Guilt Trip

This is a busy week and when I am away or out a lot, I get anxious about Joshua and feel guilty about not seeing enough of him. We were both out on Monday night and then last night I was at school until 9pm at a Governors’ meeting. I left work early to get to school for the 5pm start and was there until 8.30. So my husband had got Joshua fed, bathed and in bed by the time I got home. I peeped into his bedroom and out of the darkness I heard “thank you” so I went in to kiss him goodnight.Then of course he decided that he wanted to get up again, so I had to persuade him that it was still bedtime. He has had a run of seizures at bedtime lately and last night was no exception, which of course makes me feel worse for being absent. He had a narrow escape falling down in the bathroom, where he narrowly dodged the ceramic basin.

I will be at home tonight so will see him properly, once I get back from viewing another adult respite provision, but I am away again tomorrow night for work. Many working mothers feel guilt that they miss out on seeing their children growing up and regret missing key moments in their child’s life. I have worked part time since Joshua was 6 months old and so you would think that I would be used to this separation by now, sixteen and a half years later. On balance I feel that it has been the right thing to do, for us both as it enables me to be more than ‘Joshua’s mum’ and as I have said before, I am blessed with a flexible employer , which means that I have not missed Harvest festivals, open mornings, etc.

Somehow when Joshua suffers seizures, my guilt intensifies however : I feel as though I should have been here to reassure him, as you need your mum when you are ill or frightened, so I worry that I have let him down by being absent. But that is irrational regret, as he was with his Dad, he was not fitting alone and I know that I am not the only one around who can reassure him during seizures. Guilt is such a waste of energy, I know this, as it doesn’t help anyone as I cannot change the fact that I was at school last night. All I can do when I am not around, is ensure that he is surrounded by other people who care for him too : his dad, Yorkshire Grandma, friends and his respite provision. I am fortunate not to be a single mum and raising and taking care of Joshua is a team effort.

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