Do you regret time missed with your children?

  1. Since my kids were born I have either been in school or working.
    From seeing them cry when I left them at daycare to the sadness I felt leaving them home to work at the nursing home, I realize I missed something I will never get back.
    My husband is a jerk and was often too harsh with them, but he is "handicap" and so since he "couldn't" work, he stayed at home with them and I remember seeing the toddlers playing as I was going out the door to work and my heart ached. When I wasn't working I was too tired and grouchy to really enjoy time with them.
    I thought that going from an LPN to an RN would make life better and easier but I now feel like the last 9 years (my oldest is 9) were a waste and if I could do it again I would have stayed with my kids.
    But isn't hindsight 20/ I want to ditch the job I have and at least spend more time with my youngest daughter - this is the last year before she goes to school. But the old jerk (their father) says I "have" to work, even though we have another income and with some frugality it could work.
    I would like to hear from other moms about this. And not mom's who will rub it in my face about how they didn't have to work when their kids were little. I know a woman who never misses an opportunity to tell me how her husband never wanted her to work. La dee dah...isn't that wonderful for her?
    Somebody let me know I'm not alone.
  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   Grace Oz
    (((((HUG)))) I feel for you! I worked while my children were young also. Being a working mother is never easy. I still get upset remembering the day I had to leave my daughter home, alone and unwell, while I went to work. I was rostered on an early shift. She didn't present as being sick until the morning. We had a busy surgical list for that day, I felt duty bound to go to work and not let the team down. I phoned my daughter almost hourly where possible, to ensure she was ok. It was one of the worst days of my life! I've regretted it ever since! I'd NEVER do it again! My daughter was fine, she's none the worse for that day. But ... I've NEVER forgiven myself for placing my job above my child! Neither the job, nor the money was worth it!
    My advice...... tell your husband that YOU are going to spend some precious time with your precious child. NO amount of money is worth losing these years with our children. We NEVER get them back! Once the child grows, those years are gone, forever! Better to struggle a bit now than to live the rest of your life regretting NOT spending time with your babies.
    I wish you all the best.
  4. by   UM Review RN
    I understand, truly I do. I worked nights so that I could spend more quality time with my son.

    I would sleep until he came home from school, then get up for a few hours to spend time with him--but first, the house had to be tidied and homework had to be done. We'd do it together. Whether it was cleaning and cooking, or doing homework, playing games or watching TV, I tried to make it a way to connect, and there had to be rules, there had to be boundaries.

    The result? He loves Emeril and was the only kid in his Home Ec class who actually knew how to cook. We'd play games or watch movies together, and watch and discuss the news on TV. He's equally comfortable discussing cars, chocolate, or compression for bleeding football wounds.

    Every year, I'd put off changing my shift just so I could have more time with him and I'm glad I did, because now he's almost ready to get his own place.

    I simply couldn't have stayed home, nor would I have wanted to. I wish that I could've worked part-time, but I think seeing me exhausted helped my son to realize that Mom is not a superhero and that he can help out--and we can have fun while doing chores.

    My point is that you have options. You don't have to simply stay home if it's not financially possible. You might choose to work part-time--a lot of facilities pay higher for pool. Or you might try agency work, that also pays higher. That way you'd make a comparable income. Your dh can carry insurance if he works full-time, and you'll bring home enough so that you won't have to worry about bills when you're trying to enjoy your children.
    Last edit by UM Review RN on Nov 3, '06
  5. by   traumaRUs
    Hi - I too feel your pain. I was in the military when my oldest was born and obviously had no choice but to return full-time. I was very fortunate to be able to stay home with him for about two years though when he was young. My next son was born about 5 years later. I worked full-time until 3 hours before I delivered, then returned three days later to train my replacement! (How stupid was I?) At any rate, I did go back full time when he was 8 weeks old and have worked ever since (my sons are now 26 and 21).

    I too worked nights so that I could have some time with them after school. I did that until this past July! That helped quite a bit too.

    I wonder (and please forgive me if I'm out of line), have you sat down and laid it on the line with your husband? He needs to help out or get out IMHO. I am very fortunate that my husband and I are a team and he was very helpful when the boys were young - we both shared jobs at home and outside too. Our boys grew up with the idea that everyone helps to make things run.
  6. by   DDRN4me
    dear "mama"...please stop beating yourself up!! my "kids" are now 22 and 24. I have always had to work, many times 3 jobs at once, and have been going to school most of thier lives. when i finally got my RN 6 yrs ago, i apologized to them for always being in school or working., My youngest looked at me and said.." you were always there for us no matter what.. you still came to our games and school, you were there for me when i needed you and you always let us know how much you loved us" I am a better, more independent person because of you!"

    soooo...despite your guilty feelings, our children willl adapt and be successful... just love them and do what you can !!!!
  7. by   adrienurse
    I was a daycare kid, and then a latchkey kid. Both parents both worked full time and my mom had a very consuming job as a nurse manager beginning when I was 3. I don't really remember sitting down and wondering why my mom didn't spend more time with me, I always remember her days off as being great. I don't think kids resent things they've never known.

