Child Neglect

Loren - posted on 10/29/2009 ( 51 moms have responded )

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Sometimes i feel like I am neglecting my daughter because I just don't get to spend enough time with her. I work from 8-5, Monday through Friday. I don't get home til around 5:30 on a good day. I cook dinner, try to wash a load of clothes, wash her up, and get her into bed. Then after that, I still have at least 2 hours of work left to do before I get myself to bed, once again, on a good night. I try to get in a story and a few songs if time will permit but that isn't always the case. What can I do? I feel like a terrible mom.

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Kristal - posted on 11/02/2009

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You are not a terrible mom. It sounds like a typical day in the lives of a lot of the working moms I know. Some hints might be trying to cook meals on weekends and freeze them (or buy them from the store that way). That will leave less time needed to prepare meals during the week. Making sure to have dinner with your daughter, like at the kitchen table, is a good way to find out about her day and give her some additional mom time. Other than that, make sure that you're spending extra time on the weekends and days off from work is always good. Dads, Grandmas, and other relatives can help when you feel less than to pick up some of the extra duties too. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Also, the house doesn't always need attention for 2 hours nightly - you and your daughter aren't home during the day.

Sara - posted on 10/30/2009

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I feel your pain, but what you describe is not neglect! You are making sure your child is provided for, loved and taken care of. We as women try to be everything to everyone, and often have a hard time letting things go. Try to give yourself permission to relax your standards a little bit. Maybe you play for 15 minutes while dinner is cooking... and after dinner, you put the left overs away, and get the dishes to the sink, then play or be with each other for a little while. You can clean up the rest of the dinner dishes after you put the kid(s) to bed.
I know my girl and I both like it better when I split up the evening: some time for her, some time doing what needs to be done, and some more time for her before bed. It goes so fast!

Jenni - posted on 10/30/2009

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conversation with your children while you do the necessary domesticstuff is a great idea!! interacting with them even when you are busy tells them they are important but sois everything else to keep the household together! this teaches them about respect and MULTITAKING at the same time something they will need to learn as the get older

Kim - posted on 11/27/2009

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You are not a terrible mother. You are a wonderful mother and she will respect you more when she is an adult and appreciate the fact that you did get out there and work to be able to provide for her. She knows you love her. Believe me, I feel the guilt all the time.. Does my husband? No!! Is that just me or is that normal??

Mariella - posted on 11/03/2009

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Hi Loren, you're not neglectful, it's just sometimes impossible to do everything that you need to do. When my son has a patriculary clingy day, and this is often, I just decide that most things can wait and do only what is essential. The housework can wait... the chores aren't going anywhere but my son will only be young once. The fact that you are worrying shows in itself that you are a good mother. You're trying which is sometimes the best we can do.

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Wendyanne - posted on 01/31/2010

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Its every difficult especially when you are working to spend time with your child. I had to realize that everything cannot be done. Unfortunately I had to do learn that the hard way. It is very difficult especially is there is a lack of support.

Cindy - posted on 12/06/2009

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I raised my kids from the time they were 2 1/2 and 5 and I always had to work. Talk about feeling like a bad mom! They now tell me I'm the best mom that they could have ever had, as they always felt loved. They could always talk to me about absolutely anything, as I always took the time to listen to them, even if I was busy. Laundry will always be there, as will the dirty dishes. You do the best you can do, and count your blessings. Your daughter is beautiful and I'm sure you do the best you can. One thing I ALWAYS made sure to do before my two kids went to bed, is read to them, no matter how tired I was or what else I had to do. It's a short period of time when they are little, even though at times it doesn't seem like it. Just let her know how much you love her every single day, and things will work out. Take care.

Anita - posted on 11/27/2009

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I hear your pain.. I have a son and daughter 10 months apart and they are now aged 5 months and 15 months and I feel like I cannot give them enough of my time because I am always doing housework and running my own Accounting business. BUT then I realise that I am doing the best I can and so are you. There is no use beating ourselves up over it, I suppose all we can do is make sure the little amount of time we have is spent with our children. Like another lady said sometimes the washing up can wait until tomorrow. It's hard but remember quality over quantity...

Florencetine - posted on 11/09/2009

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Loren, I am new to the community, but I do not want to come off as a know it all. I am speaking from experience.

