Being a working mom really sucks sometimes. Other times, it’s a sanity saver. Clearly, I have very mixed feelings on being at work all day and away from my sweet little girl.
When I drop her off in the mornings, I always have mixed feelings. From being a horrible mother and leaving her for the day to feeling like a fantastic mother for giving her socializing opportunities. There is never ONE dominating feeling.
A working momma will always feel these next things. They were much more prominent when I first dropped her off. I had to force myself to go to work each day. As time goes on, it is easier to set these feelings and tribulations aside. They never fully go away and some days it’s like that first day. For the most part, though, these are in the background now.
I’m missing so much!
Every day when I pick up my little toddler, I notice different things that have changed about her throughout the day. I get a recap of her day from our sitter and am astounded at the things she is able to accomplish with my girl.
New words that are picked up, progress on potty training, sharing, expressing love, and helping me when we leave are just a few ways she grows each day.
Someone else is raising my child.
This is a hard one. As I type “someone else,” a zillion things immediately pop into my head and I can’t type fast enough about the feelings and thoughts this one sentence gives me.
Although I know my Baby Love has a personality of her own that will grow and change with her, I also know that she will be shaped by her environment. Since I am at work for 40 hours a week, not including travel time to/from the office and lunch, my time is limited which means the environment I have created at home is also limited. I may influence her on the weekends but our home is not her “main” environment.
My fear…when she calls out for mommy, she doesn’t want me. She is actually calling for our sitter.
Being away from her each day means I have to rely on and give my full trust to someone else with my most precious possession. I have to trust that those watching my child will treat her like their own, keep her safe from whatever harms may come her way, and teach her about this crazy world we live in.
My attention is forever divided.
I hate to admit this because it makes me feel awful that I no longer give my job my 100% attention all day long.
If I am being honest with myself then I have to say, I am constantly thinking about my baby girl. When I first went back to work, my focus was constantly interrupted with a sweet little face popping into my head. Fears, hopes, dreams…my mind raced. Trying to keep up with personal, family thoughts while splitting my attention with work and what HAD to get done…not an easy task.
After a year and a half, our family life, hopes and dreams are more in the back of my mind. I am able to focus more on the job I’m being paid to do and compartmentalize my life and feelings better but my attention is still divided.
If it weren’t for these blessings, I’d never have been able to go back to work. It is these thoughts and feelings that help me get through the day. These are what make going to work worth the aches and pains.
My child has another safe place.
Although this isn’t an overly in-your-face item, it is very true. My sitter’s home is just as much my child’s home as our own. She spends almost 10 hours a day 4 days a week with our sitter. It just goes to say that their home is another safe haven for my Baby Love.
She plays there. She eats there. She sleeps there. She learns there. She accomplishes milestones there. She receives love there.
She gets to socialize with other children of various ages.
Our sitter watches several other children along with having 4 children of her own. Her youngest is 2 years older than Baby Love so she’s like a big sister to my girl. Our sitter watches another little girl that is 1 year older and going through the same milestones as Baby Love. There is a baby boy around 10 months old who just seems to adore my daughter.
Now that it’s summer, our sitter watches the baby boy’s three older cousins and there are always neighbor kids hanging around witht he older kids. There are a lot of children running around that house.
Having so many children around gives my Baby Love the opportunity to socialize. She has learned to share and has the chance to learn team work. These are not skills I could teach her at home since we don’t have any other children around. I value these lessons for her. They will be invaluable as she grows up, goes to school, and in life.
I value our time together more fully.
By the time I get us home in the evenings, I only have 2 hours before bed time (IF she goes to bed on time). Although I get 2 full days together over the weekend, it is not nearly enough.
With so little time with my Baby Love, I have learned to value our time together that much more. I put the phone down, unless I want to take pictures. I keep the computer off. I’d keep the television off but that just doesn’t seem to happen. It stays off until daddy gets home but then he watches his shows.
I have taken that time to teach her how to cook. Yes, I know. She’s barely a year and a half but she can learn to value cooking and being in the kitchen. She already knows that the kitchen is where mommy spends most of her time. Why not use that as a bonding aide?
I get to hear about her day.
She’s still a little too young to really tell me about her day but I hear about it from our sitter. I love asking Baby Love questions on the ride home and singing songs with her. She doesn’t always participate but that makes it much sweeter when she does sing with me.
She enjoys going to our sitter’s house.
You may be asking how I know she likes going to our sitters house. Well, I can tell becasue she doesn’t cry. She doesn’t throw monumental fits when I drop her off. Nope. Instead, she’ll reach for our sitter. Sometimes, she’ll just hop off my lap and start to play. We have days where she doesn’t want to let me go but mostly, she seems to enjoy it there.
It’s a blessing to know that when I drop her off, Baby Love isn’t going to cry for hours. I know that she’s being well cared for and loved. If she weren’t, I’d be able to tell. My mom has told me many stories about a sitter she had for me when I was a baby. I’d cry as she pulled into the neighborhood, still several blocks away from the sitters house. That, thankfully, is not the case for us.
I choose to focus on the blessings that come with being a working mother instead of the tribulations. There are days when those feelings and thoughts of, “my daughter prefers our sitter over me” or “when she calls out for mommy, she doesn’t want me, she is actually calling for our sitter,” become so strong that I fight the urge to turn around and go back. Those are the days that I have to remind myself that going to a daycare or a sitter is a good thing for her development.
I choose to focus on the blessings of being a working mother.
How do you get through your day?
What do you choose to focus on?