Even Stepmoms Have Working Mom Guilt

playing baseball ball

having fun and being present

“Working mom guilt” is even more complex for stepmoms. You work to help support the family but at times it may take away from your limited time with your child. The times you get away from work and are there for the assembly/school trip/baseball game the kid is looking for Her. She may show up; she may not. But you are there. You’re always there when you can be. But you feel guilty when you can’t and if he is looking for Her for just a second you think: then why am I even here? And then you feel even more guilt.
Not that I would know from experience, right? Or maybe I do. I know the “working mom guilt” all too well. I want to be there for everything and I have a super flexible schedule so I am there for most things. But T does look for Her. Or right in the middle of having a great time he will talk about what better thing he is going to do with Her next week. And it hurts. And I feel guilty for any negative thoughts I have.
So, how to deal?
1. When you are with your family, be with your family. And give the same attention to your work. I’m not going to lie, there were times when I obsessively checked my husband’s email (with permission) to see if his ex replied to whatever we had sent the previous day. Not good. What did that accomplish? Absolutely nothing. If she did reply, what could I do with that info at work? Nothing but worry about it. So when you are at work, be at work.
2. Plan ahead and be there when you can. My husband and I are super blessed in so many ways but here I’m talking about our work schedules. He goes in a little late so he can see T off to school and I go in early so I’m there when T gets out. That means I get to go to all the practices and games and other activities too, which I honestly love. M usually has to meet us there. There are times though when I have to travel out of state for work and I miss out. So, I plan ahead and help M get child care for T (thanks grandma!) and M records any big events that I can’t be at (like the third grade play I had to miss). I talk to to my guys every night when I am away and “off work.” It’s not easy but it works.
3. Let go. I realize I just have to let go of any guilt and be present mentally when I am there physically. And when he wants his mom there when she is not? I get mad at her for not being there. But I think I have to remember maybe she has “working mom guilt” too and I should be more understanding. I just have to let go of what I cannot control.
How do you deal with “working mom guilt?”
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