“Mama, let’s snuggle and watch a movie.”
My son recently whispered this to me as I had just gotten one foot out of the door on my way to work.
The invitation was extremely tempting. I could feel the chilly morning air and had not gotten nearly enough sleep. “He is just so……. stinkin’………cute,” I thought, and “he won’t want to snuggle with me forever. “
It’s never easy saying goodbye to my son, yet, by choice, I do so five mornings a week. Five mornings a week I am lucky enough to go to a job that I love.
“You will never get these years with your son back” they say.
No, I won’t get these years back, but I am going to do my darn best to grow, learn and thrive in ALL areas of my life. To me, this means fulfilling the beautiful role of motherhood and giving back to others in my community on a daily basis. The years are not lost if I really live them and I hope to set a good example for him.
This mothering and career balance fills my cup right on up. Let’s call my [coffee] cup half full.
With that said, not every day is peachy keen and I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that I still often wonder what the heck I am doing (especially when my little one refuses to let go of my legs, while wailing loudly, during the school drop off). So…
Here are my confessions as a working mama:
I Sometimes Feel Guilty About It
Many mothers have told me they could not fathom going back to work after giving birth to their child.
I certainly wanted to soak up all of the maternity leave that I could, but I always knew that I would go back to work. This has often made me feel guilty. Why didn’t I have the stay-at-home-parent instinct, too?
There is also the guilt about missing a few of his first words. The guilt of missing out on lots of extra kisses and watching every second of his growth and development unfold before my eyes. I feel guilty knowing I am not fully responsible for potty training him. I cannot claim that I alone taught him the importance of eating his vegetables or how to count to ten in Spanish. It seems silly and a bit selfish to think about now, but the thoughts have certainly crossed my mind.
I Really Enjoy It
I love being a working mother.
I get as many solo bathroom breaks as I want. I eat my lunch slowly and don’t have to share. I enjoy grown up conversation. I get to use my lunch break to take a yoga class, go shopping sans toddler or sit outside with a cup of tea and read a book. Another perk? Paid holidays.
I Feel Satisfied
I am fulfilling part of, what I believe is, my life purpose. I am grateful that my work is not just passing the time for a paycheck. I believe in improving the health of my community, serving others and sharing what I am passionate about. I crave all of it.
I am Superwoman
Okay, not really. Sometimes I pretend that I am.
I am honestly not sure how I get it all done (and then I remember that I don’t). I work 40 hours a week and run a small business.
I have to learn how to juggle being a good wife and spending meaningful time with my son. I have to use my super powers to prep nutritious food on a budget, practice daily self-reflection, run errands, and make sure that I am taking care of myself.
This is all a blessing and often times things get neglected. Can anyone relate? See below.
My House is an Absolute, Dust Bunny-Ridden Disaster
I hardly cook anymore.
I Miss Spending Extra Time with My Family and Friends.
I miss watching their children grow up too.
I Sometimes Daydream about Being a Stay-at-Home Mom.
It usually involves a well-behaved toddler, a never-ending almond milk latte, yoga with said toddler, a fun accident-free outing, and a nap (for both of us)………..but I am 100% sure that is not how most days would go down. Look here.
I am not sure if working parents or stay-at-home parents have it any better. We have similar joys and similar struggles.
Perhaps we all win. We are both “working” for pretty amazing “employers” — our children. Luckily they don’t fire us for forgetting to do the laundry.
Photo Credit: Ellie via Flickr.com.