor kid bonkers.
I do feel guilty when I send her to the park with her Dad and stay reading at home. Which is stupid because they both love it. But a mother’s guilt is an irrational force.