working late hours..feeling like an absent parent

Brandy - posted on 01/24/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I have a schedule that flip flpos a lot. I work in a Pharmacy and for the most part I work 1-9. So the only time I see my kids are in the mornings when we are getting ready for school. Im wondering if anyone else is in the same situation and what do you do about feeling so horrible..its been going on for a little over a year and Im almost positive its affecting them but at the same time we have bills..so lost on what to do and how to go about it?!

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Jenny - posted on 01/27/2010

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I also work long hours and i do not always have a guarenteed finish time at work, if something happens i can be stuck there for hours. My oldest is 6 now, and yes she sometimes has questions about why i am working. As long as i have a reason then she is okay with that. I look at working in the long run we are giving them the best opportunities in life, by being able to give them the most expereinces as they get older.

If i have them in the moring i try and get them ready as quickly as possible then sit down with them and read a story to them before going to the childminders, when i get home in the evenings it is generally home and bed, i ask them how they have got on a ask them what activities they want to do over the weekend so they have something to look forward to.

On my days of i just dedicate the days to them and play with them as much as possibe with little activities through out the day. If i do have to do chores like the shopping i get them involved writing the shopping list and helping me put it in the basket, or do a nature trail when we have to take the dog for a walk etc to keep the kids involved in the chores so they are still spending time with you.

You have just got to keep in mind why you are doing it and give them as much of your time as possible. Working mums are not unusual now as long as the time you spend with tem is quality and dedicated tot hem and you know that you just need to harden to the press and others who try and label us as bad mothers. We have bills etc and our kids best interests at heart. Chin up and keep a photo on you for when you are feeling rubbish it will bring a smile to your face.

Bradi - posted on 01/27/2010

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The following was submitted on MyWorkButterfly.com by our resident Psychotherapist re: GUILT. Happy to share here in partnership with Circle of Moms- Hope it helps:

"BN: How can women overcome the guilt associated with leaving their children to go to work each day?

JP: The expression “it takes a village,” is so true when it comes to raising children. I can’t even begin to tell you how many moms I hear who say they don’t work because they don’t have help and although the in-laws, for example, have offered, they say they won’t leave their kids with their mother-in-laws, or sometimes even their husband and, that they don’t trust these people with their children. My advice to them is always the same. Your mother-in law raised the man that you love enough to marry and have children with, so they obviously did something right. And although they, meaning your mother-in-law, your own mother, husband and/or babysitter may not be YOU, or do things exactly like you, you need to trust other people, get over yourself and allow your children to bond and learn from someone other than you. Guilt is a real feeling, but not a helpful one when it comes to raising a child and or taking care of your own needs."

Mactee - posted on 01/27/2010

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I am a nurse who works long day shifts. My shift starts at 8am until 8pm. My daughter is 9 months old. When I am working I only see her in the evening at around 2030 for maybe an hour then she is off to sleep. It breaks me heart especially when I am working 3 days in a row. But as the others have said we have bills to pay and so have no option. I always feel a rubbish mum because I see my daughter for a short period of time and she is off to sleep. There are sooo many of us out here and other mums are even in worse situations so you are not alone darling.

Marsha - posted on 01/26/2010

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I hear you, I am an Emergency Vet Tech. i work 4pm-12am. It is very hard for a mom to work these hours , i feel like i hardly see my kids, I have two girls who are both in school during the day so i get them up , drop them off, pick them up , drop them off and go to work. I feel like an absentee mom for sure, but bill must be paid and there we are.I have been doing this for 9 yrs, my oldest daughter is 13. But my kids are very supportive and it has become just the way our family does things. I know in the past we have had many issues about me not being able to be at ball games and stuff and i feel cheated out of these experiences but my kids are very stable and it has not seemed to have lasting effects on their development. I just wish i didn't have to miss so many memories but i guess all moms feel that way at times. So good luck to u in your chosen profession and don't beat yourself up about what u can't change. Life is Life i guess.

Ashley - posted on 01/24/2010

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I am a social worker and I work from 8-5. However, there are times when I have to work over and there is no set time when I would be off. I see my 8 month old son in the morning for about 30 minutes. Then I don't see him again until I get home around 5:45 until about 7:15. He's not really at an age where he cares so much, but I wonder how it will be as he gets older. It frustrates me sometimes because if there are errands to do, I feel bad for doing them after work. It cuts into my time with him. But if I do it on my lumch hour, I can't always get it all done. So I feel your pain!! I guess I'd say just enjoy every moment you have with them. If it gets to be a problem, explain about working and why you do it. Plan special things on the weekends and have time together away from everything.

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