A Motherhood Story

Overcoming (Working) Mom Guilt

Being a working mom is hard! And I don’t mean because of the extra tasks you have to manage. I have an amazing husband who stays with our little one and does so much around the house. I know I’m fortunate in that.

No, I mean “heart stuff” hard. Maybe it’s because I’m not one who craves time at the office and the sense of accomplishment that can sometimes only come from work outside the home. Maybe it’s because I see so many social media posts of amazing Stay At Home Mom friends homeschooling their littles and wonder if I’ll ever get to experience that. I’m not sure what goes into it, but I know the depths of the feelings that come out of it.

Mom guilt is real and can be so intense. Am I doing enough for her development? Is she getting enough milk since pumping is not my strongest skill? Does she know how very fiercely I love her?

But even more than the guilt, these days I’m battling a sense that I’m not really a meaningful part of her life. I vulnerably told my husband this morning that I often wonder if, but for breastmilk, they don’t really need me in the mix to sustain their routine.

Guys, when I step back I know that is a complete lie from the enemy. But the fear, the distance, the disconnectedness – they feel. so. real. So right now I’m praying that I can know in the depth of my being who I am in Christ and what that means in my role as a mom. Not what I feel it should look like, but what He intends it to be. Our little family is on a journey like none other’s – and you are, too. We are all unique and purposeful parts of the body, the bride, of Christ.

“For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.”
-1 Corinthians 12:14-20

It’s in searching HIM out that we often figure out the what and the how. That’s where I’m trying to set my focus.

What about you? How have you dealt with struggles with identity and “measuring up” in a certain role in your life? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

4 thoughts on “Overcoming (Working) Mom Guilt

  1. thank you for your honesty and transparency with this. It takes courage to admit the realness of this struggle and it is VERY REAL…and I feel you on this, today and everyday. EVERY.DAY. But be encouraged by the fact that you are raising a daughter who gets to see her mother be a strong, independent, hard working woman…the stuff Proverbs 31 is made of…and that’s a good thing and something that will serve her so well in her life. You are also raising your daughter in the honesty that you can’t do it all – that you must rely on God every single moment of every single day and there is no better example or truth or life lesson you could possibly gift to her. She is so blessed to have YOU, the one and only YOU, as her mother. On this earth, God chose you to be hers and her to be yours…so when the heart hurts and the guilt is heavy, just remember, that no one can be or gets to be YOU 😉

  2. I just came across this via FB and let me tell you THEY ARE ALL LIES YOU’RE TELLING YOURSELF! You are a working parent…most kids have at least one. It’s more and more common for that parent to be the mom and there’s nothing wrong with it. I’ve been lucky enough to do both…3 years working with my first, and now 3 years staying at home with 2, then 3 kids. Let me tell you that BOTH are extremely difficult in totally different ways and BOTH are extremely wonderful in totally different ways. When I was working I would be in tears wishing I was at home with my baby (until he was about 18 months, and about then I got over it). Now that I’m home I’m often in tears wishing I was accomplishing something, ANYthing besides keeping a few kids alive all day. Let me also say this: I don’t love my kids any more or less in either scenario and I’m not a better mom for staying home now. It’s just what’s most convenient for our family.

    As for the whole “she only needs me for my milk” thing…that is the sad reality of parenting, as my aunt once told me. One day she (and later I) just realized that her kids would be fine without her because life would go on. And once she got over the shock of it, there was a lot of comfort in that thought. I stopped worrying about it and think of it as motivation to enjoy every minute with my kids, even when they’re hard to enjoy because it is an enormous privilege just to be a mom.

    Hope that makes sense. Being a working parent is being a parent who will sacrifice a few hours a day for a great future and stability for their child. What better gift can you give her?!

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