The alarm clock rings and your heart sinks. Never did you think you’d dread this day as much as you do. The thought to lay in bed an extra few runs through your mind, but this morning is unlike the others you’ve experienced in the past…for today is the first day back from maternity leave. You must get up NOW for there is much to do!
You begin getting ready, trying to ignore that sick pit in your stomach. It’s not like the sick pit you felt about a year ago when you were rejoicing after peeing on that stick…6 times just to be sure! At that time, the sick pit was ignorant to the turmoil you’d feel when the reality of being a working mother came true.
The moment has arrived to leave your baby, your eyes well up as you kiss that precious cheek and whisper, “Mommy loves you.” I cry as I write this now. I still kiss my daughter every morning about a million times and repeat over and over, “Mommy loves you.” It’s like I want her to know that my leaving her has nothing to do with my love for her. I have to say, however, I am blessed because I am a teacher and have a schedule that is ideal for a working mom. It doesn’t make going to work easier, but it eases my aching heart. To those who work all day and all year…I salute you.
Whether you’re a teacher or in another profession, the return to work is bittersweet. Of course we enjoy the mental stimulation and challenges we face at work, but we long to be the one whose face our sweet baby sees when they wake from a nap to eat. Some may experience guilt, whether self-inflicted or brought on by other well-meaning mothers who consistently talk about the rewards of being a “stay-at-home mommy.” I swear I’m going to flip if I hear one more time, “Being a stay at home mom is the hardest but most rewarding job on earth.” What about just being a mom in general?? Each path, whether stay-at-home or stay-at-work (a term taken from the book “How She Does It: Secrets of Successful Stay-at-Work Moms”) has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. We, as mothers, do ourselves a great dis-service when we choose to judge and critique the paths of those who are simply trying to be the best mommy they can be. Whether one chooses to work or not work, breast-feed or not breast-feed, schedule or not-schedule…who cares? It is about supporting one another and lifting each other up in the face of a difficult, but rewarding job….raising kids in today’s world.
But this blog is specifically meant to speak to working moms because this is what I am. I invite, however, stay-at-home moms to read and comment. I value your input as well. I’ve been contemplating writing a blog for a while now, but was inspired to start today when a colleague of mine brought in a book called, “Milk Memos” to put in my school’s pumping room for the new nursing mommies. This is a must read for any new working/nursing mother. So, I write this blog as an outlet…a place to hear encouragement from other working mommies and to give encouragement where I can. I acknowledge my fellow working mommies...it’s a hard thing to work and balance motherhood. Whether you work because you have to or because you choose to, it doesn’t matter…we all whisper, “Mommy loves you.”