twitter facebook stumble upon rss

No Working Mom Guilt Here!

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

Why one mom actually looks forward to going back to work after her baby is born.

Woman working happily

Susan McLain: OK, I have to admit it, I like my job. I know, as a mom of a toddler and another baby ready to make her way into the world any day now, I am not sure I should admit that. Yes, the transition back to work after having my first child was unbearably painful -- the guilt, the separation anxiety, the cross-country traveling, the dinner meetings were at times more than I thought I could handle. But, surprisingly, I have to say I wouldn't change a thing.

Now, maybe it's because my job allows me to be immersed in something that I'm truly passionate about, or maybe it's just that I have great child care at home. As the General Manager of The Baby Einstein Company, I get to think about and play with baby products all day, and talk to and listen to moms who are also in a situation similar to mine -- looking for quality time and creating the best environment for their child(ren).

Don't get me wrong, I loved the time I spent at home with my child, but it also made me realize that "me" time was also critical for our happiness, and shockingly, work actually provides me with a little "me" time. In fact, I have found that it actually makes the time with my child that much more meaningful because I know how precious that time is.

I have also realized the importance of focusing on what you have in front of you. While there are days when work may interfere with my home life, I really try to dedicate myself to the project at hand -- whether it's my child, my husband, or the newest product at work. Now, fortunately, my work is something that I can bring home without feeling guilty. My daughter, Keira, and I have spent a lot of time together watching our Baby Einstein DVDs, and playing with various products, and truthfully, these have been some of the best bonding moments we have shared because we were actually discovering things together -- beautiful paintings, an appreciation for classical music (I'm your typical rock or pop mom type), and even a basic understanding of sign language.

As I look to the future and think about the new baby that is about to become part of our family, I am excited -- not stressed. Yes, I've heard how two is much harder than one, and I'm concerned about giving each child enough of my time, but at the end of the day, what comforts me most is that I know I will be a better parent to both of my children if I stay true to who I am -- a wife, a mom, a business person, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a seeker of new things. And, while I look forward to the next few months at home, I also look forward to what I am going to learn when I come back to work in the fall.

UPDATE: Sloane Alexandra McLain was born May 13th at 12:18 PM. She weighed 8 lbs and 8 oz and Mama and baby are doing great.

Baby Einstein has been entertaining millions of babies -- even some of ours -- for a long time. Now, here's your chance to WIN one of 25 copies of "World Music," the brand new DVD from Baby Einstein. Click to enter in the momlogic community.

next: Parents Not Lovin' McDonald's Kidz Bop CD
14 comments so far | Post a comment now
C May 15, 2009, 5:53 PM

Thank you for this. This is very helpful as I prepare to return to work after being home with my little girl for 18 months.

Dr. Sophy May 16, 2009, 1:15 AM


Good for you to be so in touch w/yourself. As I always say:

You must be a solid person and therefore a solid parent and if your job is part of what makes you solid..then your a better parent for it. ENJOY !!!

Anonymous May 16, 2009, 8:56 AM

i’m sure you will be crucified for this blog…even called selfish, but not my me! i agree with dr. sophy

Cha May 16, 2009, 9:29 AM

I am sincerely glad you can feel this way. I’m constantly riddled with mother’s guilt (four children later) so it’s good that you can overcome those emotions. Oh, and congrats to you on the new chubby baby.

Heiddi May 16, 2009, 11:25 AM

I’m so glad you shared this! I only have one, but had to go back to work after seven weeks. I felt guilty because I couldn’t spend as much time with him as I wanted, but also because I didn’t enjoy him as much because of stress and difficulties with my family. Needless to say, now that I’m doing something I love (therapy), I am so much happier with sending him off to school while I try to make a difference in the world, one person at a time. :)
congratulations on the new little one!

mercaties May 17, 2009, 8:51 PM

I’m surprised that this debate has been going on for decades. I hardly know any stay at home moms anymore. Most of the moms I know work. But I’ve always been a-little irritated that people seem to think us working moms don’t spend enough time with our kids or we don’t work at home. My husband works 5am-2pm I work 3pm to 12am. So, I’am with my children all day before I even go to work and I have dinner ready and the house clean. The only thing I really miss is bedtime.

Gloria  May 18, 2009, 7:48 AM

Not everybody wants to be at home raising children. It is demanding, tiring, and full of other essentials. I have been an on again off again worker. I have picked up jobs that allow for me to be around my home, I have my youngest daughter who is now 17, and she does certain things that can be stressful. I know that when I work, it takes pressure off of my husband. But, it still dosen’t center on who I am as a person. I am much more of a home maker, and my family at times appreciates and sees my efforts, and other times is over whelmed with financial responsibilities. It is never perfect, I try to pick up different types of work, but some of the jobs are not really great. But there has to be a give and take sense that there is something besides just a check. I know that lots of women make the sacrifice not only for thier homes and kids, but also for thier own sense of security. There are many reasons why women work, saving for retirement, saving for kids when they go to college, and other things like being able to afford things that are necessary. Groceries are expensive, clothes and many other products that are also expensive are part of a household. It is no surprise that many people put off as long as they could when considering having a child.

Jamie May 19, 2009, 10:33 PM

I am a sty at home mom, and I feel guilty for being a stay at home mom. It is a constant struggle trying to make it off one income and barely being above the poverty level. But with two children not in school yet and the other three that will be home all day this summer, childcare is out of the question. I struggle to keep my sanity as I feel I am locked out of the adult world. It is hard on me, and hard on the kids when I get stressed and just need a break and snap at them. My husband works out of town a lot, and with no family nearby it is very hard. I don’t think any mom should feel guilty about returning to work. It is hard at first but in the end you know what is best for your family.
I used to do a paper route in the mornings before my husband started traveling, it was the most peaceful time I have ever had, plus I felt better because I could contribute financially to the family.

ME May 20, 2009, 11:29 AM

We can’t have it all - whether we stay home or not - and knowing this we must be willing to accept responsibility for the outcome no matter what.

Joan Goldner May 21, 2009, 7:13 AM

I returned to work after my son was born almost 18 years ago - not without the accompanying guilt, or judgement (that I am sorry to hear still plagues moms.)

I am proud to have the most awesome - intelligent, compassionate, gregarious, teenage son - who I believe benefited from being raised by loving, happy parents and a wonderful caregiver.

Dwdxyqrc June 27, 2009, 5:12 PM

4GVgPL comment2 ,

Cocerned July 26, 2009, 8:34 PM

What is wrong with you people? Work more important than raising kids? What kind of thinking is this? Deep down you all know that a hundred years from now no one will remember what you did at work, but you kids will ALWAYS remember your time and attention (or lack thereof). If you have to work to buy food, that’s something they can understand, but for a mom to choose to work to support a lifestyle (to pay for daycare) that’s a choice that needs serious reflection, not a pat on the back or encouragement to salve a seared conscience. That choice sends unmistakable messages to the child of a lack of love for them (I’ll farm you off while I do something more important), exaggerated love of self (it’s too hard for me) and a general ignorance of what really matters in life. This choice is being made by an increasing number, but will always be regretted (eventually).

sarah January 8, 2010, 6:54 PM

So much “me first” blah, blah, blah…

When I finally have a child you can bet I will think of the child FIRST. I had too many years of my mother never home and all the problems that ensued, I wouldn’t want this for my children at ALL.

When will mothers finally realize their most important job?

Sue Hodge January 9, 2010, 3:37 PM

Sure you don’t want to leave your job, you make the big bucks and all your identity is tied up with that!

Back to top >>