Marla Sokoloff’s Blog: Searching for the Mommy Guilt Handbook

12/11/2013 at 02:00 PM ET

Our celebrity blogger Marla Sokoloff is a new mama!

Since audiences first got to know her at age 12 as Gia on Full House, Sokoloff has had many memorable TV roles — Jody on Party of Five, Lucy on The Practice, Claire on Desperate Housewives – as well as turns on the big screen in Whatever It Takes, Dude, Where’s My Car? and Sugar & Spice.

Sokoloff, 32, also sings and plays guitar and released an album, Grateful, in 2005.

She wed her husband, music composer Alec Puro, in November 2009 and the couple — plus pup Coco Puro — make their home in Los Angeles.

You can find Marla, now mom to 22-month-old daughter Elliotte Anne, on Twitter.

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Courtesy Marla Sokoloff

Well, I finally did it. I said I would never — and truly wasn’t sure I could ever — but I did it … I left Elliotte behind in Los Angeles so I could travel to work in Chicago for nine long days.

Before you judge and allow your jaw to drop at the thought of leaving your child behind to work out of town, let me explain why I chose to not take her along for the journey.

The hours on set can be incredibly long, sometimes the workday begins before my daughter wakes and ends long after she goes to sleep. I was risking her not seeing me at all for most of my stay. Also, Elliotte (like most children) is a complete creature of habit; she loves her toys, her dog, her walks, her play dates and her bed. Taking her away from all of that didn’t seem completely fair. In fact, the more I thought about it, the decision to take her with me seemed more selfish than selfless.

It was a decision that I agonized over as I haven’t spent one single day away from her in her entire 21 months of life, but at the end of the day, I realized she would be way happier with my husband and the help of our trusted nanny while I was gone.

Both my mom and my mother-in-law live close by and were ready to jump in if need be. (Let’s be honest — they were both chomping at the bit to steal Elliotte for a sleepover!) It truly takes a village!

While away, I was flooded with conflicting emotion. I love what I do — always have, always will. It feels incredibly familiar to be on set as this is a job I’ve had for 20 plus years. But for 21 months, it has had a whole new feel.

I’m no longer the nomad actress who travels around the world within a day’s notice. I’m now a mommy. Not only does my sweet daughter depend on me, but also my husband depends on me in ways he never has before.

Marla Sokoloff Blog
Courtesy Marla Sokoloff

I can’t just hop on a plane on a Friday to start work on a Monday in Ireland or something of the like as I had in the past. There are so many variables, so many pieces to the family puzzle that need to be just so before I can take a job. This is primarily why I haven’t worked outside of Los Angeles since her birth.

Of course the main reason for me hunkering down was my intense desire to work in L.A. and keep our family together, but the second biggest hurdle is I just can’t seem to get past the intense guilt I feel about breaking up my family so I can continue to pursue my dream.

So that leaves me to the ever-present question that my friends and I just can’t seem to answer: Can we be working mommies without the working mommy guilt?

This question doesn’t just pertain to me as an actress obviously — it affects every mom who decides that staying home full time isn’t for them or isn’t possible for their family. Whatever the case may be, I’ve come to realize that doing it all — and feeling 100 percent successful at both — just isn’t something I’ve mastered yet. I’m starting to wonder if I ever will.

I don’t want to say the cliché we can’t HAVE it all. That feels crazy to me because just being able to have a family in and of itself feels like having it all in my humble opinion. But we still want to maintain some of our old pre-baby self — I understand because I do too.

I sobbed and sobbed and SOBBED in my bedroom as the car waited outside to take me to the airport. I got it all out before saying goodbye to Elliotte because everyone kept telling me that my perpetual tears might scare her. (Why? Would your hysterical snot-covered mom scare you?)

I knew I had nine long days ahead of me without my baby and it was going to be brutal, but I also had this other side of me that was crazy excited to start a new job. I was riddled with guilt. Anytime I had an adrenalized thought about going to shoot or what my days on set would be like, they were quickly squashed with feelings of remorse.

