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Tuesday, December 9, 2014


A while back one of my favorite people on this earth told me that her New Year's Resolution was to let go of guilt. It's been something that has really stuck with me, and something I think of often. As of lately, I've discovered on my own that letting go of guilt is really something that's much easier said than done.
Although I am so lucky and thankful to have the job I do,-one that provides health insurance for my family, decent pay I can't complain about, and 50% tuition benefits for my husband, I can say that 99.9% of me hates working. This hasn't always been the case. I have loved working. I love having my own money and a sense of independence and responsibility. After a 12 week maternity leave being home with a newborn, I thought I would feel these same feelings when I came back to work. Independence, responsibility, a burst of self-worth. But I couldn't have been more wrong.
Coming back to work has brought more guilt with it than I could have imagined. As I sit here at my desk (shh...) I can feel guilt, anger, frustration & complete disappointment building up inside of me. All of these stupid feelings are about to be made known as they stream down my face and make puddles on my work notebook.
Before I had Mackson I made a goal to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months. After reaching the 6 month mark if possible, I would make another goal for the next 6 months. After carrying a child and giving birth I've been completely overwhelmed at how amazing the woman body is. That we are able to provide life for our babies with the means of our own bodies. God is good. I wanted to breastfeed so badly, and we were doing great until I started work. Pumping at work and keeping up with a growing child is nearly impossible for me. The first time my mom text me during my first week back to work to tell me she ran out of "mama's milk" and had to give him a bottle of formula, and the fact he "took it so well" made me sob as I was flooded with total guilt. {P.s. I have nothing against formula, or mothers who choose, or may not have a choice but to use formula. This merely has everything to do with the fact that I didn't meet my personal 6 month breastfeeding goal.} I've partially loved the convenience of supplementing with formula as my milk supply has quickly decreased over the course of being back at work. But every time I shake that formula bottle, I feel it again. Guilt.
When I was home with baby during the day I felt like I had everything all figured out. We had a sleeping routine down, the perfect feeding schedule, beds were made, the house was clean, there were homemade treats and dinner was on the table when Spencer got home from work. My journal was all caught up, and I was regularly writing things in Mackson's baby book. I didn't mind the few sleepless nights with Mackson and I loved it when he would stir in his crib letting me know he was ready to be fed and cuddled. Those middle-of-the-night feedings were my favorite. The house was quiet and it was just us. Now I'm waking up at 4:00am to get ready for work. To have enough time to feed Mack, change his diaper, get my work stuff together and loaded up, baby in his car seat, to make a 15 minute drive to my parents house, then another 25 minute drive to work. I can't express the amount of guilt I have waking up a warm, comfortable baby at 6:00am to be thrown into his car seat and bounced around in the car. My heart aches every morning as I drop him off and drive down the street, late to work because I couldn't stand leaving him again.
It's frustrating being late for work more often than I should, not being with Mackson as often as I would like, and not being able to give the attention to Spencer that he deserves. I feel like I'm being pulled in so many different directions that it's hard to not feel like I'm failing in every category.
This past week so much has happened. Mackson has found his tiny voice and loves to coo and talk and make funny noises. He learned to roll over within the last two days, and he's started holding his own bottle. Fun things are happening with him, but I'm at work, during the days I feel it's most important that I'm home.
There's just simply not enough time in the day. I probably didn't make it to the grocery store, there's probably not going to be dinner on the table so it's macaroni & cheese or soup again for dinner. I sit on the carpet to play with Mack and think about how it's been two weeks since I vacuumed, and when I'm already feeling guilty shaking his formula bottle in the kitchen, I also see a crummy counter and dirty dishes in the sink.  I'm so lucky to have Spencer who is so willing to help me with anything I need. Unfortunately, I am terrible at asking for help, and even worse at thinking I can do everything on my own.
As I'm sitting here writing this, my frustrations have gone down. Even though I think what this all boils down to is being a working mom, what it really comes down to is that I don't have a choice right now. I have to remember that Mackson won't remember being 4 months old and staying at grandma's house instead of being at home with mom. (Even though being at grandma's house is probably more fun!) That right now, I'm making sacrifices. And for that, I think I'm doing an okay job. And one day, when I get to wake up to Spencer and Mackson and know that we can spend all day home together playing in the dirt looking for bugs, sharing treats, running errands and taking naps together, I'm sure I will know that my sacrifices now were so worth it. The day I can wake up as just "mom" instead of "working mom" will be so fulfilling. I can't wait. In the mean time, my weeks will drag on & I'll continue to live for the weekends.
For all of you working moms, it's the hardest thing I've ever done. There are good days and bad days, and I wish I could hug all of you for your hard work. For all of you stay at home moms, I'm sure it's the hardest thing you've ever done. There are good days and bad days, and I wish I could hug you too, for having the best job in the world!
Guilt is something I wish I could let go of, and I'm trying. It's a conscious effort to push it aside and there are days like today where it's so overwhelming. I've decided that one of my New Year's Resolutions is to let go of guilt, and I challenge you to try to do the same!
After all, don't we have enough going on to let guilt get in the way?

1 comment:

  1. Oh I am so sorry you are having such a hard time!! I think you're a wonderful mom!


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