I left my baby crying this morning.
I knew it would happen eventually. I knew that even my happy little girl would eventually notice that Mommy was leaving her for the day and that the smile I plaster on my face as I sneak one last glance at hers would fail to fool her.
At first I turned around and picked her right up because I just. couldn't. deal. But when she started bawling again the second time I put her down, I knew I just had to walk away.
And it broke my heart, y'all.
One of the other sweet moms touched my shoulder as I started to glance back in the room and said, "Just keep on walking, mama. She's going to be fine." And, sure enough, after I stored her car seat in the designated area and came back to take another peek to check on her, she was smiling away and playing.
Except for the first week or so that I started back to work, I haven't dealt with a whole lot of working mom guilt. The transition has honestly been so much smoother than I had any right to expect, and I'm thankful that, at least for now, I feel like I really can balance this job that I love doing with the family that I love spending time with.
But sometimes. Sometimes I am overcome with regret for all the moments I'm missing. She's learning new things every day, and cramming all of our time together into the nights and weekends leaves me craving her voice and her open-mouthed, slobbery kisses more than I can even tell you.
I honestly wasn't even going to share this moment here because (1) I already posted a mushy mommy post this week and didn't want to bore all of you and (2) I know how melodramatic I sound because I know that she NEEDS me to let her figure out how to be without me. I know I had to walk away, and that would have been the same whether I was dropping her off at daycare or leaving her with her grandparents for a night away. I promise I know.
But I also know how short this time is. She's already nearly ten months old, and I know that it'll feel like no time has passed before she is a teenager with hormones and crushes, and I won't even remember what it's like for her to want me to hold her.
And I also know that many of you moms struggle with the same things every day. I share a lot of happy, sweet things with you, but there are so many hard moments, too. And failing to share those moments, as well, feels unfair and reinforces the fallacy that we mothers are not allowed to feel what we feel.
So whether you're a stay-at-home mom who would trade the whole of your bank account for a solitary moment to relax or you're a working mom who feels like you're failing on all fronts... know that you're doing a fabulous job. We're all going to have moments of triumph and moments of failure, but the important thing is that we love our babies fiercely in whatever ways we know how. The rest of it always seems to work itself out.