Any mother who has left a baby in daycare to return to work after maternity leave knows that dagger-to-the-heart feeling. I felt it with both my daughters, too, and occasionally still do, but now nearly four months have passed since I have been back to work and I’m hitting my groove. I’m also reflecting positively on being a working mom. There are days when I definitely feel guilt, exhaustion, and the desire to clone myself a few times just to get everything done, but the reality is there are good and bad elements of everything. Today, I’m focusing on the good.
(Photo by Alyssa Crawford Photography)
I firmly believe that we, as mothers, make our decisions with our children’s best interest in mind, and not something we take lightly. Choosing to be a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, or something in-between, can be one of the most difficult, guilt-inducing dilemmas we face. Sometimes circumstances make the decision for us. Further, none of it is necessarily set in stone.
My positive feelings are greatly because I enjoy (usually) my current job and love the daycare/preschool our daughters attend. Would I reassess things if that wasn’t the case? Absolutely. But we can also choose to be thankful for the path we are on and the blessings that come with it.
Here are a few of the great things I have experienced because I am a working mom.
My children meet and make friends. Watching my oldest daughter develop friendships at daycare over the past couple of years has been so heart-warming. I love that she’s only three, yet has already experienced many close friendships.
I, too, meet and make friends. Just last weekend my husband, daughters, and I spent a fun afternoon with a great family we met through our daughters’ daycare center.
Unapologetic quality time. Not seeing my daughters as much as I would like during the week means I allow myself to make at least one day each weekend all about fun. Whether we take in a fall festival or just watch princess movies and make cookies, intentional effort is made to engage in quality time, laundry pile be darned.
Using a variety of skills. I will probably always be better at analyzing a budget than at singing a lullaby. And that’s OK, but I get to do both and how cool is that?
Feeling valued. Moms, you (we) should all feel valued and appreciated all the time, but that’s not necessarily reality. Sometimes our coworkers are better at expressing appreciation than toddlers are.
The satisfaction of completing a task. Sometimes just cleaning the bathroom with my daughters around seems like it takes 17 times longer than it should. At work (on a good day) I can crank through a to-do list and at least have a few legitimately completed tasks by the end of the business day.
The end-of-day pick-up. You guys, there is absolutely no better feeling than how happy my girls are to see me when I pick them up at daycare at the end of the day. It never gets old.