This past week I started a new part-time job. I have not worked for a couple of years and felt like the opportunity was too good to pass up. The job is a consultant position based at the Merchandise Mart, where I spent most of my past professional work season. Both the location and part-time status were appealing. However, I had to seriously contemplate the opportunity with timing logistics of starting a job during the summer months when my teen was out of school. I started to have anxiety over scheduling work hours around camp, enjoying summer-time with my family and balancing care time with my hub's job hours. How would this all work out, was it worth it?... I started down the ever-questioning, melt-down path of Mom Guilt.
Most moms know this path... they feel it when they work outside the home,when they make choices to participate in non-family activities or when they travel without their children. It is a gripping feeling that makes each mom question every choice they have ever made around their time with their family. For me, it now happens because I only have 5 years left with my daughter before she leaves for college and I want to make the most of our hours. I worked full-time for the first 8 years of her life and then have journeyed through a 6 year season of part-time work along with periods of no work outside the home. Yet, I do think this gripping sensation is not about working or not working... it is about holding onto truth and putting together a balanced family life plan with accountability. Many women(myself included) fall victim to being gripped with emotion around their mom role. So, I have learned that it is good to have balanced accountability to combat this gripping, mind-processing syndrome. I need accountability from moms in a like season, moms that hold a totally different life plan and from my single or no-kid gal pals because they sometimes can see things a little clearer from never being gripped with mom-emotion. This strategic accountability approach enables me to maintain a pretty balanced plan, not getting too out-of-whack with our family plans and controlling my emotional mom thoughts.
Balance is the key to most of life; and, prayer, life margin and accountability are the tactics I have chosen to help keep my sanity and family time balance routine in check. I own that I have been severely gripped with mom-guilt in the past and do not care to go down that path again. So, my monthly mom prayer group, weekly check-in gal pal accountability and weekly family meetings to review our family calendar helps to insure peaceful life margin. My accountability gal pals and faithful hub are my balancing village partners that help me navigate and steer clear of the precipitous mom-guilt fork in my over-processing cortex brain... peace & joy are good !