A New Form of Mom Guilt

It’s 11 on a weekday morning and there is quiet in my house. My son is at school and my daughter is napping. I’ve done the laundry and have cut up the vegetables for dinner already. There is a calmness I’m not accustomed to.

Generally I spend every waking moment doing something productive but lately motivation is lacking, partially because I have contracted the cold or virus that has circulated throughout my family the past month but also because I am feeling paralyzed by my new role as stay at home mom. It is sinking in that this is it. My days are very mundane. There’s no big leveraged buyout financing to detail or egregious dividend being paid out to private equity firm at the expense of a corporate issuer that needs exposing.

Shouldn’t I be doing something purposeful? One dilemma is that there’s not much time to accomplish any great task. Naps are never predictable in this house – one might be 45 minutes or 2 hours. And usually by the time my daughter goes down and a few chores are done, my son’s school bus will be returning him to us.

I should feel relief and enjoy these few moments of peace and tranquility, but I can’t. Where I once felt guilty for working and not being available to my children when they needed or wanted me I now feel guilty if I steal a moment for myself when there’s work that could be done in the house, or if I divert my attention from either child throughout the day to check e-mail on my phone or a text message.

In my pre-kid life, I don’t recall ever feeling guilty. Does mom guilt ever go away or is it just redirected?

Hold that thought. My daughter has just awoken.

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