Yesterday I left my office with Willa on my hip, and her diaper bag and my purse on the other shoulder (later I was angry for myself for accidently leaving my breast pump in the office in my haste to get home). As I walked out of the building, I pictured what I looked like to someone else: a frazzled working mom, trying to keep it together.
It was not bring your daughter to work day. It was, for us, pick your daughter up from daycare because she has a 101.5 fever - but you can't take any more time off of work right now - day. So, I got her and brought her to sit on my office floor while I finished up the day. Yes, I was concerned about the fever and gave her some Tylenol which did the trick (maybe I should sell ad space to them). And it was only 30 minutes until we were out the door, anyhow.
See that guilt? Yup, I've got some of it.
I want to thank the generations of women who came before me and made themselves welcome and valuable in the work force. I have always admired their gumption. I want to thank my parents for subsidizing my education and encouraging me to follow my path. I have always admired their bravery and valued their trust (and financial backing).
It's been more than 6 months now that I've been a mom. Like many others in my generation, I feel pulled in many directions. Though I need to work and contribute to family finances, I feel the most challenged and rewarded when I am being a mom. I feel like I'm the person I'm supposed to be ("calling" wise) when I'm on the floor playing with, reading to, and just observing our daughter.
I do not think that daycare is hurting her (well, short term she's getting sick more than she would at home). She already has a favorite pal that she has a different smile for, and the women who work there respect the kids and have a great deal of affection for them.
I know it's been whined about, and legitimately discussed and researched by many many many people, but I'd like to be a stay at home mom. At least until she's in school. We all do what's best for our kids, and at this time, Jim and I are doing just that. She is happy and healthy(ish) and learning new things every day. We're paying the bills, and enjoying each other and her.
I wish my peers and I had the choice to work or not. In this modern economy, it doesn't seem to be an option for most.
It occurs to me that this all comes with the territory of growing up and parenthood and blending needs and wants, deams and realities.
In the meantime, I look forward to evenings and weekends and mornings. I wasn't much of a morning person. Now I have 2 different wonderful smiles to wake up to. Though, Jim doesn't smile as much as grunt until he's really awake...