My children are grown now -- they seem to have come through it OK.
When they were small, I felt guilty when I was at work and they were with a sitter, and when I was at home I was I worried that if I didn’t focus more on my career I wouldn’t be able to properly provide for them.
For me, it wasn’t just the fact that I needed to spend more quality time with them, which was important, but also I felt that they needed to remember growing up in a fresh, clean home with home cooked meals. I felt that they needed memories of the smell of gingerbread and pumpkin pies baking during the holidays.
I tried hard to build lots of good memories for them, but frankly I don’t remember most of it because I was trying so hard to make everything perfect that I would go long periods of time with only 2 or 3 hours sleep a night. I can’t tell you how many times I woke up to find myself in a rocking chair with a sleeping child and an open storybook in my lap.
I know now that by trying too hard you accomplish less. I wish I could go back and do it again with the perspective I have now and find some balance in that period of my life.