Monday, July 20, 2009

Calling All Working Moms

I am desperately in need of ideas.

I love my career.  I truly do.  It is fascinating and nerdy and exciting and so much fun to me.  I love helping people with their money and following the stock market.

But, I don't love any of it as much as I love being a mom.  I feel like I have this personal battle raging every day.  The professional me and the personal me.  I want the personal me to win.  Desperately.

My favorite days are the days that I get to spend with the Squeeze.  When I get to leisurely bathe her, when we can spend hours in the kiddie pool and take naps together.  I love playing with her and feeling like there is nowhere else in the world I need to be.

I can't wait until I get to stay with her everyday.  But, today is not that day.  Some days are so hard to leave in the morning.  Some days I still show up at work in tears.  I know that working right now is an investment in our future as a family.  And I know that it won't last forever.  But, I still feel like I am missing out on the huge part of what is her every day.

I get to do the big things...I always take her to the doctor, I'm always there when she gets her shots.  I usually get to put her to bed and I do all of her shopping.  It's the little things I miss.  I didn't see the first time she crawled.  I miss her giggles in the morning and I don't get to feed her breakfast.  I have to pull her out of bed way earlier than she would like so that she can go to her grandma's.  I'm not there when she is crying during the day because her gums hurt, and when I am there at night, I am so tired that the next day I can hardly function.  Some days she is so tired that I only get to see her for a couple of hours before she is down for the night.  Those days break my heart.  I still have a hard time letting her sleep in her own bed all night because I want that time to be close to her.  I desperately need to feel her next to me and know that she knows that I love her.

I love her more than I ever thought possible.  I love her so much that it hurts.  And, I love her more and more every day.  I need ideas for how to be close to her.  How do I make sure she knows how much I love her, cuddle her, play with her and just be with her and still make sure my other obligations are met.  I think it is a myth that we can have it all as mothers.  Something has to give a little.  My career has been the thing that I let go.  I leave on time and I drop whatever I am doing when I have to take the Squeeze to the doctor or when she needs me.  And I'm okay with that.  I take sick days when she is sick.  I don't know how women do it all. My house is often a disaster.  It is a very good thing that my hubby is such a good sport.  

I am not meant to do it all.  Being a working mom is really, really hard for me.  Perhaps it is because I always dreamed of staying home.  Maybe I need to adjust my expectations.  I need suggestions and help.  How do I organize everything so that I feel like I am accomplishing all I need to do?  

Time to go...a certain little girl is stirring and I desperately need to play with her for a while before we head to bed. 


Susi said...

Well....I'm a working mom and a single working mom. My house is a big mass, I've learned to close my eyes for the big pile of laundry in my house.
If she is sick, well I bring her to my father, so at this point I'm lucky.
When I was young and I was sick I went to my grandparents and that was a feast!
But how I read you, you work a lot of hours?

I work 3 days in a week and every other weekend. And ofcourse that doesn't make me rich, but it makes me rich in spending time with my kid.

I really don't now how moms doing it, working, kids, clean house and all that.....
To be honest, most time I'm tired.....

Well I wish you luck, it's a pitty you were not be able to see your kids first moves...I was lucky at that point.


caitlin said...

See this is why I am not a mama yet. I don't know how I will deal with it. For what it's worth, I think you're doing a great job. You may be missing out on things, but you also have to look at it, like you are able to give her more by working.

Cris Siqueira said...

well, i'm not a mom yet but i can say that you should go to work wihtout guilt! you're doing two great things: working in a job that you love and beeing a mom!! that's great and a lot people doesn't have this.

you can be a great mom who works and you can be a great professional who is mom, i know you can!!

my mom never work, sheraise me and my 3 sisters, and she did a great job. but my aunts who works are raising theyr children so great that you shouldn't feel guilt!!

enjoy both: when you're working and when you're with your little princess that is, whit no doubt, the best person in your life!!


Victoria said...

I just sent you an email. I had so many thoughts I couldn't put them all in the comment section :-) Keep going strong, you are a great mama!

nicola said...

oh, i have so much to say on this. currently, i am with my kids (i have 2 of them), because my job was grant funded and it ended last year. previously, i was a working mamma.

so i understand both sides of WOHM/SAHM dilemma quite well.

you describe just how i felt when my first (lala) was your daughter's size. she was split between my mom and mother in law. she was so very lucky to develop a closeness to both and to get focused love from them, but even that was difficult for me. my mother in law didn't have the wisdom to let us be the first to see things (even if we weren't actually the first). she would call, excited at something lala had done. i would feign excitement, then go to the bathroom and sob over what i had missed.

at work, i requested a schedule change. are you able to do this? i changed my hours to make my days longer 4 days per week so i could be home 1 week day. it made all the difference for me, even though lala was tucked into bed shortly after we got home most evenings.

and i don't know that this will help now, but two things...1) it does get easier. partly, just time passing and partly there is joy in having your child connect to other adults (and eventually children, depending on the childcare setting). she will always always know you are her mamma and you will always be her safe person. and 2) mostly what she needs now is love. if you can stick to working for now and then take a leave or change your schedule when she is a bit older, it will mean more to her. i noticed time together being significantly more important at the 18+ mo old ages.

and...the grass is sometimes greener. i am very lucky to be with my children full time, i know that. but it is the hardest, most exhausting job i have ever had. i miss work, because it was a chunk of the day i had to focus on my own thing. it was a break i never get now.(as your daughter gets older, you might also appreciate getting a break from temper tantrums, potty training, and the like.)

huge mamma hugs to you from someone who truly does understand.


The Girl in the Yellow Shoes said...

Thank you so much for the comments and ideas! You are all so wise, and I appreciate you so much! (And, if I got an email from you...I am working on replying. It's a holiday here in Utah, so be patient with me.)


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