It is not how much time you spend with your child that counts, it is the quality that counts. Just make the most of the time you do spend with your daughter. I am sure if anyone asked her about the time you and her spends together. Her answer would go something like this, we had a good time when she read to me before I went to bed, she splashed water all over her when she gave me a bath. It was fun. Things like these, even a walk to the store or around the block, just the two of you and she know for a fact that you will be home at 5:30pm. It is the little things that counts. speaking I worked while my birth children were growing up and it worried me also that I was not spending enough time with them. But now, I hear them talking to my new set of children (adopted), my grand children and great grand children about the little things that were the good old days or just plain fun. Some of the things were so small that I do not remember and they have to remind me, such as you remember when we went for the walk and I found the rock with the smooth edges. So you see, time only is not what they want. They want memories, family rituals, like sitting down to eat together each night after mother came home from work. She gave me a hug as soon as she got home and spend a few minutes with me before we started cooking our dinner. I said we cooking because I am quite sure she is in there trying to help (smile)

Also, remember that the rainbow will come again but lost moments with your child will not. I know this seems to contradict what I said above. It seemed odd to me until I realized for me, that a stolen moment with my child cannot wait but the housework can.

I

Joanne - posted on 11/07/2009

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never feel quilty about trying to provide for your daughter there is nothing wrong in her learning a good work ethic from an early age, Is she old enough to (help) with the washing. You can let her help you in so many ways. what you consider as chores she may find fun. for example, let her wipe the table after dinner, set up the knives and forks, can she wash the veges before you cook, sort colours from the whites when washing. leting her do those things means more time together along with the other things your already doing.

Wendy - posted on 11/07/2009

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unfortunatly, these day and ages do not let us spend time with loved ones. just try to squeeze in as many hugs and kisses as you can in a days time. i felt that way to when the kids were younger. you will be amazed at what they will remember as good times with their mom.

Deidre - posted on 11/07/2009

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You are not a terrible mom at all! I have been exactly where you are! I have been fortunate enough to now just work part time, but I was always "too" busy to sit down and read or play with my children. I felt aweful about it just like you. One day when my son was about 1 1/2 I realized when he brought me a book that I had NEVER read to him before. That, I believe was my turning point! I sat and cried for an hour. Now, even though it takes longer and I don't get as much done as I'd like, I try to let the kids help with supper, dishes, laundry, or whatever I'm doing. Believe it or not, they love it! They feel so big. I don't have as much patience as I wish, but in letting them help, it's gotten better. When my son asks me to play with him, it's usually just running a matchbox car up and down and he's satisfied. You sound like a wonderful mother! We need to realize we can only do the best we can do and chances are our children appreciate us way more than we think! Keep up the good work!

Angela - posted on 11/05/2009

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Sometimes I feel the same way theres so much to be done that we dont get to really spend time with our children,sometimes forget the dishes and color or watch sponge Bob. Sing kid songs in the car, anything to make the moments count.

Leah - posted on 11/05/2009

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U know what u are a super mom !!I know things get hard but God will see that u will renew the time with your baby Think of this u could be a lazy mom who sits a round the house and watch tv. all day and wait on the childsupport but u are a responsible mom that cares for your child keep up the good parenting Loren GOD bless u and your family!

Melinda - posted on 11/05/2009

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I understand - I'm in the same situation. I never thought being a working mom was going to be so hard! What I do is leave as much stuff as possible to do on the weekends and try to spend the 2 hours I have left each night for my daughter (after I cook dinner) soaking up every second I can. I try to remember that she is going to grow up fast and those dishes can wait. Sure it sucks to see the house a mess, laundry and dishes stacking up, but I fit it in on Saturday in between naps and such. Ironically I seem to get more done in less time this way....if I try to finish it during the week, I just feel overwhelmed and tired.

Jolette - posted on 11/05/2009

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You sound like a great mom! It's so hard to do it all. What I've found works best is to really be 100% present when I do have the time with my son, even if it's just an hour. I don't listen to the phone or do any kind of work. Kids seem to appreciate that one-on-one time so much!

Carrie - posted on 11/05/2009

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You're not a terrible Mom! It's hard to balance work and family and just about the time you think you've mastered the balancing act someone gets sick, a new activity gets added, or the washing machine breaks and you've got to start over. A few things you can do is try to involve your daughter in some of your necessary activities... let her help you make pizza for dinner, set the table, fold laundry, clean something up (kids LOVE dusters). You'll both feel like you have more time together, she'll learn some important skills, and you won't feel so guilty.

Barbie - posted on 11/05/2009

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When you cook dinner and you guys sit now to eat, eat at the table with her. When you are washing clothes let her hand you the clothes...piece by piece if necessary. My mother worked two jobs and for some reason I never felt neglected, but as I got older I realized that helping her around the house and other simple things was her way of spending time with us when sometimes that was the only time she had free.

