Thursday, August 23, 2007

Working mommies need love too

Has anyone ever read my blog and found it strange that my blog title alludes to the fact that I work full-time outside of the home, yet I rarely talk about work. I suppose that my intention has always been to talk about work - in fact I mostly blog from work. But work is boring - plain and simple. Despite the fact that I work with big-name developers, world-renowned starchitects, and even find myself (mis)quoted in the paper on occasion, my two beautiful girls are way more interesting to spend my precious blogging time talking about. And I like them more.

It is a difficult thing though, to balance being a career woman and a mommy. Especially to be good at both. Most days, I find myself being rather mediocre at both as I struggle to find the balance. If anyone out there has found a way to be a good mommy and career woman, please pass along the secret. Because I surely don't know what it is.

This week has been especially difficult. On Monday night, Bryn had the early signs of a stomach bug. By Tuesday morning, she'd had several yucky diapers and was acting grumpy. I knew she felt sick, but I had a busy day at work and I felt like I needed to be there. So, I took her sick to daycare. She lasted through lunch time, but by about 1:00 daycare called. We stayed home the rest of Tuesday and all of Wednesday. I ended up missing 2 important meetings, a community open house, and a big press release about an exciting new project. Instead, I stayed home to change yucky diapers and hold my grumpy girl while we watched princess movies. Through it all, I felt like I was where I should be - but all day yesterday, I couldn't shake that guilty feeling that I was letting my coworkers down.

Some days I long to stay at home. I feel like I'm missing out on so much of my little girls' lives. They repeat words that I've never said to them, and know things that I've never taught them. It is difficult not to feel a little guilty that I work. It seems that society still tends to look down upon working mommies. Most of my friends and neighbors are stay at home moms, and sometimes I feel left out. I don't get to go to play groups during the day or to meet up at the park with other moms. But when I really think about it, working keeps me sane. Besides, I don't really have the option or choice to stay home. At least right now.

Its really not all bad though. I do like my job (most days) and like feeling like I'm making a financial contribution to the family. Besides,
the girls love their teachers and friends at daycare, and are both very social. I think that daycare is good for them because it gives them the chance to be around so many different people. They really do get bored with me when we stay home. All day yesterday, G kept asking if we could go somewhere - anywhere out of the house. They are learning good things at daycare too. G is in a preschool program there, and is learning things like Spanish and sign language. She also knows what letter each of her friends' names start with.

I do think that I'm doing the best that I can. I am providing financial stability and insurance benefits to our family that we wouldn't have otherwise. My girls also see the example of a strong and intelligent woman. And I think that I'm still a great mommy. I only work 4 days a week, so on Friday its girls' day. We have a pancake breakfast, go to gymnastics, read lots of stories, and have fun. Every single day, we eat dinner as a family, and then spend time together in the evenings. On the weekends, we always do an outing with Daddy. So, I still spend lots of quality time with my girls, and they know that they're loved. I hug and tickle them every day, and tell them I love them before bed.

Being a mom is difficult, whether its a stay at home mommy or one who works. We all have our challenges and issues that we have to learn to deal with. I've made the decision to work, and I feel its what is best for our family right now.

1 comment:

Chelsea said...

I wonder if your experience would be different if you lived in a different area of the country. Where we live, being a SAHM is not the norm, even among women at church. Most women work away from the home at least part time. I have often felt judged or looked down on for being a SAHM - like I'm not as smart, or ambitious enough to have a career. Or even worse, that I'm a mooch and riding on my husband's coattails. No matter what decision we make as women, we'll always be judged by someone. You hit the nail on the head when you said that it's what is right for your family right now. Kudos to you for having the courage to do what is right for YOUR family, regardless of what others may think!