Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Some Room for Dad by Guest Poster Janice at "5 Minutes for Mom"

Janice at 5 Minutes for MomIs there anyone who hasn't already heard of 5 Minutes for Mom run by sisters Janice and Susan? I thought not. And I'll tell you a secret--Janice and Susan are just as nice as you'd expect them to be, nice and they produce great content. Today I'm honored to swap blogs with 5 Minutes for Mom and welcome Janice as a guest poster--I'm over at her place typing away about the difficulties that blogging sometimes presents and I'd love to see you there!


I want to be my children’s hero. I want them to adore me. I want to meet all their needs and be the best mom I can possibly be.

Where I fail in the “homemaking” area, (I rarely ever wear an apron, let alone cook any gourmet meals and our kitchen table is usually covered in laptops and paperwork instead of matching placemats and folded napkins,) I try to make up for with my total adoration of my children. I would trade my life for theirs in an instant and I try to live out that love for them.

But as a work at home mom, I have chosen the (sometimes crazy) path of trying to contribute financially to the family while being (somewhat) available to my children. While I am far more available than when I was working outside of the home, working from home still brings “mom guilt.”

I mean, how can I be the mom I want to be when I am continually running to my computer or juggling phone calls while I change diapers and pack lunches?

My children have to share me with my work.

I feel guilty just typing it. But it is true.

What is this doing to my kids? Am I teaching them that they aren’t important or that I don’t love them enough?

I sure hope not. I hope that my choices are teaching them that Mommy is working hard to help provide for them. I hope I am teaching them the value of a dollar and that money doesn’t just appear – we have to earn it.

But today I learned something else that my busy schedule is doing. My work priorities are making room for their Dad to shine.

For Jackson’s homework today he had to write three sentences about why his Dad is special. The first thing that came to his mind was, “My Dad is special because he takes me swimming.”

This stood out to me because I have felt guilty that I am not the one taking Jackson to all of his lessons. I miss that I haven’t seen him splash his way through all of his badges. I wish that I didn’t have to miss so many outings to the YMCA to go play in the pool because I have to stay home and work.

But while I am missing out because I have work responsibilities, my husband is getting the chance to spend time with his children.

After being away all day at work, my husband gets to come home and meet some critical needs of our children.

And Jackson notices. That time with his Dad is special. I don’t get the glory for taking Jackson swimming. That belongs to his Dad.


Happy day to Coralie at Life More Abundantly and to Mary in Hillsboro, North Carolina for each winning a set of Pak Naks. Also, congratulations to Sandra of San Bernadino, California for winning the lovely book Sow and Grow by Tina Davis. All from this Saturday's giveaway. Love that free stuff!

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Lightening said...

I've been going through a similar realisation of late. I don't work outside OR inside the home but I have been recovering from a nervous breakdown. So far this has taken me 2 years. And I struggle with tremendous guilt over what my children have missed out on because of my illness.

But I was watching my husband the other day and he has GROWN so much as a father in this time. Having to be there for the kids so much more than he used to be (when I pretty much took care of most things) has forced him to learn and grow. It was such a blessing for me to realise this. A real release from guilt.

MRMacrum said...

Kids have had to share their parents with work for, well forever. Seems to me the trick is to make what time you do have count for something. Even the few moments a days you might get to share.

Kids know who loves them.

chelle said...

Sharing the children is totally somethign I have to work on :)

Amy said...

You know, it is hard because I feel that same guilt. My parents though both worked, when I was a child, and they each worked opposite shifts. My dad was as equally a part of my upbringing as my mom and I loved having that special time with him. I am sure it probably hurt my mom's feelings when I went on and on and on about one little trip with dad (when she was with me all day), but of the kids in our family, I feel like I got the best years of them both :)

I try to remember that when I feel that guilt coming on. Great guest post!

Blessed said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one. Right now my little one is small and all she knows is that when she cries Mommy comes but as she gets older she's going to have to share me with my work too. I have an awesome relationship with my Dad and that is something I want her to have with her Daddy too so I guess my work-from-home arrangement will give her Daddy time to shine for her too. It would be much harder if we both worked outside of the home and had to come home and try to have our "special" time with her at the same time of the day.

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

Thanks so much letting me join in today! I love your blog Michelle and I am so honored to write a guest post.

Lightening - I am so sorry to hear about your illness. That must be so hard for you, but I am so glad to hear how your husband has been able to grow. God bless you as you continue to heal!

Thanks so much for sharing your input as well mrmacrum,chelle,amy and blessed - it is so wonderful to hear that I am not alone in these feelings!

Stephanie said...


A. That photo of you is absolutely gorgeous!

B. Thanks for your honest insights. I totally related to your perspective and I go back-and-forth between "will my daughter resent my work?" to "she's going to be so proud and learn so much from my example." I think every "working" (SAHM, WAHM, work-outside-home) scenario has its own guilt-inducing factors. In the end, we all just have to do what is best for ourselves and our families...and then support each other.

P.S. I'm not much of a housekeeper either. My floors are a little too sticky right now. I'm thinking about hiring a maid...

kawaii crafter said...

I could really relate to this post. I work from home too, blogging. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who has these feelings. Thanks for sharing your story.

Psychiatry101 said...

I agree!
Very well said.
Thank you for commenting on my blog.

Melissa said...

It can be hard when you have to miss out on things with your kids. It is great that they get to have more time with their dad though. That relationship is so important.

Petula Wright said...

Yeah, a lot of mom guilt going on over here too. My husband and I separated a year ago so I don't see what some of the wives are seeing. I haven't been able to find a job and I've been plugging away here trying to make every cent that I can.

When the teenager fixes dinner; I feel the mom guilt. Well, when she does anything. When I eat at my desk instead of with the kids and on and on... hopefully this will all pay off & I can get back to enjoying my children.

Very nice posts... I read both (here & at 5 Min).

Lei said...

How fun to have you over here!

I admire your candor in this... thanks for sharing.


ButlerFamily said...

Remember this, a perfect home does not make you the perfect mother. Mess makes you a Mom!

Kaye Butler