Dismissal Mom-Guilt

I always have  a huge dose of mom-guilt when I pick up my kids from school/daycare.

Being able to send DS1 to yeshiva is such a blessing, but it also comes with many challenges.  He ends school at 4pm, so we have a babysitter pick him up.  There’s just no way I can work full time and be home by 4pm.  There’s also no way we’d be able to afford tuition if I didn’t work full time.  It’s a catch-22.  I’m sure many of you can relate.

Once the babysitter was picking up DS1 we decided it would be best if she also picked up the other kids from daycare.  This way everyone gets home at a decent time, eats dinner at a decent time and even takes a bath at a decent time.  All of this makes our lives more calm- knowing our kids are well taken care of is a huge relief.

Even though I know that this arrangement is what works best for our family right now, I still feel the mom-guilt.  It usually creeps in when our babysitter is unable to come and I have to do the school/daycare pickup.  It’s not because I don’t love doing it, but rather because I feel like it’s something I should always do.  When I get to their school and they see me, the smile on my kids faces is priceless.  But it’s also a huge pain point for me.

If only I could be there for them everyday- like a mother should be.  They definitely deserve it and I can’t stand it that I can’t give it to them.

What’s a working mother to do?  How do you deal with these mom-guilt feelings?

Until next time,

  • Yiska

    Same way you do – I remind myself that I am working to give my children the kind of life that Hashem wants them to have. And (I’m sure you do these too):

    – I try to make our time together be good mama-time, where they really get the love and attention they deserve. E-mail can wait, and if something is burning to be checked, I at least try to wait till the toddler runs in the other room and the baby is looking at something else.

    – I remind myself of the benefits of sending them out. My daughter is incredibly social and would go crazy every day with only her boring 30-something parents and the baby who fusses if she kisses him too hard.

    – I also remind myself that no matter who they go to for food, help, whatever when I’m at work, they only have one Mama and they know who she is. That’s that smile you get when you are able to come!
    -It’s your responsibility to do what’s best for your family, as you said – and what they are gaining from that is a MUCH bigger picture than the guilt you feel.

    Picture a frum woman 100 years ago in Yerushalayim, who makes appearances in biographies of gedolim. You”l read things like, “She worked long hours scrubbing floors to pay for her sons to have a Rebbe to teach them x.” Don’t you think the 14 year old girl next door picked them up from cheder plenty of times??
    Btw, plenty of women here do this too, and I live in a community where it’s family family family. You’ll see ads in the English-speaking things asking for babysitters to do exactly what yours do!
    Give yourself credit for being awesome, and for working hard so your kids will have awesome Torah opportunities!!!

    Pardon my long-windedness, as usual 🙂

    • Your comment was super thoughtful and encouraging! I hope my other readers read it too! Everything you said is spot on!

    • I love your pointers! They are all so true…

  • Naomi

    It’s painful to read something so honest.
    If you feel this way, you need an exit strategy from your job.
    Think of a way that you can leave your job within 3 years and still have enough parnasa. Then start to implement your plan.
    I have no doubt that someone as hard-working and savvy as yourself can find a way IYH.
    Why push down these feelings? Why assume they are just a “crazy yidddishe mama’s guilt”? It could be just as much about your needs as your kids’ need. You’re missing those moments. You need to be around your kids.
    PS. Is this comment judgmental? should i rather just be sympathetic and supportive here?

    • Thank you for your honest response! It sounds idealistic, but I don’t know how realistic it is. Sadly, I don’t think a job in my field from 9-3:30 with a decent salary exists. In the end I know I’m making the best choices for my family, but I don’t want to ignore these feelings. I know they are normal and actually, one of the reasons I started this blog was to post these types of feelings. I think many of my working-mom readers can relate. We try our best to support our family and choose the path with the fewest/smallest sacrifices.

    • I see your side. And I agree with you, but I also think that if this is the way a working mom is able to work so her kids can go to school, there’s nothing to feel guilty about.
      Valid guilt is when someone does something wrong/bad. I can totally understand why Shaindy is feeling guilty, but she’s not doing something wrong.
      We can also look at it that she’s showing her kids how important they are to her, she’s willing to work so hard for them to be able to go to Yeshiva!
      *I hope I wasn’t judgmental either lol!*

      • Yes, exactly! I hope my kids (one day) see that I was working so hard for them!