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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Guilty Motherhood


 

I drove over 15 miles like this today. 

Holding my screaming, sobbing, over tired, toddler’s tiny little hand while she BEGGED to be released from her seat. 

My arm fell asleep. My back was tweaked in a weird position. And I’m pretty sure I was going 10 under the speed limit and swerving. 

The people on my road this morning HATED me. 

But, we made it. 

I dropped my crying, screaming toddler off at daycare as I apologized to her teacher and attempted to leave her favorite blanket behind to console her. 

It didn’t work. ️

This morning NOTHING worked. 

It was a BAD morning. 

And several times this morning on the drive in I wondered if I should call in today. 

I wondered if I was failing by making her go to daycare.

I wondered if I was heartless to leave her with her teachers like this. 

I wondered for the seventeenth billion time if working really is “worth it”. 

If I’m somehow damaging my child by choosing NOT to stay home. 

Her older sister got me, at home, for three years. Do I owe my youngest the same? 

These are the questions. 

The guilty thoughts. 

The daggers to my soul. 

My constant internal struggle. 

My decision to work outside the home, and the career I’ve chosen, doesn’t necessarily make me popular in mommy circles and sometimes I think the PTA at my oldest daughter’s school has all but given up on me. 

Sometimes I’m late for pick up. 

Sometimes I don’t make it for dinner. 

Sometimes my Saturdays are spent in meetings I don’t really want to attend-but that’s the job.

I’m on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

I carry two phones: a personal phone and a work phone. 

Some nights my children get my undivided attention and other nights I’m stuck in my bedroom putting out the next “fire”. 

And you know what sometimes I really suck at the juggling act. 

I’ve been listening to Sheryl Sandberg’s book, “Lean In” on Audiobook. (I HIGHLY recommend this book if you are a working mom!) 

I’m on Chapter 10, “The Myth of Doing It All”. 

In the chapter she explains that we often make a big deal about babies and “separation anxiety”, but really “separation anxiety” is more about the parent. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be it all and do it all for our kids that we forget how resilient our kids actually are. 

This struck a cord with me because days like today I feel guilty. 

I feel like a failure. 

I feel like I could do more and be more.

But at the end of the day all I can do-is all I can do. 

Being a stay at home mother is a thankless task! Trust me! I know! I’ve been there. 

But, so is working outside the home. 

Motherhood is just hard. 

Period.

Some days we have it all together.

And then some days we drop the ball and our toddler screams at daycare, or our kid doesn’t pass the spelling test, or the dinner is from a drive through, or we lose our tempers at bedtime. 

Some days we let them watch too much iPad and we read only one book instead of three and they eat suckers for breakfast. 

And sometimes you drive like this for over 15 miles just to try to console them. 

Because this morning we both barely made it to drop off-but you know what? 

We made it.

And at the end of the day-that is all that matters.

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