Thursday, February 07, 2008

Taking a Little Guilt Trip

It's probably because I'm working every day now... a blog here, a blog there... and I'm super happy about it. But... I feel kind of guilty. I've been a bit shorter with the kids. I'm thinking about what I need to do when I'm with them. In a way, it's good. How exciting can a game of Candy Land be? It's nice to mentally construct a story or come up with a theme for the Valentines Day posts.

And here's the deal... I don't really write when they are home. I limit it to when they are at school. I'm determined to be the mom that spends time with them, not just the computer.

And yet... Stink is watching a new Scooby right now. And he asked me to watch it with him. I said I would, but fifteen minutes later, I'm checking emails, logging onto BabyCenter to view comments, downloading a little cash from the remainder of my Ebay items into Pay Pal.

I feel... guilty.

Which is dumb. Because really... how much time can you spend with a child? And Lord knows, I do spend time with my kids. I was on the computer before the work, but I think I'm falling into the trap now of "Working moms don't care for their kids as much" which I swore I'd never do. Because it's not true.

So let me ask you this: do any of you working moms go through this? I'd like to think there is a balance: time for me, time for them. But man, it's hard. Thoughts?

Oh, this post wasn't particularly funny today. Let me pull something silly out of my butt just to make you chuckle. Um...




No, I got nothing. Not for you. Not for the kids. I'm a bad, bad workaholic computer freaky addicted Ebay thrift store shopper.

PS: I'm not really looking for sympathy here akin to "Oh, no, you're a great mommy!" I'm more looking for... "This is how I deal with it..."

But then again, if you want to throw a compliment my way, go for it. And tell me I look thinner also. And that it's not a big deal that I backed into a black Mercedes today, leaving a dent bigger than the pores in Edward James Olmos' face.


PS: Photo of the kids and I back when I had no job and was bitch bitch bitching every day on this blog about how much I missed work. But look how happy we are! Oh... at least they had a few good years of mommy time.

Wait... those aren't my kids. Though they are young enough to be my offspring. Those are Abercrombie and Fitch models taken in Vegas. Stella made me pose with them! Their muscles had nothing to do with it. And yes, it's one more example of me avoiding my children while I caravan all over the strip! Bad, bad Mommy!

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.


Mean Mommy said...

I don't know...I don't really balance it all that well myself. I usually fit some work in at nap time, during school (though I only have one old enough for "real" school) and at night. But sometimes I find myself parenting from behind the computer screen, too. I think we just do our best and that's all we can do. If you're conscious of spending time with your children, I'm sure you're putting in more than enough.

And yes, I'm the Ashley from Babycenter! (who commented on your "Public/Private school" post. :)

Gretchen said...

Um...the child on your left, my right needs to cover up his pina colada. I can almost see it. Not that there's anything wrong with that...I guess. :)

Good luck with the balance and no guilt thing. Let me know when you find your spot and I'll try to emulate...

Jamie Willow said...

I'm single, no hubby, no kids and I STILL can't keep track of my life...

I think you are probably doing pretty great merely because you think about it and you are aware. Seems you may be a few steps ahead of a lot of moms.

Especially raising boys with abs. I mean really. That must have been so hard. lol.

liv said...

Balance...the only place I'm balanced is on my head in yoga. Everywhere else, not so much. (crap! I used the shift key again! shh! tell no one!)

Yes, the kids either want you nonstop or not at all. It's maddening. And the working guilt, the blogging guilt...will it never stop?

oh, but you are catholic, right? hmmph.

Steph said...

Ah, guilt. I can sooooo relate to this post! I have spent a lot of time dwelling on this and you know what absolutely totally has helped the most? Reading blogs like this one and others on BabyCenter and realizing it's actually (unfortunately) pretty normal to feel this way.

Remember - we're usually our own harshest critics and worry too much about what other people think. I learned that from some great blogs!

You love your kids and you treat them right. And you look thin. And you're happy and you're writing and your brain is humming. Am I right? Did I mention you look thin? It's all good. We're all good. Gotta go to sleep now.

Toni Lea Andrews said...

I don't care how good a mom you are, Scooby Doo is beyond the call of duty.

Monnik said...

This is something I've struggled with since I've been a full time working mom.

For me, I try to do something that resembles one on one quality time with each kid every day. Between school, work, making dinner, eating dinner, cleaning up after dinner (or supervising the kids), exercise time, bath time, story time, bed time, etc., it's actually an ambitious goal!

Last night I took my oldest to the guitar store and got her a new pack of guitar strings. On the way, we chuckled about some of the crazy things she did as a little kid.

I played a game of chess with my son (and beat him for the third night in a row - maybe I should let him win?)

My four year old and I colored a page in her coloring book and then we snuggled together and played our tickle game before her bedtime story.

The night before all three kids did Tae-Bo with me. Which was pretty fun. We were giggling throughout the whole thing!

Just enjoy them, let them have some time away from you (watching scooby) and give yourself some time too. Everyone will be happy that way.

-end of novel

amisare waswerebeen said...

Men should not wear jeans that are low enough to require waxing.

Valerie said...

bad mommy. bad. not raising...

wait. what were we talking about again? i got distracted by the meat sticks you're standing between.

Susie Q said...

You need to teach your kiddies to pull up their panties. I mean, I can almost see..oh. They liked it that way huh? Oh well, what happened in Vegas, stayed in Vegas..or DID it?

Balance...sheesh. I try and lose all too often.
I think the fact that you try is all important. Really I do! So many just do not care. Really. I have see that.

Your family will be just fine, so will you. IT will all work out. I promise. The kids are happiest when YOU are happiest. You are happy when working. Soo...see?

All will be fine.


PJ said...

I was a working mom and raised two boys who graduated from high school in 1989 & 1991. I was in the minority being a working mom vs. SAHM back then. I struggled, especially when I was tired. But managed by making time with them a Special Event. Every Friday night we watched "The Hulk" the whole family, all four of us. "The Million Dollar Man" was another favorite for family time. We played games, visited all of the museums, etc. in Chicago with regularity. I believed then (and now) that working made me a better person, ergo, a better mom. I needed the mental, emotional, and social stimulation. The balance is just what you describe... finding mental, and emotional strength then to "BE" with them.

I still say, I would have "BEEN THERE" less for them had I been a SAHM. It's in my genes. My mom worked when I was a child, mostly because she, too, needed it for personal fulfillment. I don't think I missed out. My boys didn't miss out. Neither do your children.

You do all the right things. So relax and ENJOY it!!! (And by all means escape to the computer during Scooby-Doo!) :) Just have a pillow fight when you join them again!!!!

Pam said...

I was a single parent for many of my children's formative years and I had to work outside the home. Guilt a batch. But it all seemed to work out, somehow.

TroyBoy said...

I'm a working dad. I love the hell out of my kids. This guilt of which you speak is not something entirely cornered by moms.