Borough Mammalogues—Mommy Guilt, and Everything That Comes with It
Local moms share their feelings about 'Mommy Guilt.'
Whether or not you've been a mommy for very long, you learn more every day about the amazing odyssey that is mommy-hood. And, as on any odyssey, you experience and discover new things on a daily basis, including variations of the following examples which are commonly passed from mother to mother:
“There’s no love like the love you have for your child.” TRUE!
“You’ll forget how annoying and painful pregnancy was when you see your child’s face.” TRUE!
“You’ll find yourself saying things to your child that your mother said to you.” TRUE!
“Your body will bounce right back if you breastfeed.” FALSE! Whoever said this must have had better genes than most.
“There is nothing more terrible in this world than seeing your child sad, upset or hurt.” TRUE!
Because of my personal, hectic schedule—of work, six college courses and my husband’s own full-time work and school schedule, we've had to send our son to preschool. It’s an amazing school, with great teachers, and I feel comfortable leaving him there.
In the beginning, the dreaded “drop-off” was horrible. He cried, he clung on our legs with desperation—but thankfully adjusted quite well to his new school. My husband even states on several accounts, our son ran to his fellow classmates and didn't even say “goodbye” to daddy. But, for some strange reason, the drop-off has once again become “dreaded” for me and my husband.
I anxiously await the text from my husband after school drop-offs on the two days a week our son attends. I need to hear that he was alright, so I can go on with the rest of my day. It drives me crazy—and even though the rest of his day, my son loves school, the fact that he's a mess during for 10 minutes in the morning makes me so sad.
Sadness isn't the only emotion that occurs—the most horrible emotion to consume a mother is guilt. It’s that feeling people forget to tell you about when you're becoming a mother.
“Mommy Guilt,” as I call it, is that overwhelming feeling of “what if's” that can never be answered.
“What if I went to college when I was supposed to, and had the liberty to stay home with my son?”
“What if I had a job where I could work from home and could be with my son every day?”
I know these options are, in actuality, no longer an option, due to the fact that I am doing what I do now to provide a better life for my son. But that feeling of guilt still won't leave my mind.
So, I decided to take this feeling “to the streets” so to speak. After locating three mothers in Collingswood, they were asked if their experiences include the same feelings of guilt in which I am consumed.
Cassandra Duffey, Collingswood Borough's director of communications, is the mother of 9-month-old Sir Sullivan Mitchell Duffey, and shared her own Mommy Guilt experiences.
“I feel incredibly lucky to have an awesome support system that has allowed me to avoid too much guilt. I live within a mile of my office, my parents live in town and my husband has several weekdays off so we all get to watch over Sully during the day," said Duffey. "Plus, Sully's aunt and uncle live in town—we're never short on sitters. Having such a great network has meant a lot less stress for my husband and myself, and we even get to go out every once and awhile.”
Like Duffey, my own support system has helped me through those rough times when I have to part with my son. I believe a strong support system is what makes a mother feel at ease.
Ashley Hibbs, who was raised in Collingswood, has two young children and works part-time.
“Although being at home with two kids is way harder than work, if I had to go to work full-time I would probably be really sad,” said Hibbs.
Mommy Guilt is an issue that comes up more and more every day.
How do we lessen our Mommy Guilt? Does it ever stop?
This is where I am reaching out to you, the readers. Do you work or go to school full-time? How do you feel when you have to leave your children, even if they are with the ones they love?