Finding Ways to Love What I Do Despite Working-Mom Guilt

Recently I was asked by my new boss if I’d be willing to donate a few hours for local students to obtain sports physicals. I’d have to admit I had that short series of run-on thoughts: “Well-I’ve-never-done-it-before, this-place-wants-more-of-my-time?, how-unorganized-will-it-be?” I know these all sound negative but that’s not usually how I fly so my ultimate answer was “Sure, I’d be happy to.” After all it was for a good cause and my colleague had helped other schools where she had previously lived and thought it would be a good opportunity. I would never have guessed how much I truly enjoyed the experience. All of the staff and students were extremely grateful, I was back in my old high school which I didn’t even recognize (oh I forgot to mention that little aspect, didn’t I? 😉 and I’d have to say I’d do it again.

As I’m driving home from doing this extra 2 hours of work I’m both happy and satisfied with a feeling of accomplishment and goodwill but also feeling guilty because I know my 3 year old will be in bed when I get home and I’ll have missed our routine and listening to her say her prayers, reading No Roses For Harry for the 1 millionth time. Sometimes I think the universe really is well planned because I receive a text from a fellow NP and first time mommy who just recently had to place her little one in childcare. She’s struggling with the guilt of leaving her child, who is understandably having some trouble adjusting to her new schedule/environment, and knowing that she is facing these challenges and somewhat unhappy. Then my friend tells me that she was so upset and tearful at work today knowing that her child was having a bad day and I told her something that made me realize I should take my own advice more: I wish I could say that part gets easier but it doesn’t really–we just have to constantly remind ourselves that just demonstrating how we are hard-working, career women is giving our girls positive female role models. At least we hope!

And as all ways, we are doing the best we can.

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