Guilt is an overpowering feeling.
For years I felt guilty because I had to work and was unable to stay home with my son. I was 19 years-old when Nate was born and within a year after having him, I went to work part-time. By the time Nate was 4 years of age, I was a single mother, with the obligation of supporting my child. Taking government assistance to raise Nate was something I never wanted to do. Not working was not an option for me.
My first job after having Nate was working for a government housing agency. I would sit at my little cubicle thinking about my son, and wishing that I was home with him. The need to be with Nate ached my soul, as I thought about all that I was missing.
Working caused me to miss his daytime occupational therapy, vision therapy, and hearing therapy sessions. I felt horrible that I was absent during that time and unable to see Nate’s growth milestones.
The guilt was compounded even more when Nate began to have behavior problems. I felt horrible that I could not be there to help him. Every phone call about Nate’s behavior, from his teacher, school counselor, and school psychologist made me feel like an awful mother. I cried so many nights, wishing that I could quit my job and keep my child home so that I could spend my days locating resources to stop his unwanted behaviors.
For the majority of my life, while raising Nate, I struggled with that guilt. I hated myself for working and for going to school, to obtain a career which I hoped would give Nate and I a better life.
I will tell you, that to this day, I still suffer from some feelings of guilt. I have my moments where I wonder if I stayed home, and were more involved in Nate’s care, would life be different. Would my son be farther along in his development? Would Nate had moved to a residential facility? Could Nate have possibly stayed home with me so that I could care for him?
Hummmm, I will never know!
However, what I do know is that during those years my heart was in the right place for my child. I wanted what was best for him and I did my absolute best.
What I also know is that God allowed me to go in that direction. If it was meant for me to stay home with Nate, God would have provided, however, He allowed me to work. So, I am learning to stop feeling guilty for not being a stay-at-home mom, but to be grateful for the opportunity to work and provide for my son.