Mommy has to go to work

by Christine Caudill
(Brunswick, OH)

In my situation, I have to work. Although I don't make a ton (or even the bulk of the finances), I do have the health insurance.

My husband and I own and operate a small snow plowing and landscaping company. We are the only operators and do not have any employees. So buying health care on our own is just not an option that we can afford. So off to work I go.

I like my job (even if the pay sucks!), and I like that I have a lot of flexibility built into my job description. I work as a Lead Mental Health Specialist in the Partial Hospitalation Program of a residental treatment facility for children with behavior problems.

It sounds great, but it is a part-time position (30 hours a week). Fortunately, with the company I work for, anything over 24 hours a week will qualify for benifits.

I have 15 hours a week in group from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm. I have to be at the facility at these times. The flexible part comes in with the other 15 hours of indirect time that I can choose to do when I want. So I can schedule an appoinment in the morning and still get into work for my "shift" and just make up some hours another day.

Yes, I feel guilty a lot. I would LOVE to be able to stay at home and be with my boys all day. The worst is when they had a stomach virus. I then have to find someone still willing to watch them, and hate having to leave them knowing that they were not feeling well.

I know that my boys are in good hands though. Their Aunt watches them two days a week and grandma has them one day a week. Monday's are daddy days and Friday's are mommy days.

When I start to feel guilty about having to work, I remind myself that we could not be healthy (or happy) without the reassurance of having good health insurance. Without it, one illness could set us back in a huge way financially.

Right after the boys were born, my husband had to have major surgery to repair vertebrae in his neck from when he broke it in a car accident. There is no way that I could have afforded the $130,000 hospital bill!!!!

If the guilt starts to really weigh me down, I schedule some vacation days. The way my schedule is, I can plan ahead and get five or six days at home with only using one or two vacation days. It also helps that I get over three weeks vacation time plus personal days and sick time. So if you start to feel guily, take a Friday and the next Monday to give yourself a four-day weekend!

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