Over the past year, I have written a few articles about being a working mother and raising my son with special needs. This is a topic that is close to my heart, as I can relate to some of the challenges that come along with working and raising a child.
Recently, I heard someone share their guilt for not being able to give more of their time at work. When I heard this, it bothered me. Something in my body jolted in anger, because I have been at this place. Trust me….I understand!
I am a teacher and for most of us, this requires a lot of planning and preparation. This usually takes place during our allotted preparation time, which is 40-45 minutes during the day. This really, isn’t enough time to complete the million things you need to do. So, some teachers decide to arrive before the school day starts and stay afterward.
Many teachers at my school are there before the sunrise and some are there when the sun sets and it is dark. They are there so late, that I wonder, if they ever go home and if they have a sleeping bag or inflatable mattress and a change of clothes for the next work day. (Just kidding).
Well, over the years I didn’t have that flexibility of coming in early or staying late. I would arrive to work, at my required time because I had to place my son on the bus. When my day ended, I was collecting my belongings to rush out the door to pick Nate up from his bus. That was my life.
I will be honest, there were plenty of moments that I felt extremely guilty that I could not mirror those teachers that arrived early and stayed late. I felt bad that my grade partners were at work, and I was not. I even felt horrible because I could not help in any after school activities. I just couldn’t obligate myself, which caused guilt. It eventually made me think that my coworkers disliked me and that they believed I was not committed to the job as they were.
It took me a while to realize the following….
“This is my life.”
“I am a mother first and teacher second.”
“My child comes FIRST!”
I can’t come in early. I can’t stay at work for hours after the day is over. I have a son and he needs me.
So, to all of you moms who may feel guilty because you can’t do more at work, STOP IT! Stop the guilt.
Trust me when I say….
“You are doing the right thing in placing your children first.”