I'm Already Feeling ‘Working Mom' Guilt Angie Grace

I’m having a bad week. I’m sure I’m not the only one. I have tried not to complain about my problems online as much as I used to, especially now that I’m older as it almost seems immature. Also, I learned my lesson years ago from my constant blogging on MySpace. My current problem is one that I’m sure nearly every mother goes through: whether or not I should have a job right now, while my children are home with me.

Of course, a lot of moms don’t have a choice, especially single moms, and I feel for them, I do, because I don’t know how they do it! There are times when I’m waiting by the door for my husband to come home from work so I can tag-team him in to handle the kids so I can at least go finish writing! I do have a choice, as my husband makes a pretty decent living, but at the same time, I want to work outside of the home. I spent my teens being full of angst and not worrying about my future. I always kind of knew in my head that I wanted to be in the entertainment industry, but I didn’t think it was possible. I certainly didn’t foresee becoming a standup comedian and writer while trying to raise a family. In my 20s, I was in college in Chicago and working in record stores and offices, then got married and had kids, then went to beauty school and then went into the entertainment industry.

Some may say I did everything backwards, and perhaps I should’ve been trying to build some sort of career for myself before I started having kids, but it just didn’t work out that way. And I really have no regrets, but I will tell my three daughters some day to work on their careers first. I haven’t been doing standup for very long, but I find myself wanting to do it more and more. It’s addictive, it’s fun and it can lead to bigger things for the whole family.

When the five of us moved to Los Angeles in March of 2012, it was so I could work in film. I also originally was going to get them into acting, but then later changed my mind due to their shyness and my over-protective ways. But now Mia and Laila, my 4-year-old twins, are starting kindergarten in the fall and it’s getting hard for me to even think about right now. I have to register them in a few weeks and they’ll be going to the same school as my oldest daughter, who will be starting second grade in the fall. In the fall, I can go get a job and work during the day, hopefully in the entertainment industry, but right now, I just want to spend every moment with them.

I’m lucky I get to perform in shows at night, while they are asleep and I don’t have to worry about them asking for me. But the other day, I mentioned to my husband that I have 2 stand-up shows this coming week and how I was excited about them and 4 year old Mia said, sadly “I don’t want you to have shows because then I can’t get kisses from you”. I nearly started crying. I tried to explain to her that she’d be asleep while I was gone and I would give her kisses while she was sleep when I got home. Though I’m not fully working yet, I’m already feeling the guilt.

I know all three girls will be fine and will get used to mommy going to work at some point. I also know what I feel like I have to do, but it doesn’t make me feel much better. For other moms out there, how did you deal with going back to work after having kids?

Featured image via ShutterStock

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  1. I’m a single LA mom to a 6 year old a 4 year old and I’ve been struggling with this a lot lately. I work a 9-6 and I cocktail 4 nights/week at a comedy club (we must know some of the same people! haha). I need both jobs right now to pay the bills but lately I’ve been leaving for work in tears because I just feel so terrible! What is the point of getting the bills paid if my quality of life is suffering so tremendously. I definitely think that the grass is always greener… I remember when I stayed home as a SAHM for a year and dreamed of going to a quiet, professional office with adults and high heels. But now I’m fantasizing about trading it all in for a few writing gigs and a PT job as a yoga teacher! Sighh…

  2. Oh man! I feel you, truly. I’ve gone back to work or school twice now after two maternity breaks, and while my husband makes enough, I still go mad when I get stuck at home and am not being productive! There is a fair amount of guilt, and I am a bit sad that I am not a constant mom (it’s sad to not see them every second while they’re still so little!), but the decision is for me, and we have to take care of ourselves, too. I just remember that I can’t be the best mom, wife, friend, or general person I can be if I am not tending my own needs first. Plus, the absence makes our time spent together much sweeter, and I don’t take it for granted or let the moments slip past unnoticed. :)