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Meredith R

Hey, I think guilt comes with the title mother. You do have a lot on your plate and really, there is nothing wrong with telling any of your kids what it is like to be an adult. What it is like to have adult responsibilities. They may not get it right away, but it's one of the many ways to prepare them for growing up. It may help them gain some ability to see things from another persons point of view. I learned this from my parents.

I also don't think we should feel guilty for wanting a moment for ourselves. How can we take care of others if we don't take time to make sure we are sane and healthy?

Heather Bensel

I don't mean to be argumentative, but I doubt you could work harder. You seem to be on 100% of the time. I think you summed up the frustration of being a working from home parent nicely. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves especially around the holidays. Cut yourself some slack. You make meals (and snack food...that's even bigger) from SCRATCH! Can't be more Martha than that. Being a disciple of Martha, myself, I don't think she wants us to be her. She just provides knowledge to do things differently (and in many cases better than what the standard slipped to). Sliding off topic: I think when people compare others to Martha Stewart it's in a derogatory fashion, because those people feel inadequate. You are more than adequate....you are super-amazing and with that a bit of drama may be included :) l. I strive to be Perdita Shrinks, George Shrinks' mother.


Those comments the kids come up with, "you always . . ." or "you never . . . ", they cut like a knife. I've had them thrown in my face more than a couple of times. But you know what? Remember that no one ever died because they had to wait an extra fifteen minutes for your attention (unless its a bleeding/breathing issue, in which case, yeah, you need to deal with that lol). When you get pulled in a million different directions, everything suffers - the kids, the husband, the work, the house. So you know what this means, right? Something has got to give. Tell the kids to pack up and leave. LOL just kidding. :-)

Shannon Entin

This brought tears to my eyes because it's exactly how I've been feeling (and I only have TWO kids). It's SO HARD to be productive when you work from home and I long for an office - or even two hours of quiet - on a daily basis. I think it's impossible to work at home without guilt. Guilt is part of the gig, that's why we need our friends to tell us how amazing we are. And you? You are amazing with all you do.

Elizabeth K

Dearest Carmen - I wish you a most joyous new year!! (is that to be caps?)

I have struggled with these same things - as I think all parents (especially moms) do. I have found counseling has helped me SO much - for me...I can not change anyone else. AND a good spiritual director, time in adoration and confession (hey, I am Catholic - and finally understanding the importance and meaning of all that is available to and for us.) -- Oh, and a long walk with the rosary.

It's a daily putting on (for me) a mind-set that at times does not feel real...as I have been a bit (big!!) of a mess for a long while. We should have some sort of support for one another. I will say a decade for you - and the other four for me - today - hee. :) (see how I fall short? - I don't even pray the full 15/20 decades!)



I have the same issue with my husband. I'm a high school teacher, so I have kids talking, talking, talking to me all day (7 am - 3 or 5 pm, because I tutor too), then I come home to my own kids needing, needing, needing while I'm trying to grade 180 papers, then hubby comes home wanting to be near me when i just want to be alone and silent for just 30 minutes.

Over break, I've been trying to get up before everyone else to do chores as an excuse to just have my own space. Hubby gets up *every time* to do the chores with me. He also chooses to do things in the same room as me shoe can be near me. Then he is hurt when I start to cry out of frustration.

He seriously doesn't get that I have a job and home life that is dictated largely by the clock and the needs of others. His job includes a door and the ability to tell underlings to hold his calls while he decompresses, the ability to leave his building for a lunch that takes longer than 10 minutes, and work that will wait on him while he does something else. I feel both selfish and beset-upon, and see no way to explain my need for solitude to someone who wants to fill every waking moment with together-time.

In other words, I totally get it.


i read this with tears streaming down my face because i struggle with this daily and i only have 2 little girls. my marriage is in shambles because 8 years ago i lost my own identity and now i'm only mom and only wife and the main source of income in my household and still also the one who does the majority of the grocery shopping, meal planning, meal prep, cleaning, organizing and generally getting everything that needs doing done...and i struggle with the selfishness of resenting that. i've grown to live in a place where i hate my life. don't get me wrong, i love my children and thank God for them everyday. i just wish i had found, could find, a balance between mom, wife, work and me. something had to go and sadly, it was me. i miss her.


I have yet to meet a mother (yes, there are some fathers out there who struggle with guilt, but overwhelmingly it seems to be the mothers), who hasn't had this arise in their life and struggled. I get it. When I worked from home full-time I felt like I was failing on all fronts and was just positive I would be fired, either by my family or my employer. Heck, I am not working currently and I still feel like I will be fired at any moment. :) However, the time has come for me to find income again, and of my two that are home I have one who is, uh, high needs and the other who is also high needs in his own way and also does not need to breathe in order to talk. So I expect the guilt to come raring back, is what I am saying. Be kind to yourself, please. You are doing a great job even on the difficult days.

Elizabeth K

OH - and can I ever relate to this (as the comments attest - so do many!)... :)


Oh, Carmen. Guilt is a useless emotion. You are a superwoman in my book.


Book yourself a massage. Seriously. You deserve it!!!


What could I say that hasn't already been said . . . One of the reasons I read your blog is because I love your honesty. You are an inspiration, no matter what. I have two teenagers and an unemployed husband at home, I don't work and I have even been whining about needing me time!! The fact that you felt any twinge of guilt at all cements the fact that you are doing an excellent job being present for your family.


I have so many things to say, but don't want to start a war in the comments.

I don't think you need to justify why you work to your children. They are children and not involved in the decision about it. They need to accept and respect that you work.

Are your older children helping with taking care of the younger ones? That may be one solution when you have to work while they are out of school.
Good luck!


Sweetie you sound like you are definitely overworked. Is there "vacation time?" in this job? I know there is no vacation time when it comes to the house work and the home making but I'm talking about your paid work? You need to have that "time". You also need to have more help from your peeps. You can't do it all, and don't try please for your own health don't try to do it all.


I feel Carmen - I really do. Shorties need to do more for themselves sometimes. And surprisingly they can really step up given the opportunity. Force your "me time" onto them - for your own health and sanity. Remember we all feel this at some time or another. We struggle to find our own solutions.

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  • Carmen Staicer is a whirlwind of energy and execution who rarely sleeps and loves coffee and happens to have six outstanding awesome, incredibly loud and opinionated kids who are always right no matter what. Her passions include Zumba, hiking, photography, homeless ministry, reading, cooking, and spending time at the beach as often as possible. She's a college student studying to be a social worker who works as a Barista. State of mind? Tired, y'all.