Working Mother’s Guilt

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.


2 thoughts on “Working Mother’s Guilt

  1. It’s good to know that about yourself! I did the stay-at-home thing for much the same reasons: I’m a low-energy person generally, I’m easily overstimulated and overwhelmed, and I knew beyond all doubt that if I tried to work an actual job, and also have kids, the kids would be getting the short end of the stick because I’d be too tired to deal with them at the end of a workday.

    Liked by 2 people

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