I know this is a recurring theme in our blog—in fact it’s the reason this blog exists—but being a mom is hard. I’m a working mom, and lately that’s been weighing on me.
Since Ev was 9-weeks-old, he has been in child care. It was the single hardest experience of my life—to leave him in the care of someone else—but since it was a high-quality program with child care providers I trusted, I was able to make peace and feel confident in my decisions.
But I’m feeling guilty. It started a few weeks ago when Ev’s class was having a party and parents were invited to participate. He’s had a few parties since he has been in that classroom and I’ve attended some and not others. He didn’t seem to notice (or be bothered) either way, so this time I didn’t put it in my calendar. On the morning of the party Ev asked, “My teacher told me some parents are coming and some aren’t…are you coming?” When I told him I wasn’t, he got really sad and asked several times if there was any way I could. I felt so bad because I had some meetings that I just couldn’t get out of or reschedule at the last minute. Luckily, I have a great friend who has twins in Ev’s class. As soon as I dropped him off I asked her if she was going. She was—so I told her the story and asked if she’d give Ev a little extra attention. She sent me some encouraging texts and pictures so I could see Ev was having a good time. It was comforting, but I still wished I would have planned to go.
Going back to work/school after the holiday break is hard on everyone. I read somewhere that January is like the “Monday” of months and it couldn’t be truer. Recently in the morning, Ev has been saying things like, “I just want to stay home and snuggle with you,” and “I only want to be with you.” It breaks my heart to tell him that while I feel the same way, I have to work and that means he has to go to school. I’ve been staying with him in his classroom until he finds something of interest to get engaged with and when I leave he is quite content, but it hasn’t kept me from worrying.
Whether you are a working parent or a stay-at-home parent, you are still a good, hard-working parent, and your children are lucky to have you. When it gets tough, it’s important to remember that.