Monday, August 29, 2011

the one where guilt kicks in (again).

thankfully, irene spared us and we are so grateful that there was relatively little damage in our area. we continue to pray for those that were hit harder, especially for their recovery efforts. xoxo.

heigh-ho, heigh-ho! it's back to work i go!

actually, i've been back to work for two weeks working on some school leadership stuff. but today was the first day back for all teachers and today was also the day it all hit me like a ton of bricks.

"it" referring to mommy guilt, of course.

i am back to work full-time this year. and i truly am excited for a new crop of kiddos and all the learning that will happen for them and for me this year. i love, love, LOVE my school and my colleagues and am so proud of our accomplishments from last year and i just know this year is going to be phenomenal, too. i can feel it in my bones!

but, that doesn't mean i'm not feeling super anxious about leaving my baby for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.


i know he'll miss me (well, at least i hope he will!), but i also know he enjoys his time with his friends. his extroverted personality does so well with the consistent social interaction with his peers, too. but part (okay, right now, a big part) of me definitely feels lots of guilt about leaving him. there is a nagging feeling that i am missing out on some of the best times of my little guy's life.

i know the guilt is made all the more stronger because we are coming off the heels of an awesome summer and some amazing time together. and rationally, i know that summer is but a season, and often a magical one at that. i know that, come the dark and dreary days of winter, if i were at home with choi boy, we would be fighting to stay entertained and have meaningful time together, because they can't be all fun, special summery kinda days. but part of me wonders if it's those dark and dreary days that would be the most meaningful. because we'd have to fight to make it meaningful.

i also know i'm being a bit melodramatic. (i have that tendency, if you haven't caught on by now. ;) ) we'll still have 5 hours together in the afternoons and evenings. we'll still have weekends and holidays and breaks. and of course, we'll still always have summers.

but, for right now, i'm letting myself be melodramatic and i'm letting myself wallow in self-guilt. just a little. i think i need to get it out of my system for a bit. i'm sure it'll always be an inner-battle for as long as i am a working mom, but it's certainly magnified during these first few days back.

after all, when you get used to seeing this face all day long,
and then suddenly you don't,

man, is it rough.


  1. hugs! being a working momma is so tough and i get all the feelings you are having. but, cb is lucky to have you as a momma and your little kindergarteners are sure lucky to have you as a teacher!

  2. Oh Grace, it must be so hard - just when the awesomeness of summer is getting really good, it comes to an end :( I know you love your job (which is so great), but it's difficult to leave our sweet babies. Believe me, I get it. But I just keep telling myself that Max's time at school with his buddies has been so fun for Max and good for him developmentally. Hugs to you, though, mama!

  3. I'm sorry - it's so hard! If it makes a difference, I do think that working moms (I was one full-time until Rory came home) maybe do a better job of making the most of every moment when they know that their time is limited because of their jobs - I know I did!

  4. (Hugs) I can't imagine how tough it is do go from seeing that cute face all day to seeing it a lot less.

    And he has such an adorable face. :)

  5. Hugs! Hope it's a great school year and that you enjoy that time and can then enjoy your special time with CB in the afternoons/evenings!

  6. I agree with what Melissa said!!! Also it IS so easy to idealize the times spent together in summer. I, too, was a bit sad about the boys starting back to preschool, but on the third week in, I really feel like we are all happier and doing well. I have no doubt that you will both settle in and thrive, but until then, be as melodramatic as you want to be!!! It's okay with us!

  7. I'm with Melissa too! I swear I am a better Mama on my working days. I make more of the time we do have... and I'm way more fun. I think that for me, having some time to just think (!) and socialize on "my" level helps my parenting. I come up with funny things, or special little outings after school those days... so there's still a little "magic" as you call it. (And BTW, our "special outings and funny things" are things like trips to the fish store to see how many fish we see and blueberry pancakes for dinner.)

    BUT, don't get me wrong... there are days that I have a VERY strong desire to pull him from school.

    Hugs friend, I'm here if you need a friend to text/talk you through the tough times!

  8. Thinking of you, mama! The transitions are always so so hard, but before you know it, you'll be back in the swing of things.

  9. This sounds like a really hard transition, Grace. But I know you'll make the most of your time with CB, which is the most important thing. I hope your school year is a great one!

  10. I have just recently started reading your blog (and I'm really enjoying it thus far!)when I saw this post and I thought maybe I'd post a comment.
    Have you ever thought about staying home with him? In Titus 2:5 it says that us women are supposed to be "Keepers at home" which in the Greek it lit. translates to "Guard of the home"
    Instead of sending CB to school,to try homeschooling? In Deut.6:7 it says to "teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." I know it's like "How can I possibly do that?" But God says when we're obeying Him, He will take care of us. I have personally seen the endless blessing of doing such a thing and I'm so grateful it was done in my family.
    Most of the myths about homeschooling and staying at home are completely untrue (especially the social and educational ones)You really get to watch your children grow in knowledge (by your own doings!) and you really just capture their heart. There are also so many chances for your child to be involved with other kids socially. I would suggest (even if it sounds stupid) to just at least look it up. Have you ever thought that maybe God gave you that guilt for a reason?
    I didn't mean to preach a sermon, (specially to someone I don't even know ^^) I just wanted to share maybe a different way, other then the way that is said "has to be done" and wanted to share a bit of the blessings that have been given to my family.

