I don’t even have a baby yet and I’m already overwhelmed with the dreaded mommy guilt. I’ve already spent a few nights curled up in a ball, crying my eyes out. I knew that a lot of moms experience guilt about a variety of reasons. But I honestly never thought that I would be a victim. Now you maybe wondering what I could possibly be having guilt about, especially since I don’t technically have a baby yet.
Going back to work.
Yes. That’s why my eyes are puffy and my nose is red and why I look like I’m sick. When I was younger, I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be a working mom. I always assumed that I would be a stay at home mom. To be completely honest, that was my dream life. But a few weeks ago Chris and I did a budget and reality hit me like a ton of bricks. I did my best to see how I could work the numbers so that I wouldn’t have to work. But it’s impossible. The bills are there and are not changing any time soon. They’re not going down and there’s nothing we can eliminate. That’s the cold, hard truth. Even taking maternity leave will be impossible. I wanted to do 8 weeks but if we can’t even make it through the recommended 6 weeks, there’s no way I can go even a day longer. I’m stuck and I hate it.
I feel like such a terrible mom. I feel like I’m giving up my baby. I feel as if I’m divorced and sharing my kid. I only will get it on weekends and nights (when it will be asleep, so it’s not like that counts). Odds are I’ll miss the milestones. Walking, laughing, smiling. What’s the point of even having a baby if you’re not there for it? Newborns need their mothers. And I will be dropping my baby off almost every day with someone who isn’t the mom.
But that person will get to see everything. They’ll be there for it because I never will be. What if the baby gets so familiar with the sitter that it doesn’t recognize me? What if it prefers her over me?
I tried to explain myself to Chris but he just rolled his eyes at me. “You just don’t want to work.” That’s not true at all. If that were the reason, I would have been crying my eyes out every night since I’ve been on my own. That’s not it at all. I honestly feel like I’m abandoning my child.
Now, let me be clear, I don’t by any means believe women who work and put their kids into daycare are abandoning their children. I know that they’re doing the best for their families. They can do it all. They can have a career, be successful, and be a mom. They provide for their families. I also know tons of kids who’s parents have both worked and they’ve always gone to daycare, and they turned out fine! They love their moms and dads! They don’t resent them or feel abandoned.
And I know all that, in my head. But when I think about myself and how it will be to drop mini Soroka off at daycare for the first time, it literally brings me to tears. How will I be able to do it? How do I make these thoughts and feeling go away?