According to a study conducted by The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care "the overall effect of 1st-year maternal employment on child development is neutral." Um, thanks?
I never felt an ounce of guilt upon returning to work after the birth of my son. A significant reason for this may be the fact that my sister was living with me and caring for my son. I had nothing to worry about. I was pumping at work, co-sleeping, cloth diapering, and had live-in childcare that respected all of my parenting (she wouldn't stop stealing my makeup!) wishes. I recognize that I was fortunate and would most likely have not returned to work as quickly as I did if I had to place my son in daycare at eight weeks old. I never felt guilty.
|My sister & P|
It is easy to fall into the motherhood guilt trap. There are numerous and enticing motherhood land mines awaiting at every turn. I made a conscious decision in regards to my return to the workplace to not allow myself to feel guilty. If the thought ever began to creep into my head I would push it out by quietly humming MC Hammer's : You Can't Touch This to myself (it works but then you forget whether you are humming MC Hammer or Rick James).
I needed to work. Period. I had sacrificed a lot in order to move forward in my "career", I had educational goals that remained unfulfilled, and a dual income household is currently our best option in order to prepare for future plans we have. Why waste my time on guilt?
Perhaps if there was some conclusive evidence that my working outside the home was going to adversely affect my child I would have reconsidered however that may not be one hundred percent true either. A topic as vast as early child development cannot most likely be impacted so severely merely because of my "absence" for several hours a day. There is a loving person attending to him during those hours. How does this compare to the mother that is home during those hours but is ignoring her child? I probably would not have believed that hype.
So I guess I owe thanks to The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care for confirming my suspicions but to be honest when you are doing what is best for your family it feels right. At times you may question your decision or even in some people's cases feel guilty but you know you made the right choice. It is a matter ot trusting yourself and the decisions that you have made for your family.
|Hugging before my last business trip|
Check out: Mommyhood: Next Right: Such is the life of a "working" mother - great post by a WOHM