Mama Guilt

Mama guilt looks different for every mama out there. I have mama guilt for all kinds of reasons. When Caleb gets hurt and I could have prevented it, when I don't successfully handle a tantrum the way I would like, when my meals suck, when I feel like I am not present enough with Caleb, etc. The guilt that takes hold of me more than any other, is the guilt when I am gone. I work all week and am gone every day. By the time I pick him up at 5:30pm, he is usually outside playing and having a great time with his friends at school. His school experience is extremely good for him. I know he is fine, great even. If I won the lottery, he would still go to school part time at the very least. I would also go to graduate school to pursue what I love immediately. :)
Caleb's life is filled with people who love him and want to spend time with him. He is a blessed boy for that. What is hard on me, is that everything I do outside of work that doesn't include him, is more time away from him. More time I miss. More time that I am gone. Now I am also gone all day Wednesdays because of a class I am taking. While it is very good for me to learn something new, this now means I am gone an entire day. On those day's, Caleb's dad picks him up and they go to Nana & Pop's house. Caleb has a great time and they all love it. So it works out well, but it makes me even more sensitive to time away from him.
When I am actually with him, I get guilt for feeling like I am not present with him. I really don't like cleaning or dealing with chores at night. I love handling all that buisness during the day, preferably with a meal planned and ready to go at a good time. That hardly happens because I barely get out of the house in the morning and by the time I get home, unless I have made food the night before, I have to deal with dinner and nothing really gets done. The only time I have to do anything is after he goes to bed, and by that time, I don't want to deal with the house or anything of the sort. It's a mean cycle. Some weeks I feel more on top of it. Other days, not so much. Good ol' Amy said to me on the phone the other day, "If I could write a parenting book, one of the chapters would be, "DON'T PARENT OUT OF GUILT!" I think the biggest way I do that is with time with Caleb.
I am not sure what to do about the whole guilt issue, and I know a lot of moms can relate. I have these expectations of myself that lead to frusturation. I want to be better about making food that is good and healthy and that Caleb will eat. I want to be better all the time about everything, and feel frusturated when I feel like I fall short. This desire to be better leads to all the "ifs". Right now my biggest "if" is that if I even had a few hours a week to myself, I could get more errands done, but more importantly, be able to clean, shop, and get dinner done. I try to avoid the "if" mindset, but sometimes it creeps up on me.
If any mama out there reads this, can you relate at all? If so, what do you do about it?

Here is Amy circa April 2010 with a newborn Caleb.
My child eating a piece of unhealthy bread for breakfast wearing his fireman boots. Yep, we keep it classy over here.

No actually, I was getting ready for work and came out of my room to find him like this. I noticed the other pieces of bread on the floor in the kitchen that he managed to get his little hands on off the counter. He also makes it a practice to wear those new fireman boots at any random time, just because they are so cool. Obviously.