Why did I feel so bad about something I had worked so hard for? Something I did for most of life before having a child? Suddenly it became the other woman in my life if you will, this scandalous affair that I snuck out of town to spend time with and felt so wrong paying any attention to. Even something small like ordering room service felt so overindulgent I was ashamed to tell my husband when he called to say goodnight.

My time in Chicago was wildly eye-opening for me. In typical girl fashion, I talked about my self-diagnosed mommy guilt with any mommy friend that would listen and came to the conclusion that the majority of us feel this way no matter what the circumstances.

Marla Sokoloff Blog
Courtesy Marla Sokoloff

I’m back to work in Los Angeles and I still can’t shake the feeling of letting my little girl down as I leave for the day. I do the best I can to make sure she is taken care of and has all the comforts she needs while I’m gone, but when that scraped knee happens and she is crying for Mommy, it truly breaks my heart that I’m not there to kiss it for her.

I decided to dig a bit deeper. I rallied a few of my mommy friends together and asked them how they do it because they all seem to be kicking butt in every facet of their lives and I wanted some tips.

The question was: “Do you have mommy guilt while working and if so, do you have any tips or tricks to make it easier on you or your child?”

Here are their answers …

Lindsay Sloane (Actress & Maxwell’s mommy)
Yes! When I’m at home and exhausted from playing hide-and-seek for the 25th time all I think about is how I wish I were working. Then, when I am working, all I do is sit and stare at pictures of Maxwell and feel horrible guilt and sadness that I am not with her (although I did recently read a WHOLE magazine at work and that was a very exciting day).

To combat the guilt I make sure that her day will be busy (having a nanny that I trust means everything), I call and FaceTime when I can (especially to say good night), and I have her come visit me at work for lunch or dinner if it’s possible. My heart goes out to the working moms who may not have these luxuries. It’s tough to feel torn between two worlds.

Stacy Marble (Deputy Chief of Staff for L.A. City Councilman Tom LaBonge & Eleanor’s mommy)
I actually don’t feel mommy guilt about working. I think it’s healthy for me to work. I’m serving as a role model for my daughter. My mommy guilt seeps in when I’m frantically getting ready for work and she is on the iPad watching Barney.

Zoe Winkler Reinis (Teacher & Ace’s Mommy)
I definitely have guilt! Especially when my friends are planning fun things with the kids and I can’t join because I have work. There was a day a few weeks ago that Ace was sick with a stomach virus. I had to go to work and he cried hysterically when I left, which never happens. I got in the car and hysterically cried and then called Robert (my husband) and yelled at him, which made me feel slightly better and then of course, worse.

As for tricks, I try and make sure that when I am home I am really focused on Ace. On my days off, we do music class together and have a play date every week which is fun.

Honestly I am lucky that I only work three days a week and I believe that it is harder on me than it is on Ace. I have an AMAZING support team and my nanny and I communicate all day and I trust her with every part of my being which makes it easier.

Marla Sokoloff Blog
Courtesy Marla Sokoloff

So Mommies (and Daddies!) — what do you think? Do you feel this dreaded guilt? I would love to hear from those of you that do as well as from those of you who don’t have it.

Let’s discuss. Leave a comment below or send me a Tweet @marlasok.

xo,

– Marla Sokoloff

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Showing 31 comments

lifeoftuesday on

Getting ready in the morning is the hardest…Having to wake a sleeping baby to ride to daycare just does not do my heart good. I cringe when she wakes up thinking if I could stay at home she could sleep until she woke up herself. Also, knowing another person is hearing her first words and holding when she is upset just makes it all the harder. For the moment though I do work for the money. To pay the rent, car note and have the few things we do means working. I imagine the guilt is different for different people though. Where it bothers me it might not bother my co-worker with the same age child….No right or wrong answer for sure…I do appreciate reading though about other mom’s who are going through the same things. Thanks for writing Marla.

