Working Mom Dilemmas

What do you do when your 3-year-old daughter doesn’t want you to go to work?

A few days back as I was ready to walk out of the door, M came running to me saying she wants me to stay with her. Now, most mornings when I leave for work, M is asleep but that day she opened her eyes just in time to see that I was ready, about to leave. And she didn’t want any of it. She just wanted her mom. She just wanted me to stay at home with her so that she didn’t have to go to the daycare. So, she ran to me and started removing my scarf. At that moment, I felt so guilty that I cannot even begin to explain. At moments such as these, I always wonder if I’m doing the right thing by working even after becoming a mother. The working mom dilemma!

You know she has been going to the daycare ever since she was 7 months old. 7 months! Of course, I know couples who have had to send their babies to the daycare when they were just 3-months-old. Let me tell you it’s not something parents love doing, this staying away from their babies but they have to. And I have huge respect for parents who manage everything on their own. I really do because I know how hard it is without having a family support system in the same city. But I also know that they too suffer from this guilt. Still, there is no other way, is there?

That day as M held on to me, I felt like the worst mother in the world. Of course, it’s a recurring feeling what with my lack of patience and M being at her mischievous best with me. But still, that day I wondered if I was being selfish trying to hold on to that part of myself which is just me while she spends time in a daycare. My head knows it is not wrong and that it is perhaps good for her in the long run. But the heart, it always has these moments of doubts which makes me confused.

I have seen her learn so many things being in the daycare, things I’m sure I couldn’t have taught her so soon myself. I have seen her happy in her daycare. I have seen her perform too. She has discovered this love for dance which makes me so happy. I’m not sure if she spent all her days at home that would have been possible so soon. So, I’d like to believe it has been good for her overall. Holding on to my job has been good for me as well. It gives me a sense of independence and also acts as a security blanket. Of course, I could do with a better workplace and better pay, but still, it has kept me sane in many ways. Well, as sane as I can manage to be. Still, each time she doesn’t want to go to the daycare or she cries when I leave for work, I’m back to square one reevaluating my decision.

So, even after 2 years of doing this thing of a working mom, I keep wondering if the tradeoff is worth it. There are days when it makes no sense at all. Then there are days when I realise I need to do this for myself and even for her in the long run. But yes when your 3-year-old hugs you like she’s not ready to leave you, all reason goes flying out of the window.

Maybe when she is older I can explain to her why I’m doing this. Till then I guess I need to try and make up for this lost time. I need to make less more like I keep saying to myself over and over again.

If you are a working mom, tell me how do you deal with this guilt? Does it ever reduce?
What do you do when your 3-year-old daughter doesn't want you to go to work? #momlife #workingmom
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28 thoughts on “Working Mom Dilemmas”

  1. This is an eternal dilemma. I face that too even when I am working from home. My 3 year old comes and sits next to me and says, “play with me mumma, enough working, close the laptop!” These are times I can’t tell him no! But these also overlap with deadlines and work schedule! I have had incidents when he took my hand and lay down on it so that i couldn’t type and said “no more work mumma, i am sad!”

  2. I have no solutions to this dilemma Naba! Personally, I succumbed to the pressure and gave up my career to be a SAHM. Only after my second kid was independent, I restarted my career. Somehow the gap had been too long and nothing felt right when I was out there chasing my dreams. A sound support system is what you need if you want the best of both worlds. Love and hugs to you to stay strong Naba. You’ll pull through!

  3. I have no answer, Naba. But there is one thing I will tell you. She will always be proud of you and as she steps into her career, she will know why you chose to work and be independent. That will be enough to motivate her in her career journey.

    My Mum is a working mother and has been since my brother and I were 4 and 5 respectively. She is still working and I am proud of her. She managed so much on my own and if I can be half of what she is today, I will do something in life.

    I don’t know if that helps but trust me, M will have similar things to tell her friends.
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  4. I don’t have kids of my own, but I have friends who are experiencing the exact same issue at the moment, and it is heartbreaking for them. At the end of the day, the money from the job is essential to them, so they have no choice. 🙁

  5. Not a working mom but a WFH (usually) dad. My kids have gotten used to me being home a lot so when I do have to step out they don’t like it at all. It’s not easy for me either but it’s for future opportunities. One day they will understand

  6. I don’t have any kids at the moment. And not planning to have any for a while. But that seems to be a HUGE struggle.

  7. I was so blessed to be able to stay at home with my kids but it would have broken my heart to hear them cry. They are only little for a few years before they start pulling away to become their own person.
    Jill recently posted…Best Buy Open House Event 1/19My Profile

  8. I stay home but my husband feels so guilty every morning. He does try to make up for it every weekend by spending most of th e time with them. You shouldn’t feel guilty they will understand when they are grown.

