Ask Caroline

Caroline Manzo tackles questions on gift giving, going back to school, and having a child in the military.

on Aug 8, 2011

Debbie from Suwanee, GA says: Hi Caroline - My question is this: I'm a first time mom. My daughter is nine-months-old, and I'm at home with her. I recently came to the decision to go back to school to get my masters. I'm feeling a little guilty about that because she's so young. I'll only be gone four hours one morning a week and five hours one evening a week. She will be with daddy and her older stepsister, who is more like a daughter to me than a stepdaughter. Anyway, I just feel some guilt over this. I hope I'm making the right decision. Thanks for reading!

Caroline says: Good for you, Debbie! Don't feel guilty, your daughter is in good hands and won't even know you're gone. What you're feeling is normal. It''s called the mommy guilt button -- we all have it, but we need to shut it off now and again. 

Look at the big picture; you're doing something to better yourself, which in turn will provide better employment opportunities if you decide to enter the work force. Even if you don't use it for work, if it makes you happy, go for it.

I love that your husband and stepdaughter are filling in for you. It will give your husband some one-on-one time with his baby girl and allows your stepdaughter to bond with her as well.

Being a mother is probably one of the most important roles in your life, but it's important to take time for yourself and keep your identity as an individual.