Erin on

I don’t necessarily feel guilty about going to work. I enjoy having adult conversation! I do, however, regret that most of our time together in the mornings and evenings is spent getting ready, making dinner, taking baths, etc. and it doesn’t seem like we get much quality time. We try to make sure to at least all sit together for story time every night. Another thing that’s hard for me about working is mising out on school day activities. I don’t have a lot of time off and commute to work so I can’t go to classroom parties or in-class programs. I always think the worst and imagine my daughter is the only one without a parent there and she’s crying (which I know is not true). That is a situation where having family nearby helps. I try to schedule her dad or a grandparent to attend one of those functions if I can’t. It helps ease the guilt!

Jaime on

I think every mom has guilt about every aspect of mommy hood. We never feel like we are good enough. I am not crafty and I look at all the pintrest moms and wish I was able to be that mom but I am not. I think you are a wonderful mom and you are showing your daughter that you can work and still be there for her the majority of the time. I think our children all know that we love them and that we do what we think is best for them. Try to remember how great of a mom you are and how lucky Elliotte is to have you.

MarieV on

I have a 2 year old. I’m also an active duty Marine. I thought that by now I would be used to saying goodbye to her in the mornings, but I find it’s just getting harder. I miss her so much during the day, and I can’t help but to feel guilty knowing that someone else is parenting my child. The guilt in my opinion is a little worse because she goes to daycare. I’ve been in the military for 9 years and have always enjoyed working and having my independence, but I no longer judge stay at home mothers like I used to in my younger years.

Stacey on

Hi Marla,
My baby boy is only 2 weeks old and I’m already thinking it will be hard to go back to work when he is 4 months old. But I also know that me working will be good for us both. Thank you for addressing the subject. I’m looking forward to reading some tips from other mom’s.

Mary on

I saw your blog post linked on our mutual friend Kristy’s fb page and I’m so glad I read it. I know from my personal experience that it’s not just Moms but Dads as well who feel this guilt. I don’t feel guilty leaving 8-6 everyday because I see the joy my 2 year old has when her nanny comes home. I would argue she’s a better (read: more patient, more fun, able to do crafts without going bananas) parent than I am even. It’s when I have to travel that it sets in. Feeling like I’m sacrificing the little morning/evening time we do have together. Feeling like a bad partner to my husband for not helping out with the parenting duties (which is so ridiculous and irrational but such is this guilt). And YES, ordering room service or watching a show on tv in the hotel room – like I’m on vacation of my own will vs. there to present to a client the next day so I can support my family. It’s crazy town. And please don’t ask me like every other person why I haven’t taken a vacation with “just my husband” since my child was born. I can’t fathom that. We hardly see her as it is! Ah! Would I like that? Sure. Would it have any negative impact on my daughter? Guessing not at all. In fact the “experts” say it’s great for them if you go away. I’m totally sure it is. It’s just not great for me. Sigh. I guess there is no “cure” we just need to reframe the situation. We are caring for them when we follow our passions and when we bring home money that supports them. My dad worked full time as a traveling salesman and I know he was on the road a ton when we were little. However, I love my Dad like crazy and I’m grateful he provided for us in a way that enabled my education, my work ethic and my sense of humor. When I do think of my childhood I think of him goofing around with us, family trips, laughing and yes, getting mad at me when I forgot to put the toothpaste cap back on. I never think “Dad wasn’t around and didn’t care.” I think our daughters will be positively impacted by our choices and remember their childhood just as fondly.

LC on

Yes, I absolutely feel guilt. I work full time for the money but honestly, it is also good for me to have some time away to feel like my “old self” again. Ideally I’d love to work 2-3 days a week and be home with my 1 year old the rest of the time. Maybe someday that will be reality. Until then, I have to get used to someone else knowing her schedule a bit better than I do and someone else seeing her cute face during the day.

Mandy on

I think most parents, especially mom’s, have guilt about working even when there is no other choice than for both parents to work. I was the one who went back to work when my daughter was 6 weeks old as I had used up most of my leave time before I had her since I had to be put on bed rest at 32 weeks. My husband had lost his job so he was the one to stay at home with our little girl, which did make me feel a little better that it was him & not a stranger taking care of her. It still sucks though when she does something new in front of me & when I comment on it I am told that she’s been doing that for a while. Makes me feel like I don’t know my own child. But I think its good for her to know that Mommy works to provide for her & that it isn’t just Daddy’s role to do. I want my daughter to grow up to be independent & able to take care of herself one day.