Alison - posted on 11/05/2009

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Oh honey, I feel your pain! I have two little ones and a similar schedule. I am fortunate to have someone who comes to clean and do laundry once a week and that really saves me!

One thing that might help both of you is to make bedtime "sacred". 15 minutes of undivided attention can go a LONG way. My daughters really need to have some physical contact with me on a daily basis (all children are different), so I try to rock each of them every night for at least a few minutes.

Any mom can only give of what she has and not one of us has it all! You are the best mom your daughter has got and you're exactly the mom she needs. Be strong!

Sherry - posted on 11/05/2009

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Do you work on the weekends? You get to spend time with her then dont you? Breakfast with her and dinner with her talking about her day is quality time, that is what she is going to remember.

Dana - posted on 11/04/2009

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Remember it's the quality of time spent with her not the quantity. I have 6 kids and sometimes feel like I don't spend enough time with them but when I see how much they enjoy a simple dinner together I realize how much the simple things mean tothem.

Yasmin - posted on 11/04/2009

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Quality time spent is what counts not quantity time! What you do in the little time you have is important.

Holly - posted on 11/04/2009

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U are not a terrible mom...u are like the rest of us here just trying to make a way. We all try to do the best we can in the little bit of time we have. I suggest cherishing those days off that u have and trying to do something fun. It doesnt have to cost a lot just make it a day of baking a cake or walking to the park. Give yourself some credit u work hard and she knows that. Remember they have the best love ever they don't judge you.

Dana - posted on 11/04/2009

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No ur not a terrible mom. What u can do is when ur cooking and trying to wash cloth. Have ur daughter help u. So when u and her doing that. U can ask her about her day, what would she like to do after school. Get ice cream if it's a good day for u. Stuff like that. And don't feel so bad cause u just trying to make life for her, that's all. take care.

Alicia - posted on 11/04/2009

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you are not neglecting her no matter what decision is made either stay home or go to work both require sacrafice that affects the whole family. i know how you feel though i have the same feelings , i just try to tell my kids i love them every time i turn around and see them there, be sure to squeeze in a few silly moments, and you can get a lil extra quality time by including her in the routine of household chores you are doing. that is a habbit that you will appreciate. i got that adice years ago an dnow every time one of my kids has something that is bothering them at school we fold laundry and they talk about everything to me... it is an awesome bonding experience really it is

and remember that you love your baby and are not doing anything wrong by working to make sure that you can provide for her.. you are an awesome mom.. if you didn't feel guilty than you wouldn't be such a great mother... kudos to you and your family

Trisha - posted on 11/04/2009

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You are a good mom. You are off on the weekends. there is your time. One Saturday morning take your baby to Mc Donalds let her play. Then take her to a cartoon movies. Take her to buy her a lil toy to show her that you love her. You are not neglecting her. You are providing for her to have a home to living in. You bath her, you tuck her in, And i no you kiss on her. So you are not NEGLECTING her. stop beating yourself up. Take care and i wish you the best.

Adejoke - posted on 11/04/2009

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I felt exactly the same when i had my first child. With time and two more kids down the line, i bearly have enough time for anything. I dont feel guilty about having a career anymore, i have since come to terms with the fact that life MUST be a balancing act. I doubt if i would be a much better mom if all i did was stay home and care for the kids. I love my kids very much ( like we all do) and realise that its important to maintain a balance,when not working i dont engage in ANY activity that cant include my kids, i try to spend all my spear time with them. Lastly i need to maintain a lifestle which the income from my career funds.

Adele - posted on 11/04/2009

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After being diagnosed with PND a really great nurse told me that if I didn't look after me I couldn't look after anyone else properly (so don't beat yourself up!). She also reminded me that no-one ever remembered how well their mum was at housework or the quantity of time they spent with either parent but how understanding & patient their parents were (it's not the amt of time, but how well you use it!).
We all find it hard being working mums - we're built for guilt and expected to be Super-Mum! I gave up on that - now & then I'll let the housework go and just veg out with hubby and the kids.
Also, you don't mention if you have a partner/hubby - if you do and he works too, just remind him that he gets 1/2 the housework too - if women can work full-time that shouldn't mean they get 100% of the housework! I get my hubby to so some of the simpler but time-consuming things like loading & unloading the dishwasher, putting washing out or putting it into the dryer, putting specified clothes away after I iron them, sweeping/vacumning, feeding the cats (although that's my son's job now he's old enough), and my son does the garbage, recycling, and the ocassional washing up. I remind them that I'm not THE HOUSE-ELF or the SLAVE - that they need to do their share too! I'll pay my son pocket-money or give him some reward for doing it well and completing tasks, but he's also learning that one day when he has a wife/partner he can't just leave it all to her either! Hubby even cooks dinner now & then (but is crap at cleaning up!). So find things for your partner to do to even the load.

