A little over 6 weeks to go until I give my notice at work, and I’ve started prepping for the transition; organizing a grocery tracker, straightening out the digital photo album, trying out some new recipes, etc. That’s when it started to really sink in. The guilt. The minute I take my eye off the ball at work, even for a brief, well-deserved rest, that feeling starts to stalk me.
It’s not that I’m a stranger to the dark recesses of guilt. Come on, I’m a mom. They don’t tell you this in those pregnancy books with little pink and blue rattles on them, but it comes with the job. Guilt was invented for moms; when we first inherit it from our own mothers, we’re clumsy with it and usually end up injuring ourselves. Later, we learn to master it and use it against others, but I digress. I’ve been dealing with working mom guilt for the past two years. Now I’m encountering a new kind – I think I’ll call it ‘work mom guilt.’
Up to this point my guilt has centered around my kids and what I may have neglected of my job as their mother and, selfishly, what I’ve missed out on too [did you notice how I have guilt within guilt there? Scary.] But this new guilt is focused on my work family, and what I’m leaving behind…
- My boss, the eternal idealist, who believes in me maybe more than he should. He offered me my promotion before I even returned from maternity leave or officially started reporting to him. He took a chance on me and I’m going to let him down. I thought I could do the executive mommy thing, but it’s not working. I’m letting me and my family down, and because I’ve been struggling to balance it all, probably have been letting him down already too. I feel like a jerk.
- Then there’s my team, my work kids. We’ve had our differences, but they trust me now. They know I want what’s best for them, and they know I’ll fight for them. They don’t yet know I will be abandoning them to a hapless abyss in a few weeks. Who will take care of them now? [To do: write them glowing recos on LinkedIn.]