Monday, February 20, 2012


I've been thinking a lot about mothering in the past few days. Partly because I saw We Need to Talk About Kevin on Friday (which is probably the best film I have seen in at least 5 years, by the way. Just go see it.) and partly because I went to a party on Saturday with a whole bunch of my friends from our old mothers' group.

Out of this group, I'm the only one who works full time. Back when our babies were babies and we first met, I was the only one who worked at all and I worked full time then too. I've always had to work because in our household, I'm the primary earner. Which means of course, my partner spends a lot more time with the kids than a lot of my friends' partners do. I don't think it's a bad thing, but whatever I do, there's a lot of guilt involved.

I'd have made a great Catholic!

If I'm at work, I'm guilty about not being with the kids. If I'm with the kids, I'm guilty of neglecting my business. If I'm writing, I'm guilty of ignoring them both. If I'm not writing, I'm guilty about not doing that.

I don't think living in a constant state of guilt is the best way to be. I don't think my kids even notice when I'm not around. They're happy and when we do spend time together, we have fun... Mostly.

But it's hard not to reflect on parenting choices and obsess about them. Being a mother is hard and there's no map or how-to-guide. Every child is different and needs different things. What worked with my oldest, isn't working with the younger one. and it's hard to figure out what needs to change. They have such different personalities and approaches to life...

How do you manage your parenting? Do you feel like you know what you're doing?


  1. It is SO hard! I don't even work full time and I still have the guilt... It's hard to find that line and I think as mother's we're always going to feel the guilt, even when we shouldn't.

  2. This is definitely on my mind, as a writer. I try hard to balance things out because I can very easily plug in a movie and ignore my kiddos all day so I can write. But I try and devote time to reading and playing with my kids, then taking a break for writing, and I always try and pull away from the computer whenever one of them wants my attention. It doesn't always happen, but I do try and keep things in balance. Being a mom is definitely hard, but sooo worth it!

  3. I think there must be an in-built guilt trigger that gets released as soon as you give birth.... But good to know I'm not alone in trying to find a balance between it all.

  4. I can't relate, however, from the female perspective, I agree, it must be the hardest thing to deal with considering kids are a 24/7 job and the household is not too far beyond. Balance is the key! :)