Stuck in the Middle (The Working Mom’s Guilt)


It’s so tough to be stuck in the middle. Moms are stuck in the middle a lot. I know I can’t be the only mom stuck in the middle of the corporate life vs stay at home struggle. Here’s the thing, I know what decision I would make, but I can’t because…


Every day is a struggle on this front. I know that I need to work for a bunch of reasons, including saving for a house. Not working is simply not an option right now. Still, even with a flexible position that allows me to be there for anything “important,” it still feels icky to miss the so-called “unimportant” things (no one calls them unimportant, but by saying “not miss the important moments,” it automatically feels like the rest don’t count). It doesn’t make it any easier when my baby cries when I leave for work and begs for “one more hug and one more kiss.”

I often wonder if I’m just being crazy, acting entitled, or just being weak, thinking I want to stay home or like it should be a possibility. People go to work everyday either because they want to or because they have to, and they just do it. I suppose to outsiders, I’m one of those people to them that I get up, and I go to work. It’s one of the things they say is part of life, but why is it so hard to accept being away from my baby all day?

Missing the moments

One day my baby asked to play blocks before I left. But, I couldn’t. I had a meeting and I had to leave. I said we could play after work, and my baby accepted it and just asked someone else. How depressing. There are other things my child only wants to do with me and will wait for me, but life doesn’t wait. How many other “play blocks” moments am I missing? I sometimes find myself literally counting the number of hours my baby is with other people vs how many hours with me. I definitely need to include the sleeping hours to help balance the count – but what fun are those? 

There are other projects I want to do as well. Things that if I focus, could become my primary “thing” instead of working a traditional job. I would have even more flexibility than I do now, and it would be something around my true passions so I may not feel as much guilt. But how do I even get that started? Time always seems to be running short, and if I spend any time doing anything else during my baby’s waking hours, I feel guilty about not spending that time together since I miss out on those hours that I am at work. 

I suppose I need to find a way to make the side projects work, and try to let go of the guilt. It’s okay to do things for me, and I know that, but there is so much guilt about being away from my child during the work week. I have to accept the way things are right now because stressing over them isn’t helping anyone! 

And, right on cue, my baby just started crying for mommy as I type this. Time to go snuggle.