These last two weeks have been rough, but honestly there hasn’t been a week that has been easy since I went back to work (not here to complain, just to express how I have been feeling). I really enjoyed taking the leave of absence that I was forced to take back in January, but as I say everything happens for a reason! I didn’t think that I would suffer from “mom guilt” but this week I did. Yes, it happened!
I came down with a horrible cold that was driving me insane (Kindergarten seems to be doing this to me lately). My youngest loves to hop in the bed with us in the middle of the night, and I’m quite sure the germs spread because of me. He is also immersed with all those germs from school so I am sure that made matters worse. Every day last week he woke up stuffy, and saying his throat hurt him. After a throat culture and a full exam he was diagnosed with a “common cold”. As the week progressed, I saw him become even more ill and his eyes were so droopy. I gave him over the counter natural cough syrup and loads of liquids. He didn’t have a fever so that made me feel a little less guilty for sending him to school.
The day before Thanksgiving break his cheeks were a bit rosy and as we drove into school he was not himself. FULL guilt set in right at that moment. I felt horrible that I didn’t have anyone to help me at that moment. I couldn’t count on anyone to call and say, “Hey, can you watch Carter for me?”. I couldn’t even take the day off because as a teacher you know taking the day off right before a break just doesn’t look good. We stopped in front of his school and I felt his warm body against mine as he sat on my lap. That cough just didn’t sit right and it hurt to send him into school. It was a rainy day and he even cried to go in that day. He said none of his friends were in school but I knew this was not like him.
I gave him tons of hugs and kisses before sending him in with his movement teacher. I texted his teacher with a heads up if she felt he needed to leave early please don’t hesitate to call. When I got back into my car, I cried. I cried because I felt horrible that I had no choice but to leave him. I wasn’t sure he had a fever but when his dad picked him up he said he was all smiles. His teacher even reported that he was fine throughout the day. It just stung deep down that I had no other alternative but to leave him. When I was a WAHM (Work At Home Mom) I was able to keep them home if they were not feeling well. It made me feel better not sending them to school even when they had a common cold because sometimes they need just one day to rest and relax. This was not the case this time around. Thankfully, the day went quick and I was able to shower him with my love when I returned home.
Yesterday, I would have never known he was sick because he was just so happy. He was really looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner and while cooking he was showered with loads of extra love. I went with my gut and took him to the doctor today and he has an ear infection. That made me feel even more horrible knowing that he had an ear infection. When I said that out loud the doctor said, “It’s not your fault, Eileen! Things happen!” I never meant to send him to school but I had to do what a working mother had to do at that moment. At least he has three days to recuperate in my arms and get him all better before we get back on our grind again!
Please share: Have you ever had this feeling of mom guilt before? Please share your story.