  9. This would be tough. I work from home, but I know my daughter hates when her daddy has to go. He just explains that he has to go and make some money. Then he makes sure he spends time with her when he returns.
    Amber recently posted…Hey, It’s OkayMy Profile

  10. aww, that is so sweet and hard to turn down! yes, it is so hard to leave your kids behind. After I had my first son it was so hard for me to go back to work. My husband and I decided it would be a good idea to stay home with him.

  11. Hopefully, I don’t have such problems right now, as I’m not a mom yet. However, I can imagine that it can give you some sleepless nights for sure. I’ll come back to this post when the time comes! 😉

  12. What a great article to read! Yeah! This really struggles to mom like me. I think you should wait until she understands that why you need to work ☺

  13. Such a dilemma; when my cousin was so small and her mom wanted to go to work, she had to call me to spend the day with her because I got along with her.

  14. You are guilt of nothing. As a mom you love your kids, but you also provide. You are a mom, but you are also a person, a professional and you have the right to have and enjoy your career.

  15. Wow what an interesting read. I don’t have any kids, and I can only imagine how hard it is having to leave your child to work.
    It was what happened to my sister and her daughter actually, but somehow my sister has managed to make my niece understands that she needs to work to earn money for her. I guess I would have to learn from my sister about this later. 🙂
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  16. Sometimes you don’t have a choice, if you don’r work you can’t provide for your family. I was in daycare and then in kindergarten and then in school, because my parents had to work. Back then there was no luxury for one of the parents to stay home.

  17. I have been through many blogs that write against working moms but they kind of don’t understand the requirement that why they work. SAHM and working mom are same, they are moms after all. As usual u have triggered a thought.

  18. Hugs, Naba. I am a stay at home mom. But I understand your situation very well. I left my job before having kids thinking that I would work at the new place. But it never happened. Staying at home with my son when he was born made things easier when he was a baby. But I never liked staying at home and not working. I loved my job and it used to drive me crazy that I wasn’t working. Even today I fall apart because I don’t have a career. We tend to believe that staying at home would make it easier, and yes it does to an extent. But that comes with a cost. You have to give up your career. I am hoping to restart my career but with a mere 2 years of experience and 11 years of gap, it’s more of a fresh start than re-start.
    I feel like you are like me. Ambitious and driven. And I applaud you for not giving up your career. You don’t want to be where I am now, dear. It’s really difficult and you will end up cursing yourself. You are passionate about your career. So stick with it. I know it’s hard to manage. Especially, when you see your little girl crying to spend more time with you. But you know what, this will happen even when you stay at home. Kids always crave for more attention from their parents. So don’t feel bad for giving your time to something which you love and gives you that independent feeling. Kids will grow up. Husbands will get busier in their work. Those of us who left the job for the family’s sake is left wondering what have I done. At least that’s how I feel. Leave your job only if you absolutely feel that that’s the right thing to do for YOU and your family. If you have the slightest doubt, then please don’t.
    Remember you are doing your best. Be kind to you and enjoy the bold independent woman you are. <3
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  19. This was such a helpful post to read as I am about to become a parent myself. I am lucky that I get to be a stay-at-home mom most of the time. One of my jobs is work-from-home and the other is as a dance teacher and my husband will be able to be home with her while I’m away. There are so many things to balance as a parent, though (I’m sure I don’t even know the half of it right now!) You’re doing a great job!

  20. Over time i’ve learned that my daughter will be how driven and passionate I am about my work and my successes. I hope she is proud and looks up to me as a working mom! It’s a lot of fun bringing her to the office every once in a while too! I have a flexible schedule where I can be at most things at her school!

  21. No not really. This guilt doesn’t go anywhere. It was there when I was a mother to 1 and It’s still here when I am mother to 2. Blessed to have both my families in the same city. We learn to live with this guilt.

  22. It can be so sad when they don’t want you to leave. I definitely have this guilt when I drop my 4 year old off to her half day preschool so I can get things done.

  23. It can be so hard when they don’t want you to go, but children are robust and they get over you going quickly. They then get older and realised everything you did, you did for them and so they could have a wonderful life x

  24. Awww…it can really be heartbreaking. I am a work at home mom but sometimes I have to attend events for my blog. My 5-year-old can still sometimes get fussy and doesn’t want me to leave or would want to go with me.

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