...I would argue that it is sometimes the pain in things that make you appreciate them the most... it is my unconditional willingness to endure the middle-of-the-night feedings, the cleaning up of vomit, the screaming for no good reason, etc that makes me realize how much I love my child and love raising him...

Friday, October 11, 2013

Working Mommy

I have a friend that recently came back to work after having her first child. So, I ran into her a couple days into being back and asked how it was going, how she was feeling, etc. Generally she said that she wakes up and gets him ready and feels good and like she can do it. Then she brings the baby to the sitter and she feels good about it- the baby is loved there, he is getting good stimulation- mom feels like she can do it. She works and feels good about her work- she can do it. Mom picks the baby up and goes home and has quality time with baby- feeding, bathing, cuddling, playing. Mom puts baby down to go to sleep and that’s it. That’s all the time she gets. And it’s not enough. And she cries.

While I didn’t have quite such a struggle when I went back to work because I was a very overwhelmed first time mom and needed the break that working provided (because for me, work is the break… note to all of you that think staying at home is so fun and easy!). I, now that I have sunk into the parenting thing a bit more, feel more like this mom. I desire more time with my son. But I also like (and more-or-less need) to work.

Here is what I said to her…
· The time away from your baby ABSOLUTELY makes your time with him that much more precious. You appreciate and live that time to the fullest when you have those breaks.
· Live through a few weekends- you will feel like you get a lot of time back on weekends. Also, remember that as teachers, we get a lot more time with our kiddos than a lot of working parents.
· I think that getting breaks from parenting through work gives you more patience in parenting. I am feeling this even more now that I have a two year old. On weekends I feel my patience with his two-year-old-ness dwindling by Sunday evening. (granted, I don’t ever build up the resistance that full-time moms seem to master)
· Think of all the wonderful skills your baby is learning by being cared for by someone other than mommy and daddy, and being around kids that aren’t family
· Yes, your day care child will get sick more initially- but not as they get older… he will be a TANK later in life
Do I struggle with being a working mom- yes. Do I see the downsides of that decision- yes. But everything has a bright side and this is not an exception to that rule. You can still be a present parent and enjoy every piece of raising your child. Your child can still get everything they need (and then some). This is just one way- not right or wrong- and my family is having a happy life living it!

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