Alternatively, outsource some things - pay or swap favours to get things like ironing, the lawn etc done by someone else. Usually you can pay cash for a teenager or stay-at-home-mother to do something - and cash works out well for both of you. I used to swap baby-sitting favours with a friend when I worked part-time.

The main thing is, stop trying to be Super-Woman & Super-Mum - no-one rewards you for it! Stop beating yourself up. Relax a little, spread the load out, and enjoy the time you do get and make it quality time!

Your daughter is not going to think you're a terrible mum for trying hard - she's just looking for quality time.

Good luck.

Jennifer - posted on 11/03/2009

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At least you have a consistent schedule - I work retail and I work 2 - 11am to 8pm days, some 8am to 5pm days, every other weekend, and sometimes fill in for others!!! I am a single parent, so I have to work.... if there's any way you don't have to work, don't!!! The only advice I'd give you is when you get home, immediately pay her attention for a good 10 min. - then - get to cooking supper, etc... she'll be much more fulfilled. Another point I try to do is spend time reading to my son, and play the games/toys with him he likes.... ride bikes, go for a walk, anything you can do together, and smile and laugh with her!! I'm sure you're a great mom!!!

Angel - posted on 11/03/2009

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we all feel that way.It`s not neglect it`s called we want to be super moms.We have to work.There are some mom who never read a story or sing a song she knows you love her.Dont be so hard on your self!!

Janet - posted on 11/03/2009

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I can relate. I have toddler and I leave home 7am and return 6:30pm. We just finished having dinner and most kids her age are in bed. But what else can I do. I do my best and she knows that.

Tarn - posted on 11/03/2009

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it's so common, i'm hearing what you are saying. I feel the same with my daughter too but unfortunately bills etc don't pay themselves... even though we'd love them to!

i think you just need to make the most of the time you've got, weekends and so on, make sure you get some really good quality time in. I know we try to get in as much of the boring housework during the week while my daughter's in bed so that we can have the weekends free to have fun.

Andrea - posted on 11/03/2009

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I know I hate when people gve me a had time because I work 2 jobs, volunteer, and go to school online. I am one of those moms who have no choice but too work and I scarifice my sleep just to make times with my boys. If it was possible I would for me not to work so much I think that would be great but that is not reality. No mom is a terrible mom for soing what we need to as long as we have the drive to still be a mom and want to spend time with our kids.

Kimberly - posted on 11/03/2009

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you are not a bad mom. we are all just trying to do the best we can do with what we have. this environment just isn't conducive to having astay-at-home mom, and to be honest, kids need to be around other kids! my 4 month old is growing with leaps and bounds now that she is in daycare....just like her older sister. one thing that helps my family is having "family night". we usually have it on a friday and the older girl gets to pick what we do. watch a movie, play a game, go for a bike ride, whatever. it gives everyone something to look forward to all week long. also, have your child help you if they can. my daughter loves helping me load up the dishwasher (of course, i usually have to fx things, but who cares), unload the groceries, go food shopping, set the table, etc. it helps her feel like she is part of the family and we get a chance to tallk. remember, quality versus quantity!!!! not how much time you spend, but how you spend it.

Nikki - posted on 11/03/2009

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You're doing fine. Maybe have cooking dinner be a "group" event. The fact that you're doing something together, even if it's a daily routine thing. Folding laundry, anything. The fact you're doing it together, and you're talking, and enjoying each other's company helps!

Caroline - posted on 11/03/2009

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You are not a horrible mother. My question is: How much help are you getting from your husband/partner/SO? Perhaps he (or she) could pitch in and help with the laundry, help with the dishes, help with the cooking and cleaning, while you spend time with the child.

Rani - posted on 11/03/2009

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Loren- it is not neglect!! I am in your same situation. Like another mom here said.. it's ok to leave the dishes in the sink or leave that load of laundry for another day... we cannot do it all.. it simply isn't possible. Just know that you are doing the best you can and cut yourself some slack. Your daugther will know you aren't neglecting her...I just know she feels your love.