    The good news is that it's never too late to develop a relationship with your kids. I have an extremely close relationship with my parents (which didn't really exist until 5 years ago). It's something I really cherish.
  8. by   txspadequeenRN
    I want to share my story with you. I am a certified work-a-holic. I was a weekend supervisor and there have been times when I didnt leave the job until 1-2 am and then came back at 6am to do it all over again. I started doing this junk during the week and never spent time with my kids. Then I all of a sudden lost my job. I was at home with my babies and it was so different for me. I had never taken a vacation only missed 3 days in 5 years. I realized that this was something I was missing seeing my kids. So I refigured my bills reduced and got rid of the extra expenses I did not need and now only really have to work maybe 5-6 days a month to make it. I am going back to nursing school so I can cut down my work days and work PRN somewhere for a couple days a month. When they get older I will work more but, I will never have another full time job as long as they are little. I work agency now and it works well for me.. electric bill due okie dokie got to do 8 hours or so. All I am trying to say is I have been in your postion and I did not realize how my babies felt when I left for the many hours I was gone but at the same time if you get your education you could afford maybe to work part time or even better work from home. Dont beat yourself up over this, you are a caring mom that just wants the best for her children...
  9. by   rehab nurse
    :icon_hug: motorycycle,

    i know your heartache. i too have worked since my kids, now almost 6 (dec) and 4.5 were each 6 weeks old. done the daycare thing when they were older, and my youngest son who has autism, was abused by the first (in-home) daycare lady. (long story..and i have successfully gotten her license revoked as well).
    i too have cried many tears over missed holidays, missed christmases (paying my dues for nursing..right), missed trick-or-treating. missed first steps, missed other "firsts".
    i started back thru ec's rn program almost 2 years ago, and have since failed my cpne. i am disabled from an old back injury (and a host of other medical problems...still fighting to work just one day a week on the computers to get insurance. i haven't rescheduled, don't know if i will. being an RN will not make my life any easier. i'm now divorced, with no help, and just wondering where my next meal will come from.
    my honest advice to you, one mom to another...who's read your stories of abuse from your husband and has dealth with the same? take time off, or reduce your hours, whatever YOU want to do. if you can make it work, do it. more time with your kids is never wasted. i think you know that deep down in your heart.
    i know what it feels like to regret, and it's no fun. i too am tired all the time, and other than a few minor factors, our situations are pretty much identical.
    hugs to you. i know how it feels. take care.
  10. by   Lisa CCU RN
    I don't have any regrets. I have worked or been in school all my babies lives. I did stay at home with my 2nd child for a month, then I went to CNA classes. Then I started working three months later and I started school and I'm still in school now. I will be done in a year and I will work weekend nights, so I can catch any games they may have on the weekends even though I may be sleepy. My kids always spent the weekend with my parents on the nights I worked and they loved it.

    I will have four days off or I could have five off if I work two 16's when I get my RN, so I will have plenty of time to spend with my kids.
  11. by   mercyteapot
    I'm sorry, but it doesn't sound as if your husband is actually in a position to be making demands of you. If arriving at a mutual decision isn't possible, why does he want take precedence over what you want?
  12. by   live4today
    I think you should do what's right for you. If you feel you need to cut down hours to spend more time with your children, then do so, and let your husband deal with it. pity for the man who can't appreciate the mother of his children wanting to be with them more. They are only little once. Sit down and work out the best possible plan that you can that won't put your family in harms way financially or otherwise, and go for it. As the commercial says, "JUST DO IT!" :icon_hug: :flowersfo
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from mercyteapot
    I'm sorry, but it doesn't sound as if your husband is actually in a position to be making demands of you. If arriving at a mutual decision isn't possible, why does he want take precedence over what you want?
    This question is very important; you really want to consider it. Why should YOU make all the concessions here?

    And remember this, not all at-home moms are so wonderful and/or flawless! (read: better than working or fulltime student moms). For example, My mom never worked one day out of the home, but I know for a fact, was miserable being there. She was hateful, abusive, bitter and depressed throughout much of my childhood, and into my adulthood, even now. Along with the scratch-baked cookies, homemade dinners and ultra-clean house I got to enjoy cause Mom was always home, I have many unpleasant memories of my childhood as well. I often used to wonder, if she had even just worked part-time or gone back to college, doing something JUST for herself, she would have been happier and therefore, less likely to take out her apparent unhappiness out on us, her hapless and innocent kids?

    Listen, you probably are doing your very best. Guilt is a real common thing in motherhood, no matter if we work or stay at home. Don't let it rule your life. Just doing our best is all any of us can do......really. If you feel you are not, (doing your best), make the improvements that are within your control and let go of what is not. Just do what you can and love your kids the best you know how. That is what counts, believe me.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Nov 4, '06
  14. by   SouthernLPN2RN
    I too feel very torn. No matter what job I work, I'm going to miss some major time with my kids. I've been in school and/or working strange hours for both of their entire lives.