Jenna on

All these women mentioned a nanny. Try doing everything without help. That’s mommy guilt!!

KB on

I almost cried reading this, because I feel so much the same way. My husband and I could potentially make it work if I stayed home with our daughter (4 months old) but would have to make several very dramatic changes, would not be able to put hardly any money in savings, and I’d miss working. Additionally, my baby loves daycare- she is an easy baby for them and I trust that she is in great hands all day. All that said, I still feel so much mommy guilt not being with her every single day, waking her up in the morning for just a feeding and then driving her to daycare, and knowing that she’s probably going to roll over/say a word/walk for the first time without me by her side. I’ve only been back at work for a few weeks and still don’t know what will be best long-term for our family, but trying to take it day by day. Hang in there, mommies- we’re all doing the best we can.

Jean on

Relax…. you are a GREAT MOMMY! A little break is good for the both of you.

Bridgette on

My baby isn’t even here yet and I already feel guilt that I’ve had to take time off during pregnancy due to sickness which is going to take away from the time that I’ll get to be home with him after he is born. I’m hoping that with support from my family, friends, and co-workers that my baby and I will manage when I return to work. Thank you for sharing your experience, Marla!

CLAUDIA on

I actually think this article is detrimental to women. It sounds like you are writing an excuse to the world for why you left your almost 2 year old daughter. I know it’s hard, I have been there, but you don’t need to explain yourself or justify anything. This is one of the main problems with American society today: everyone is afraid of judgement (and everyone is judging). You did what you felt was right, bottom line. No one should care. I don’t, not really anyways.

Cara Thompson on

I have a 4 year old son. He has been in the same day care since about 4 months old. The first couple years were the hardest…as an infant, I was so worried about his teacher seeing his “firsts” before I did, but then I realized that even if I were at home with him, it didn’t mean that I would still get to see all of his “firsts” first anyway :) Then he went through the dreaded separation anxiety phase somewhere between 1 and 2 years old. This was harder on my husband as he does the morning drop off, and Nick (my son) would scream and cry that he didn’t want my hubby to leave. I’m glad I was the drop-per off-er because I would’ve just grabbed him and called in sick to work…every day! But once we got through that phase, it’s been great. In fact, lately, he doesn’t want to leave when I pick him up, and we’re there for 30 minutes almost everyday! But it gives me time to watch him in his “school environment” with his friends, and also to chat with his teachers. It can be tough some days…especially when he gets sick because it never happens when you’re prepared to stay home anyway, always when I’m super busy at work. But I’ve got a great group of coworkers who are all mom’s too :) And the ability to work from home as a backup plan!

Ashley on

I’m a mom to a 2 year-old girl who’s the light of my life, but I’ve never experienced any “mommy guilt” about going back to work. After 5 months of maternity leave, I was ready for some adult/professional conversation, and I wanted to put the graduate degree I’d worked so hard for, back to good use again. Balancing work and motherhood is a juggling act, but I don’t feel guilty doing it. I’m the primary breadwinner in my family, but even if I could afford to be a full-time stay-at-home mom, I don’t think I would. I’d want to work at least part-time because I enjoy the intellectual challenge of my profession. I don’t think that makes me any less of a good or loving mother … like every woman, every mother is different. And we should be accepting rather than critical of these differences (as long as they don’t endanger the child in question. Furthermore, for those parents that do feel guilty about working outside the home, I don’t think the sentiment is limited just to mothers. Some fathers also experience “daddy guilt.” Many men just don’t feel as comfortable expressing it as women do, because it’s not expected of them. (I.e., the traditional view is that men are supposed to be the breadwinners & providers for their families, while women are still regarded as the primary homemakers & caretakers). Every time I see the term “mommy guilt,” I cringe because it’s an inaccurate and gender-biased stereotype.

