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Kristin - posted on 11/01/2008 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Hi, I have 3 children and work full time as a teacher in Michigan. When do you get over the guilt of not spending enough time with your children and not having to be perfect at everything?

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Dawn - posted on 11/06/2008

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I have been a single mom for 12 years now, so I *have* to work. I still haven't gotten over the guilt of working. But, what I've done is make the MOST of the time that I have had with my two boys. Every weekend we do things together and during the week they come first. We always eat dinner together. Now they are older and don't need as much time. But, I do still feel guilty that I can't be home after school to help them out. They do know that I have no choice and support me in that.

Best advice I can give. Make the MOST of the time you DO get to spend with them. :)

Sue - posted on 11/05/2008

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NEVER!! I teach full time too and let me tell you that I remind myself and my children daily that I work so they will have fun stuff to do, parties on their birthdays, lunches out on the weekends and learn to get used to and respect other adults than their parents. I also tell them that (for my son who loves LEGOS and my daughter who loves Camp Rock) if I didn't work, they wouldn't be able to have these things. We talk from a young age like one, about making mistakes is okay and that no one is perfect. We are a forgiving family and we treat each other that way. I tell my children that God understands how hard we work and that we aren't able to spend a lot of time with our kids during school, but that is why we get off THREE MONTHS in the summer, two days at Thanksgiving and two weeks at Christmas to make up for the 175 we go to school!

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Having been on both sides of this fence, I will share my experience...

But first a question: Does Dad work full time or are you being superMom on your own?

It makes a difference!

Both my kids know that there is more to womanhood than being a mommy & wife. They know that it is important for Mom to be fulfilled in her career.

That being said, there is no role more important than being a wife and a mother- it is the most important job on earth! Whether you work outside the home or inside...

I did stay home with my kids when they were small at great financial sacrifice and it was totally worth it. We had just enough to make ends meet and we didn't have new cars and I didn't purchase a new sofa until we had been married 16 years. Neither of my kids suffered from wearing hand-me-downs when they were little. They didn't know the difference.

I would do it again with no regrets. Both kids were very social. If your kids are active at church and you have friends with kids, and you take them places, converse with them, read to them, etc they will be fine. Developmental delays are more about physical/muscle development than social. We need to stimulate and challenge the sensory, perceptual, and motor development of young children.

For more info on I am Moving , I am Learning check out http://www.choosykids.com/CK2/



I worked for a while when they both went to school.

After 3 years and dissatisfaction with the public school experience, we decided to home school our kids and did so for 6 years.

I really feel for teachers(God BLESS the teachers!), as I was a substitute teacher at the time- they do their very best, but school is mass education, and kids pick up a lot of negative behaviors and ideas from other kids. Any teacher would tell you she wishes she had more one-on-one time with students.

So we homeschooled from 2 - 7 grade for my son and 5 - 9th grade with my daughter, and they were extremely active in 4-H, church activities, and more.

They got the Christian education I wanted for them, were able to progress at their own speed (we were extremely discilplined), and we got back the family time we had been missing.

I think what was most important during this time was the cementing of our family values without the constant peer pressure eroding them.

Anyway, we always knew they'd go back to school, it was a matter of when.

So our daughter went back as a HS sophomore, and our son in 8th grade. It was a smooth transition. That being said, it was really clear that a large percentage of the girls from her 3rd & 4th grade class had changed a lot. Teen conversations revolved around whose divorced parent would be the parent who would help them obtain an abortion if they got pregnant from sleeping with the boyfriend du jour. Being homeschooled gave our kids the sense of self without worrying about what their peers thought of them, and the courage to find friends who shared their values.

Going back to school when they did gave them a chance to handle what the world throw at kids today while they were still at home to talk with us about their experiences.

I've really enjoyed my career in Cooperative Extension since they went back to school, (I do in-school nutrition education programming, and adult nutrition programming as well) but still do feel very pulled in different directions.

I think ideally I would work part time, which is not possible right now.

I'm helping finance our daughter's college education. She graduated 33rd in her class of 450 last spring + 20 college credits to her name.

Probably a little too much info... lol

OK, bottom line:

Don't feel guilty for things that you have NO CONTROL over.

You do the best you can.

Pray for wisdom and guidance from God- ask Him to help you find a way- He will.

IF you DO have control over some things, and want to change your life, then do so.

When I stayed home in the early 90's my husband made about $24,000 a year, but we owned our own home($65,000!!!! our first home cost $38,000!!!) and we stretched pennies and we made it by the grace of God.

Perfection! HA! Clothes go from the dryer onto the body, into the hamper, then into the washer- who needs a dresser!!!?(Usually my 15 yr old son does the laundry too! Enlist your family to help you!)

Thank God for dishwashers! Now if they would only put away the dishes too!

Time off of work = time with the kids!

Nothing to feel guilty about there!

God Bless!!!

Dorothy - posted on 11/05/2008

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I once read that when mommies work they teach their children that women are more than just mommies...they are women in the work place...I have friends that stay at home and that is fine for them, not me. When you raise a daughter that sees a mom that works, you raise a girl that will frow up to know that she too can be what ever she wants to be, and that includes being a mommy plus whatever her dreams were as a little girl. The guilt, as it may be with me, is simply fear projected from those around you who do not understand why you are doing what you are. You are raising a stronger a woman, you are raising a boy who will gro up to be a man who understand that women are not simply there to be a mommy and a wife...Guilt? You should feel PRIDE!

User - posted on 11/05/2008

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dont feel guilty feel proud,your kids are growing up knowing your are a succsessfull working parent that is providing them with a stable future.The free time you have no matter how little that is can be spent having quality 1to1 time with your children.Kids build memories with long walks to the park running aroung having fun.helping mum in the kitchen.shareing stories of our days over the dinner table.helping with home work, thoses things matter more to us as parents and to our children.Dont feel guilty xxxxx

Michelle - posted on 11/04/2008

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I have learned to lower my expectations...and this NOT a bad thing! It is completely freeing! I have lowered my expectations for myself...I do not have to do everything and be everything that I want or everyone else might want. I can only do so much and I do need time for me. It has helped me deal with working, housework, making dinner, playing or not playing with my kids..everything...but be nice about it! That is the key!

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not to mention that being away from you can be a good thing, esp. if your kids are in some type of daycare/preschool setting. they're getting lots of experience being around other children for more than a playdate, playground time, etc. They are learning social rules, play skills, and preschool skills that are invaluable!!! I know someone already mentioned that, but it's soooo important. I'm an early intervention special education teacher working with infants and toddlers with developmental delyas, and I see so many children that don't know how to play with other kids and don't know how to socialize because they simply don't have the experience! It's so nice to be with your kids all day, but you need a break and so do they, believe it or not!!!

Kristin - posted on 11/02/2008

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Thank you so much Michelle Kurtz and Lisa March for your comments. They really helped to put things in perspective for me. It is nice to know that other moms have thought the same way I have.

Lisa - posted on 11/01/2008

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lol you never seem to get over the guilt.... the best you can do is keep reminding yourself that you are working so that your children can have the things they need and live a good life. you are not being selfish ..... you are doing the best you can for your self and your family... you can never be perfect no one can.... you can only be the best you that you can be and remember your children love you .... quality time always out weighs quantity time... good luck

Michelle - posted on 11/01/2008

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Try to remember why you are working. For me, I know that working makes me a stronger mom emotionally and intellectually. The kids have benefitted from the educational and social aspects when they were in daycare. I spend some time with each of them individually each day to make sure they know how special they are.

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