  11. I don't think there is one working mama that doesn't have feelings like this. I don't have any great advice, but I hope your school year starts off well and CB has fun times at daycare.

  12. To preface this, it makes me really sad when I see mom on mom judgment. I know I could leave this discussion to rest, but as a Christian working momma, I am really discouraged by Gabi's comment. My discouragement doesn't stem from the fact that I have made a different choice and feel "guilty" about it; nor do I think I made a "better" choice than Gabi has made. I have a lot of SAHM friends, some who homeschool, others who do not, and I think they are amazing.

    But, I am really discouraged by the way she uses scripture to imply that I and so many other working mommas have made a lesser choice than she by working outside the home. That somehow my working outside the home means that I am not a keeper or guard of my home. That somehow my working outside the home means that I am not striving to teach my son to walk in His ways. That somehow because I am not following these verses to a tee according to her interpretation, that God will not take care of me and my family because I am being disobedient to Him. That any "guilt" I have for not spending every single waking moment with my son is from God.

    Here's my two cents: I like being a working momma. I don't think that working outside of the home is unbiblical, or a "second choice" per se. In Proverbs 31, the "ideal" (and, let's face it, non-existent) woman works inside and outside of her home. She considers a field and buys it. She sees that her trading is profitable. She makes linen garments and sells them. She also cooks, cleans, and instructs her children! And her children, too, rise and call her blessed.

    Don't get me wrong. I fall way short of the Proverbs 31 woman. But I'm trying. Just like other working mommas and SAHMs are trying. But I will say that I love the time we spend together. I strive to make the most of every moment we share to teach him of His ways and to let him know that I love him so very much. I keep and guard my home with a ferocious love. Maybe my house is messier than I like. But it's our home and I love it.

    I love seeing my son thrive at daycare. I am so appreciative of the trained teachers that so lovingly and skillfully watch my son. It warms my momma's heart to see my son interacting daily with kids from all socioeconomic and racial and yes, even religious backgrounds. After all, if he didn't, who could he eventually be "salt and light" to?

    There are so many different types of moms and families. Everyone is trying to do the best they can for their families. And, unfortunately, some working mommas don't have a choice. Others, like me and Grace, who feel their professions are a calling, love their jobs.

    Sure...there are days when I feel torn by a million different forces. There are days that I feel "guilty" that I can't spend even more time with my son -- but I do not for one second believe that is from God. In fact, Romans 8:1 assures me that "there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Guilt comes from the enemy who tells us that we are not good enough. Or that our efforts could actually harm our children. Or, even in a more subtle way, lies and tells us that our efforts could make our children godly. In my world, that is nothing but the supernatural work of God's grace. And I pray so hard that God's grace would fall on my son.

    Sorry to hi-jack your comment area, Grace, but I want to tell you that you are doing an amazing job. That you shouldn't feel guilty. But you already know that I feel that way. :) To reiterate my first comment, CB and your little kindergarteners are so very lucky to have you. Hugs, momma!

  13. i'm a bit behind here, but i just wanted to send my hugs to you. you are a great mama - one of the best i know. thinking of you, friend.

  14. I'm sorry you feel guilty. You shouldn't! You're an amazing mom, teacher and wife. You'll be fine and so will CB. Thinking of you...

  15. I just have to say that I cannot believe that comment by Gabi. How do you take something like that?! As a fellow working mama, I do take offence to the fact that she is taking literal pieces of scripture to denounce what we do. Of course I would love to stay home with my boys all the time, but I also love my job and I know that God uses me in both. Great response, Tina. Don't let it get you down, Grace! There are plenty of working mamas out there who totally know where you are coming from and don't have any judgements to share.

  16. sorry i'm responding so late. you're probably over it but just wanted to say that you're a wonderful mom, grace! don't let the other comment get to you. just because one stays at home doesn't mean that they're better at all! each mom has her own calling and no one can judge another for that! i struggle with mother's guilt, too, cause God knows i don't use my time the best that i can. plus, you are making sure CB is in good care while you're doing what God called you to do. placing our children in another's care takes TONS of trust & faith in our heavenly Father. anywayz, hope you're in the swing of things now that the school year started. i can't wait to go back to work some day, too!!!!!!!

  17. I read the two long comments referred to above...and have to say I'm so glad Tina wrote what she did. As a working Mama, I've experienced all kinds of emotions about it and still do. However, I think the choice is there for each person. What works for one family isn't for all...definitely.


why, hello there! do you have something to say? 'cause i'd so love to hear it!