HKT on

I just think it’s awful how she felt like she had to explain to everyone–including herself–why she left her child WITH HER HUSBAND AND FAMILY. Or why ANY woman has to explain why she has to leave her child at daycare, etc. In an ideal world, sure: we’d all be stay-at-home moms, there for every second of every moment of our children’s lives. But you know what? This isn’t an ideal world. Moreover, women want more than just being moms…and for God’s sake, ladies, can we forgive each other for that? Can we agree that motherhood comes in a lot of different shapes and forms, and what works for one woman and one family is not what works for another? That it is not a requirement to be a “good mom” that you stay at home with your children? That maybe as much as a mother hates to drop her daughter off at daycare, she’s setting a wonderful example of independence and self-sufficiency for her daughter down the road? Let’s get out of the Dark Ages.

Marla, there is no guilt necessary.

Meg on

Guilt is an emotion I felt from day one for some reason or another. First love, then guilt. Just as long as the love continues to outweigh the guilt then I think all is ok.

Jamie on

Oh thank god it’s not just me. You’re friend read my mind, when I’m home I miss the adult, work me but at work the guilt sits in my stomach. What do I do to feel better? I remember the dentist, doctor, clothes and realize that just like parenting work means sucking it up and putting on my get it done face. Good luck!

indyrin on

It’s not really guilt that I feel, it’s sadness. I work and my husband stays home withour 14 month son. The take me to lunch about twice a week which is always fun! My job pays for our home, cars, food and gives us good insurance coverage. If I were to have a choice I’d be at home with my son but I don’t have a choice and he’ll grow up with a very healthy vision of being part of a family that sacrifices for each other and loves each other. My house is a mess because when I’m home I’m with my husband and son playing on the living room floor. I don’t feel guilt for providing a living for my family, I just feel sad sometimes that there aren’t more hours in the day!

dmarchant31 on

I have worked since my daughter was 3 weeks old. Unfortunately, it was not an option for me to stay home and 13.5 years lter, it’s still not an option. Now that she is older, the guilt subsides. She understands in ways I never expected. I believe that me working has been good for her. It has taught her independence, compassion and understanding. Being of the “must work” category, sometimes we have to say no to a request. I feel more guilt about having to say no than I do about working. It’s hard. I’ve missed award ceremonies and events because of work but I try to remember that if I didn’t work, she wouldn’t have a roof over her head or food on the table. It’s just part of life. hang in there, it gets easier. Then, it gets harder. Then, it gets easier again. Parenting is a roller coaster and you appear to be navigating it just fine!

Anonymous on

I freelance so that I can work from home, but even I feel bad when a job takes me away for too many hours. But all this hand-wringing “mommy guilt” is getting annoying — if you have to work, then make your peace with it or change your lifestyle. If you don’t HAVE to work but you really enjoy it, then make your peace with that. And if you’re conflicted, well join the club. I think when we talk about guilt, what we’re really saying is, “please tell me I’m not a bad mother, ok? please, please, please?” Sure, we all struggle with self-doubts, but if you REALLY don’t know the answer to that, then there’s a bigger problem.

Anonymous on

Why do people have children then complain about this guilt or that guilt or the early mornings or the lack of money? It gets really annoying.

Jen on

As a full-time working mom, I definitely have guilt! And baby #2 is set to arrive on Christmas Eve, so I know that after maternity leave that feeling with double. But as I look at my son (now 26 mos) and how well he is thriving at daycare, I know it is best for him. Though I know he learns things from my husband and I, I am so happy with what he is learning at “school” because I just don’t think I would have the patience all day everyday to teach him everything he is learning. This is what I tell myself anyways, to lessen the guilt factor.
I read “Lean In” and it really helped me put some things in perspective in regards to my professional career as well as my life as wife and mommy. i recommend it.