Tammy - posted on 11/02/2009

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Loren, let me tell you... you are doing nothing wrong! I am a single mother of three kids. My oldest is 16, then I have a 9 and 7 year old. I know they take a lot of attention, but if you give them the little extra when you can it goes a long way. One question I always ask my kids is, How was your day? They love it when I ask them and if I happen to forget they are sure to remind me. My two younger ones, I have them help me with the chores and they get stickers for helping. I work nights, 4pm-4am, so I know how things can get hard. Your doing great~

Misty - posted on 11/01/2009

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I know how you feel my little girl wakes up right before I go to work and I dont get home until 5:15 5:30 cook dinner and then she goes to bed at 8-830 But what I try to do is stay with her and pay attention to her until she goes to bed and then I will do most of the work once she goes to bed. It is easier on my heart and my mind. I am able to play with her while I am cooking and then when she goes to bed I am able to with a clear head clean the house and wash some clothes.

Nancy - posted on 11/01/2009

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Spend time with your kiddo while you are doing all of the real day-to-day things. Let her stir when you cook, sort socks, fold wash cloths and have fun while you are woring together. Put on some fun music and dance while you work. My daughter is now in college and I have been a single mom. Everyone survives when you breathe deeply, laugh and love each other along the way.

Lyn - posted on 11/01/2009

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explain to her the benefits of having a working mum.... like being able to provide a comfortable life, etc. Keep her busy the whole week by sending her to dance or music lessons or anything that captures her interest...but make sure weekend is reserved family bonding. the guilt feeling is normal...no worry :)

Crystal - posted on 11/01/2009

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U are awsome! i feel your pain. I have 2 daughters that are 16months apart. I try to get them involved with whatever im doing. if cooking have them put the ingredients into the pain, have them fill the mesauring cup ect. laundry put a funny hat on each of them and have them help u. all it takes is 5 10 min there going to get bored and want to play but thats a few extra min with u and u get things done that need to be done. i tend to fell less guilty with there help.

Tara - posted on 10/31/2009

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Everyone who has responded is right. You are not terrible!!! You are human. Trust me, your child knows you love her.

Sarah - posted on 10/31/2009

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Hi Loren: Just posting this shows how much you care about your child. I say listen to your instincts. If you feel you are not spending enough time with your child, drop everything and just be with her. The housework can wait. Other people can wait. I have a 19 month old and a 23 and 25 year old. The years go by fast. You don't want to miss growing up with them ( I missed a lot the first time around). This time around my house is a little more messy and I spend a little less time with friends. I also ask my parents/family for help whenever possible. When we were in Italy I noticed right away how a woman's mother drops everything when her daughter has a child (now they are only having one child since "women work.") and it is a great help. Enlist the help--you deserve it! You are a good mom to be so concerned.

Monique - posted on 10/30/2009

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I agree with all of the previous replies. I understand where you are coming from. I also work and have benefited from this conversation and will take into account some of these ideas and implement them. Also don't be so hard on yourself. It sounds like your'e doing a great job.

Angelique - posted on 10/30/2009

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You are not a bad mummy, it sounds like you are doing everything to have a good life for your family, just make the most of the time you have x

Misty - posted on 10/30/2009

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Hi Loren,
You are so not terrible mom. You are just the opposite. Believe it or not you are teaching your daughter a valuable lesson in life. You are showing her that you are a strong, independent woman. What ever time you have with your daugter make the most of it. It will pay off in the long run.
Misty

Cristy - posted on 10/29/2009

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u are not a terrible mom.....u are doing the best u can and sometimes its tough. But hun you do have the weekends to spend with her right? So take her to the park or just dance around the house with her to some music u both like. Take her to the library on a sat. or just curl up together with a good snack and watch a movie together or read stories to her. She knows u love her and she loves u too. everythings just fine

Michelle - posted on 10/29/2009

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You are not terrible! You are a good mom who wants to be perfect!

Michelle - posted on 10/29/2009

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It is so hard. Something that helps me is having dinners made and frozen. I make a lot of extra food when I do cook so that I can simply pull it out of the freezer and put it in the microwave. That gives me an extra half-hour. I also to a lot of laundry on the weekends. There are days I do not clean at all just so I can squeeze in the extra time with my son, even if it is simply sitting together to watch a video. It is so, so hard to find that balance, but you can do it.

Heather - posted on 10/29/2009

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It's not neglect because you are aware and feel guilt about it that we all do when we get busy with work. We can't do it all even though we want to, something usually has to give. On occassion it is ok to leave the dishes in the sink for tomarrow to get an extra 15-20 min and just make the most out of the time you do have. The best question to ask your child at dinnertime.. What was the most important thing that happened to you today?

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