Mom Guilt

The last two weeks has been crazy for me at work. It was my first and second time to go home late ever since I came back from my maternity leave. I really can’t divulge details since it is confidential and work related, just that I had to stay to fix some stuff or present some stuff. I felt super guilty when I went home late two weeks in a row (if it is life-balance related like attending events E and I are okay with it, it is my way of coping up with life and releasing stress) and both times Bunny waited for me before sleeping straight. This definitely hit the guilt trip button for me.

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In my mind, I started thinking of how bad I am as a mum to not stay at home and be with her. I felt bad that I went home late just to take care of work. I tried a bunch of times to tell myself that it is okay, as E said it happens even if I plan out everything to the last minute detail, it happens. I knew that she would not remember, but I will. I will remember how she would wait up for me before sleeping, or how she would wake in the middle of the night to have milky and I am not there. It’s really hard to be a working mum, I mean nobody said that it will be easy. I did think of leaving work and just being a full time mum for her, but I know as well that this would not work. Psychologically speaking, my brain farts a lot and I need an avenue to release it. I also know that I thrive being in places where I can mingle and create meaningful and lasting relationships. I know that if I stay at home I would not be the happy-chirpy mum that I am to Bunny, and I needed to be the happy-chirpy mum that I am to keep her happy to. Why? Because a happy mom fosters an environment that will help raise a happy baby.

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This doesn’t mean though that I don’t want to be with Bunny, I just want to achieve happiness so that I can take care of her better. There are days though that I want to stay at home, curl up, wait for her to lie down next to me, and just be with her. Like this morning, she was still sleeping at 6:00 am. Usually she is up by 5.30 AM and we play after I take a bath. I feed her, and dress her up before I leave. Earlier, she just slept, damn you cold bed weather! So I picked her up and hugged her as tight as she hugs her Monkey. I whispered to her ear that I needed to go before 7 AM and that she should wake up so we could play. She still slept, so I just carried her and kissed her multiple times. It then hit me that if I wasn’t a full time working mum, I would probably be sleeping next to her as well, that I would probably be hugging her waiting for her to wake up. Reality is that I had work and I had to leave my little girl at home with her lolo and my aunt. I had to leave her for 12 hours (which should really just be 10 – 11 but traffic is super bad) and she will be well taken care of by my aunt and my dad. I have to believe that she will understand why I do what I do, that she will not forget my face, my smell, my warmth when I am away. I have to let her learn things from other people, even if I am supposed to be her first and only teacher.

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Today was harder versus other days because she clinged on to me longer than usual, because she held on tight to my arms even if her lolo is asking her to come out with her and check her plants, because when she was outside and I was saying goodbye she didn’t meet my eye. But, just before I left I tried again to get her attention and ask for a kiss, she kissed me multiple times just how I kissed her when she was fast asleep. She flashed her 8 teeth so cute and tiny. She waved bye-bye and blew kisses my way. She kept on looking at me even if I was a bit far off along the road. It was if she was saying that she will be okay and that she understands.

It is hard, but E and I make it work. I think what makes it easier for me to continue working is because E supports my decision. He also sends me snaps of Bunny when he gets home from work (he’s usually at home by 2 PM). I think what makes it easier is the fact that I get updates from my dad and mom when they post photos of Bunny. It is also easier for me because I know that I leave her in the arms of people who love her as much as I love her (but I know that I love her the most). It is easier because when I get home I am welcomed by a running baby, smiling with arms wide open for a big welcome home hug for mommy. What makes it easier are nights when I get to cuddle with her, kiss her, read to her, and play with her.

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I honestly believe that it is not in the amount of time that I spend with her that matters, but on the quality of time that I spend with her. I may not be present during weekdays but when I get home my phone is away and would usually get noticed only after she is sleeping. I give her my 101% attention always taking note of things she likes and things she doesn’t. I think this is why I know her best even if our time together is limited. Again, it is for me in the quality of time that I spend with her, because for a day sometime before I was present the whole day but glued to my phone that I wasn’t able to give her even fifty percent of my attention. I felt guilty after this and have sworn off using phones when she is looking.

I also make up for time during weekends,when I cook for her and for her dada. When we go out and take her around Alabang after her check ups, and when we go to our min travels/staycations when she gets all of our attention.

So now, I cope up with unlimited hugs and kisses, with sweet prayers, with photos and videos sent, and updates from my parents. I know that even if time passes by it will still be hard for me to leave her, but I know that we are doing this for her.

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26 comments

  1. Mommy Queenelizabeth says:

    Awww that was sad 🙁 Your baby is cute by the way! And i’d swear it adds to the guilt feeling 🙂 Don’t worry she’ll understand that you’re doing this for her and everything for her mama will do 🙂

  2. Cheryl F. says:

    I can’t relate that much because I’m a stay-at-home mom. My partner asked me to just focus on my son and just continue working as soon as LO needs a little attention already. Your baby is adorable by the way.

  3. Patty | MrsC says:

    Sigh, I know just how you feel. I missed out on a lot of my son’s firsts because I was working. I didn’t potty train him. I wasn’t the one who first fed him solids Obviously his first word wasn’t Mama. But you know what? I’ve learned over the years that the little moments count. So just keep on collecting those small bits of happiness, and you’ll be okay. Hugs!

    • denice.diaz says:

      I guess I’m lucky that Bunny seems to wait for me before her firsts but I agree I will maximize each moment that we have. 🙂

  4. Berlin says:

    That was me years ago when the boys were all babies pa. Thank God husband offered that I stay at home for the little munchkin. Life is harder with only one working for the family but I know, just like you, we are doing this for the boys. I wish you good health so the times you have to spend with your baby will all be well-spent and not coping with any illness thus malalayo ka pa lalo. And I just hope tlaaga that traffic will be lessened. Nakakanakaw Talaga sya ng Oras for the family.

  5. Melisa Sanchez says:

    Aw, I missed also going outside with my toddler. Nakakapagod kasi lumabas na mag isa ka lang plus malikot pa ang Zd bear ko. But it’s okay sis you did the best thing for your kid. There’s a right time for everything.

  6. Maan says:

    Don’t worry about it! Just last week, there were 2 nights when I went home really late — on one, I went home at 12:30 am (work-related) but even though I feel guilty about leaving him home, I know it helps him develop and grow. It helps him become more independent and bond with the other members of the family.

  7. edel says:

    No need to feel guilty as long as you can spend quality time with your child. Also, keep in mind that you are working because you want to give your family a better life.

    • denice.diaz says:

      Thank you! There are just some moments when it hits me that I miss her so much, but you are right everything that we do is for her future.

  8. Nicole P says:

    I haven’t really experienced this certain situation as I am currently a SAHM, but I do know that your little one will cope and this certain situation can help teach him to be more independent so don’t worry too much okay? 🙂

  9. Allan says:

    This is always been one of the dilemma of working parents. Just like ours, our son used to say, “Ang sarap kapag may mommy or daddy na nag-aasikaso sa kanya.”
    But I know he will understand why we are doing this to him. Kaya nga ngayon, Mommy and I were the one who prepares him for school every morning. Ako na din ang naghahatid sa kanya sa school. Kasi ung classmates daw nya either mommies or daddies daw ang kasama sa school.
    I also used to attend school activities na din para makita naman nya how we support him.
    And he was happy knowing that either Mommy or I will attend.

  10. Joy says:

    these are some of the price we have to pay for being a good parent… I’ve read na ang mga working mommies ang merong mas strong and confident children, so mas maraming good side din. things will get better! 🙂

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