anonymous on

First of all Thank you for writing this article. I have a three year old and a new born infant. I had major mommy guilt with my first baby. I never knew I was capable of so many emotions once I had a child. Unfortunately I don’t have any friends that have young children like I do. Either they started super early or they were done once I became a mom. So I don’t have any mommie friends which at times can be lonely and isolated. . It is very hard to be a working mom, but everyone has different reasons on why they have to work and why they don’t have to.. You don’t have to explain to no one why you have to leave your baby to go to work. Also just to let you know, you wont’t get much sympathy .What about the people in the armed forces who have to leave their children for a year or more , some of them don’t even get to see them once they are born!. As soon as I started appreciating what I had and how lucky I am to have a village helping me take care of my children. I started becoming a better mom. I’ve come to realize that I won’t have it all, because something has to give. But deciding on what has to give will help you feel less guilty as a working mom.
Cherish your moments with your children, how lucky that you have a husband and family that can help. My in-laws take care of my children when I am at work. How lucky is that! (Believe me it took me a long time to realize that) but i still have a back up plan, and Day Care is one of them. They have had wonderful times with their grandparents and I don’t mind if I miss some moments, because at least it was with their
grandparents who will cherish those forever! We are all moms with different situations and different backgrounds ! We have to stop judging each other and saying who is the better mom! Just being a mom is hard and working makes it harder! Just remember that we are lucky to have children and every moment counts!

ProConsumerSafety on

The guilt will only occur if you do not do anything or compare yourself to others. As a behavioral epidemiologist and Certified Health Education Specialist, along with having an amazing child in my life, I recommend to not allowing either of these to occur. You are a great mother because you are listening to how you feel. Our brain works in amazing ways to alert us to prevent problems in the future. I congratulate you on recognizing your feelings. I can say that children grow fast. No matter how busy we are we can never get the time back and if we remain too busy and ignore it, time will fly by, unless we take some time to live “in the moment”.
If you must work, you have no choice but to work. You have already been trying to find time with your child when you can and this is important. So to help reduce any further guilt, first do not compare yourself to others, because your life and responsibilities are different. And secondly, find some special time each day, even if a short time of even 20-30 minutes or so, to make that time, your time for your child.
This 20-30minutes, even if you are exhausted, the child will keep you going, because you know it will benefit them as well. Use this time to read, play and sing to them. But make it your time with them. As they grow, let them know why this is their special time, that you wish you did not have to work but you have to, but because you love them and miss them you have this special time with them. As they get older into toddler and school-ages keep this time going and allow them to choose what they would like to do. This does several things, first it allows them learn about responsibility and consequences, and also provide positive role modeling. Overtime these moments will be highly regarded as something you gave to them because they were special. Finally, always remember to validate the child, encourage activities they are interested in and eventually they will develop passion.
Raising a child is life changing. I remember things with my parents that I often wondered how did they do it, did they never sleep? This is probably true and for some reason my child gives me so much energy. I cannot understand because no matter how tired I am or how exhausted, for some reason, I still have time for my little girl. She is my life, my world and she knows how much her Daddy loves her. Best of luck and I am sure you will do fine. Happy Holidays!

ProConsumerSafety on

The guilt will only occur if you do not do anything or compare yourself to others. As a behavioral epidemiologist and Certified Health Education Specialist, along with having an amazing child in my life, I recommend to not allowing either of these to occur. You are a great mother because you are listening to how you feel. Our brain works in amazing ways to alert us to prevent problems in the future. I congratulate you on recognizing your feelings. I can say that children grow fast. No matter how busy we are we can never get the time back and if we remain too busy and ignore it, time will fly by, unless we take some time to live “in the moment”.
If you must work, you have no choice but to work. You have already been trying to find time with your child when you can and this is important. So to help reduce any further guilt, first do not compare yourself to others, because your life and responsibilities are different. And secondly, find some special time each day, even if a short time of even 20-30 minutes or so, to make that time, your time for your child.
This 20-30minutes, even if you are exhausted, the child will keep you going, because you know it will benefit them as well. Use this time to read, play and sing to them. But make it your time with them. As they grow, let them know why this is their special time, that you wish you did not have to work but you have to, but because you love them and miss them you have this special time with them. As they get older into toddler and school-ages keep this time going and allow them to choose what they would like to do. This does several things, first it allows them learn about responsibility and consequences, and also provide positive role modeling. Overtime these moments will be highly regarded as something you gave to them because they were special. Finally, always remember to validate the child, encourage activities they are interested in and eventually they will develop passion.
Raising a child is life changing. I remember things with my parents that I often wondered how did they do it, did they never sleep? This is probably true and for some reason my child gives me so much energy. I cannot understand because no matter how tired I am or how exhausted, for some reason, I still have time for my little girl. She is my life, my world and she knows how much her Daddy loves her.

