I suppose if I stopped to drown myself deep in thought I could find a measurable about a guilt for spending my children's young years immersed in work and school. At some point I will throw myself a life line and reel me back to shore. I'm a mother and I work full time out of the home and I'm a student. Somehow during the circus act of packing school lunches, making dinner and taking a ten minute break in order to get down on the ground and play with my boys, I manage to squeeze out some time for text books and cuddle time with my husband. The circus seems to be pleasing the crowd, my juggling act is secure and I walk that fine tightrope line of doing a lot, getting a lot done while not doing too much.
It's all about perception. To some daycare is the dreaded "day-orphanage" as one blogger put it, but to me it's just a part of the village that helps me with these beautiful boy. Daycare raising my children? I suppose if you want to minimalize the job that parents take on and pigeon hole that into story time, arts and crafts and singing song then go ahead, my husband and I however view parenting as so much more than that. Being a stay at home parent is A LOT of work, I've been there for an accumulative 3+ years and I have see myself at both ends of the spectrum. It takes the right kind of person to do it and do it right. I am a great mother but when I stayed at home I found that I spent less quality time with my kids than I do now. I suppose I took the time I spent with them for granted, they were always around me, no need to rush to play with them. I would work through a list of thing that needed to get done, some thing didn't need to get done (like watching daytime television) but when I had the time, I would get to playing with the boys. I did get to them and I did love playing with them but not like I do now. That made me feel guilty. Now when I get home from work, I am quick to start dinner and while thats cooking I find my boys and I spend every moment loving them.
I think about the qualities that I want my children to posses. I realized that none of those were contingent on my staying at home. All that mattered was that my husband and I created a safe, loving and happy home for our boys. They are loved and cared for and not one day goes by that I don't make them feel how special they are to me. If for a minute I thought my kids needed me to be home, I would and I would do it with as much grace as I could muster, but I dont see that happening.
Right now, I focus on my boys and my husband. I focus on all that I am doing for them. I am guilt free and I write this hoping that others in my situation or similar will give themselves a break and be guilt free too. For those who are stay at home parents, Im sure there is guilt with that as well...give yourself a break! Don't let anyone tell you, that you're "wasting your life" by taking care of your family, because you're not. Your job is valuable in more ways that I can ever say! We are all doing the best we can and what is best for our family.