Thursday, February 13, 2014

The struggle...

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.

13 comments:

Joey said...

Oh, momma! I know that moment was hard. It doesn't matter how old they get or how long you've been doing it--it doesn't seem any easier. But remember what you're doing for your little one. You are providing her with the kind of life she deserves by working so hard. You are providing her with a wonderful example. You are doing all the right things. And she will be fine :)

The Tale of Three P's said...

Oh Ryan, I totally feel this way, too. I HATE that I'm missing anything that Annalise does. I beg for pictures from my mom constantly. The other day, I left, and she crawled after me crying and it broke my heart. Going to work is extra hard when we have sweet girls at home! I'll be praying for you. I know the guilt can be overwhelming.

Leslie said...

I can only imagine how tough it is to leave your sweet baby each work day. I have a friend who delivered just a week ahead of me and she's back and work full time and I told her that she's my hero and I tell you the same thing. You working moms are awesome!!! :-)

Jessie said...

Still struggling over here with the whole preschool separation thing. Thank you for this. :)

Emily said...

Thank you for sharing this! I went through the debate in my head this week of how many days to sign Graham up for mother's day out next year. I feel guilty on the days I send him because this time is so short but I know he needs to learn to be without me a little. He's learned so much from "school" and I know it's best for him to make friends and socialize without me. It's hard!

Courtney Kassner said...

Oh, I know exactly how you feel. Crew isn't old enough to know that I leave him for the day yet, but that doesn't make it any easier to leave him. Cramming in all my kisses in just a few short hours between work and his bedtime is so hard. Thinking about you...You are not alone on this! Thanks for sharing!

Laura said...

Every single time I leave Natalie, even if it's with my mom or hubby, she cries. Every. Single. Time. But like that other mom told you, as soon as I leave she's fine! Doesn't make you feel any better in the moment to rip away your screaming baby but I think its hardest on us. And for the record, I spend almost every waking moment of my life with my children. I wouldn't trade it for the world, but sometimes I wish we could have a little time apart so I could miss them!

Amy said...

I so know how you feel. I feel like I teach so that I can have time off with Caroline, but, in the same breath, I feel SUCH guilt that I spend all day with others' children and not my own. In the last month, as soon as we get to the doors at school she wants to be put down and walk to her classroom by herself, and in the afternoon insists on holding her lunch box and walking out to the car. It kills me. I'm like when did my tiny baby become a little girl?!

It's so rough to be a working mom, but, I just have to remind myself daily that the decisions I am making are the right ones and that I am helping my family to live more comfortably and giving C more opportunities than I would if I didn't work.

...and not to knock SAHM at all, but, I know so many that constantly want a break from their kids {and feel guilty about this}, and I feel fortunate that that isn't something that I feel the burden of.

You are doing a great job, and setting such a great example for her. She is SO loved.

Jessica K said...

So true!! I have been on both sides. I worked until she was 2.5 and now I'm at home with her. Both have their own struggles. Both are hard, just in different ways. There is no right answer in general - just right answers for your family. Baby girl is going to love you either way!!

Annabelle said...

You're exactly right. Zane is almost six and I find myself craving that itty bitty hug or kiss. I still beg him to sit in my lap and let me hug and kiss on him. He does sometimes but not often. I take full advantage when he does! ;) I try hard to make the most of all those moments because they do become rare when they get older. Love ya!

katy said...

Oh man that's hard! I don't know how you working mommas do it, you are so much braver than I!
We have yet to get to the cling to momma stage, but I dread the day he cries for me and I have to go.
I hope your days get easier, momma, I'll be prayin for ya!

jen said...

I love this post!!! Thank you for the perspective you gave me...as a SAHM-you're right, sometimes I do miss the money, social interaction, being productive, etc. being a mom is a gift no matter our circumstance, right?! Heres to supporting each other! :) I also have a hard time when saying goodbye for church or nursery school. I will tell ya...as with most things in life, it does get easier. Thankfully!!! :) loving your precious blog! Love your style too!

Sassy Engineer said...

Thanks for sharing! I am definitely feeling a lot of mommy guilt these days while working. It is good to know I'm not alone.

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