I hope this is helpful to you and other new parents. Best of luck and I am sure you will do fine. Happy Holidays!

MomofAmelia on

My guilt seeps in when I am having a laugh or a good time and she is not there. I love working for the fact that it is my time to be independent and I get to provide for my family. But some days I would really rather snuggle in bed with my baby and be there to see what she does all day. It’s fun to get pictures of her at daycare because it’s a little glimpse into her “work” day.

Marla Baird on

No one tells you about the ridiculous rock and hard place created by becoming a mother. You feel guilty for wanting time to yourself, then when you get it all you do is miss your child. I wish I could tell you it gets better, but I still struggle with it even though my boys are 17 and 11!

galen on

My official name for it is the the maternal guilt factor. For instance, letting ms. kid put the paci back in the mouth without washing it is a 1-2 and leaving your babe overnight is a 10 (red alert, red alert). Moms live and breathe it every single day of their lives, and no matter what you do for a living- it sucks!! BUT, working to pursue your dreams is a wonderful thing and teaches that sweet baby about working hard to fulfill dreams and responsibility and makes you a better, more content mama!

You made a great point, though. It really takes a village to raise a happy, well-adjusted child.

Good luck to all the mamas out there who run smack into the MGF void! I will be seeing you there shortly!

Danielle on

As i am about to leave my 4 month old son for the first time and go back to work in 5 days, II can definitely say YES, I am feeling big time major mommie guilt. I have been dreading this moment since I found out I was pregnant. What if he’s at daycare and starts crying for no reason other then he wants me, what if he can’t sleep because he is so used to home and his bed, what if I miss one the “first’s”. What if, what if, what if. It’s the what if’s that kill me. I don’t have any other choice but to go back to work. My working keeps our family in the lifestyle I want my children to have. You know, roof, food etc. Plus I want my children (2 1/2 year old step-daughter and my son) to see me working. I want them to be raised knowing that mom contributed just as much to our family as dad and that we are a team in making this family run. We all pitch in doing something. At the end of the day I will always feel guilty when I am not with him. Even if it’s to run to the store or a very rare date night. That’s what makes us good mommy’s. We go out of our way to make sure that we have excellent care providers who will treat our children with the same affection we have, and that we are always available when they truly need us. Any one of us would drop everything and drive like a Nascar driver to go and get our child if we had to. It’s not that we are not there for our kids, it’s just that we are creating a life for our families. Let’s be honest, having your child cared for by someone else, even for a little while, has advantages for them as well. They learn about independance, self soothing, problem solving and in the case of daycares they learn social skills and all the developmental resources that are offered, that we can’t give them. Unless you are a expert in early childhood development, which i’m not, and I hate to admit this, professional child caregivers know all the games, tricks, projects etc. that help your child to learn and grow and be more then ready when it’s time for school. It might kill me to list all the what if’s (and i do) but i am trying so very hard to focus more on the what he will gain by going to daycare. I choose to imagine that my son is going to make friends that he will have for a long time as they grow and go to new classes together. Mommie guilt is hard, hard, hard but at the end of the day , I will look forward to the day that my 2 or 3 yeard old son will come running into my arms after daycare and say “look what i made for you today mommy” and he will be so poud of himself. Just like my step daughter does now. Good luck to you and to all the working mommies out there.

Justathought on

Maybe part of the guilt is that you “choose” to work when you are not financially required to!

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