lunarlady, maybe what I said didn't come out quite right! I by no means meant that we SHOULD feel guilty for not being with our babies 24/7! we are out there working to support them! and it's true that taking breaks sometimes can make us better parents when we are with our kids. And I don't mean at all that it's somehow bad or wrong for moms who do have the financial option to stay home or work to choose to work! absolutely not!
I don't want to stay at home forever. But I just feel that I don't even get a choice of how much time to be away from my little baby girl--being away 10 hours a day 5 days a week from a nursing baby is just too much, at least for us. And 12 weeks leave (half of it unpaid) was also way too short--I'd barely figured out how to breastfeed by then, and was struggling with trying to treat a resistant case of thrush (which I STILL have, partly because I don't have time to aggressively pursue treatment... I won't even get into how much I hate pumping, either.). I'd love to work from home some days, or work part time, or bring her to work, even.
If I was at home more of the time with my daughter, I'd be very grateful for breaks and help from my husband and mom. I might even feel like I could sometimes go on dates with my husband without baby along -- right now, that almost never happens, because after being away from her all day, I just can't stand being away from her in the evening, too.
anyway... this morning was particularly rough. Now she is starting to reach her arms out when she wants to be picked up, so my husband was holding her when I was walking out to go to work (20 minutes late because I couldn't stop kissing her curly little head) and she was holding her arms out and I just started crying... sigh.
Sometimes i think that is true. But my DD1 is a very high needs child, willful, independent, and moody. I love, love, love her to death, but sometimes I think that if she and i were together 24-7-365 I might pull my hair out. Going to work gives me a break from the mommy, mommy, mommy grind, and i think that is what makes me a better mom and helps me appreciate the time that I do get to devote to my kids. I hold on to my patience more and can deal with DD better in small, measured doses. That sounds really awful when I read back over it...I just wish I had more friends, mommy or not. But it is one of those things that get lost in the limited hours of my working days.