Saturday, September 10, 2011

Confessions of a Working Mom

Three weeks ago I went back to work and was GLAD to do it.  Some people are surprised to hear me say this, surprised there were not tears shed over her going to the sitter's, surprised I didn't blow up the sitter's phone checking on my daughter the first day.  And yet others were relieved to hear me say that I was happy to be back at work, it made them feel better that they felt the same way when they went back to work.

It's not that I don't like or want to be home with my daughter, it's just that when you spend 9 months plus maternity leave eating, sleeping, and breathing for your baby, a little separation gives you a piece of yourself back.  I am also not a home body, I get cabin fever easily so I started running out of field trips that Lorelei and I could go out on.  The first month with Lorelei was rough but took a turn for the better right around the time I went back to school to set up my classroom.  Maybe it's coincidental, but when I started setting up my classroom for the first week of school, which I would be missing on top of pre-planning due to maternity leave, something clicked in me that I was better able to handle her finicky nature which was good for both of us.  Getting back in my career element interrupted my perception that I was forever attached to her.  I was able to step outside Mommy role, if only for a few hours and step back into my career role, an adult role, which actually allowed my Mommy side to recharge making  me MUCH better for her, (not that Mommy role ever ceases...)

When the career ball started rolling, I found myself again, outside of being a Mommy, a role I am blessed to have and wouldn't trade for the world. Of course I feel guilt about wanting to be away from my daughter, but I have found that it is human nature.  Some people can spend every waking (and sleeping) moment with their kids, and do, but as for me, I need the "me" time away so that I can fill my "Sharon" bucket.  With my bucket full, I can dive into my time with my daughter before and after my work day is through.  Though I didn't call every hour checking on my daughter, I rushed out of work to go pick her up and take her home to snuggle.  She did well for the sitter, which I had faith that she would, and we were both happy, which is the most important thing.

I doubt I'll EVER be a stay-at-home mom (Summer breaks for don't qualify me as a stay-at-home-mom), it's just not for me, but I would if it would benefit my child(ren).  I do worry about how many smiles and coos I am missing, the hours I don't get to watch her precious face and movements as she sleeps.  I can never get that back, but I am convinced that she realizes this and gives extra smiles and coos after I pick her up to give me a synopsis of what I missed.  I hope that one day she realizes that Mommy is in a career that she LOVES, and that she will want to follow in my footsteps and choose to go to college, earn a degree in an area that interests her, and start a career that she loves.  But for now, I am content to give her my best when I am with her, yearn for the time when we are together again, and enjoy my career and my daughter and the happiness they both bring me.

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