Working mom guilt? — The Bump
Working Moms

Working mom guilt?

Honu1987Honu1987 member
edited March 2016 in Working Moms
Hi there, 

I'm a new mom. I have an 8 month old son who is simply the greatest. Up until a few days before his birth, I was working full time and had been since I graduated college in 2010. We live far away from family, so when my son was born, my husband and I decided that we did not want to put him in day care. That meant getting by on one income alone. He was making more than I was, so we decided I'd be the stay at home parent. After 3 months of maternity leave, I went back to work full time for one month before finally quitting to take care of my son. I lasted about a month with not working before deciding I needed to interact with people. Also, however I don't like to admit it, I felt defeated giving up my life and dreams to be a stay at home mom. Now I work part time on the weekends as a pharmacy technician, full time Monday through Friday as a mom and it's fulfilling for now.

We knew the risks of me going back to work part time, and we both agreed it'd be hard but manageable. However, sometimes my husband brings it up and says we never spend time together as a family, we three, because one of us is always at work. Then I feel guilty because I think it's my fault. Is it? I wake up at 630 every morning, because that's what time my son wakes up, and my husband would stay in bed til 8, in the shower by 830 and out the door by 9. By then, I'd have fed my son and changed him for the day. My husband usually comes home around 530 or 6, leaving him a window of 1 to 2 hours to spend with our son before his bed time, most of which consists of holding him for a few minutes while mommy does the dishes or puts away the laundry. Because my day consists of cleaning, doing the dishes, laundry and making sure dog and baby are alive, I'm usually in bed by 9 or 10 after a tiring day. But I never get a full nights rest. Then it's repeat the next day. I know he works hard, and I don't doubt that he stresses out being the provider of the family. But it's non stop work for me 24/7, and I don't think he understands that. I let him sleep til 8 every day, I let him sleep longer during the weekend when I go in to work later, and when I come home from work, I free him of our son (who's a mommas boy) meaning he has an average of 13 total hours a weekend alone with our son and yet still he complains about being tired. From the beginning, my son had been a mommas boy leaving my husband feeling defeated when he could never console him (my son just started warming up to him a few months ago). I think that put a damper on things and my husband figured that whenever the baby cried, momma was the only one who could fix it. 

Are there any moms out there who work part time (10 to 15 hours a week) or full time who feel this way? Or is it just me?  

Re: Working mom guilt?

  • I've been working from home full time since DD was about a week old, and I'll start easing my way back into the office after my 6 week check up.  I know I'm going to feel guilty being away from my sweet baby when I go back to work full time... just haven't gotten there yet.

    I don't think what you're experiencing with your husband is abnormal though.   Some people get lucky with husband's that are as involved in the home keeping and child care as mama, but for the most part it's typically what you're describing.  I've always felt as women we take on more of the responsibility,  and it's a 24/7 responsibility... and that was before I had DD!!  If I don't pack DH's lunch, he doesnt eat.  If I don't remind him to take his dirty uniforms to work on Monday, he doesn't have clean uniforms for the week (or rather I have to wash his stinky greasy clothes on top.of all the other laundry!!)  I know some women are lucky with a husband who shares the bulk of the responsibility,  my own dad worked nights when we were babies so he could take care of us at night so my mom could sleep.  

    But if you're feeling stressed, and you need some extra help, just communicate that to your husband.  And it doesn't have to be a fight!   For me, DH works Mon-Fri, so Friday and Saturday he takes care of DD when she fusses at night, I pump bottles during the day so he can feed her if need be, and I get a whole 6 hours of sleep!!  When I go back to work,  I still plan to keep this routine.  Maybe ask you husband to do the same, since he's connecting with your son better.  You get your sleep on Friday's before you have to work, maybe he can let you sleep in Saturday mornings as well.  And maybe ju st ask him to do certain chores, compromise a bit.  I have DH do the floors on the weekends (always have even before DD), I take care of the less physically draining tasks..

    Idk, sorry for the long ramble, but I hope maybe some of this helped?  Things will probably never be shared 50/50, but even if you can share you're feeling a little overwhelmed and get a little compromise on sleep/chores to get you a little sanity back!!
  • Have you told him how you feel? DH and I both work full time, so it it a different situation, but I typically get home later so he does daycare pick up and dinner for DS some days. We are both exhausted and try to find a way to balance. I typically get up with DS on weekends and DH sleeps in, but I take a nap at some point during the day while they play. Maybe you can ask DH to give you one or two out of the 7 days to be the one to get up later, or he can take DS out after you get home from work so you can take a bath/read/stare at the ceiling for a quiet hour.  

    Can you carve out time for one family activity each week, even if it is going to the park or taking a walk for a half hour? 
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  • Both my husband and I both work full time as well. We work M-F so that we do have the weekends as family time. What time does you son go to bed in the evenings? You could carve out an hour or two, before 9-10 pm for some alone time. We also got our alone time, when I made dinner (my daughter usually had a cat nap around dinner time) or when she went to sleep for her longer stretches. We would just cuddle on the couch watching our tv shows or on the weekends, we rented movies. On the flip side, I am the primary care giver. My husband is in the Army and is often gone for long periods of time due to deployments, training, classes, out in the field, etc. 

    I think you should talk to your husband. Have him help out more during the week. When my  husband is home, he is usually leaving for PT when I am waking up. When our daughter was a baby, he was deployed for the first five months, but when he came home, he did the early morning feedings right before he left for PT.
     
    Also remember your son is eight months, it may be that he prefers you, but he is changing so much going through milestones like separation anxiety which is why he may prefer you over Daddy right now. Both you and your husband can nap when the baby naps. 

    Just remember it's a partnership between you and your husband. He should be doing a lot more than just "weekend" parenting when you're at work. 
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