When it comes to celebrity moms I'd like to have a play date with, Gwen Stefani tops my list. The No Doubt singer just seems so real and down-to-earth despite her rock star life, and recent comments she made about working mom guilt make me even more certain we would totally connect if we happened upon one another at the park.
She recently spoke to Vogue (whose January 2013 cover she's gorgeously gracing) about how difficult it is to leave her sons Kingston, 6, and Zuma, 4, when she works. She said it was particularly difficult going back into the studio to record with her band after an 11-year break, and though I'm certainly no rock star, her words ring so very true.
Getting to the studio and not being able to make it happen, but missing out on being at home, missing out on putting the kids down. What's more important? I felt so guilty. I am letting everyone down in the studio right now; I'm letting down my kids; I'm letting down myself. Because time was so precious.
As I sit here typing this, my children are outside on this gorgeous Florida day with their babysitter. She's counting my son's new record number of jumps on his new pogo stick, and she's giving my daughter her favorite lunch. Shouldn't it be me instead? Are they walking by my office wanting me? Is anything really more important than me being with them right now, especially when they're still young and want me to be?
I honestly don't know. But I do know that they're fine, and I think they, in fact, have more fun with their sitters sometimes because they play instead of doing laundry, and straightening up, and all of the other things that distract me even when I'm not on an official clock. And for my family, this is what we've decided works ... for now. I'm happier when I work; the salary helps pay the bills; and we're lucky enough to have some pretty great childcare options.
So working for me works, but that doesn't mean the guilt isn't there -- heavily and persistently most of the time. And it sucks. And despite all of my rationalizations and research that kids with working moms aren't doomed for life, I don't really have any delusions that the guilt is ever going to go away either, no matter how many times I tell myself it's okay. So I guess it's nice to know that I'm not alone, and that even one of the coolest moms out there can't escape it either.
Do you feel working mom guilt?
Image via Vogue