Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A letter to working mammas

Dear Working Moms (and SAHMs too!),
We need to talk. Why is it that we don't talk to each other about how difficult going back to work is? I mean sure we blog about it, but we don't talk to one another about it. It seems like we're all just going about our days, miserable and missing our babies, but we never say to other working moms, "you know what? This sucks and I wish I didn't have to be back at work but I do. How are you making it work for you so that you don't cry all day?" Or is that just me? I know it's not, because I know there's plenty of other bloggin mammas out there who talk about the same thing. A friend of mine who aso is a new, working mom equated leaving her little one to go to work like "heading to the airport to catch a flight knowing you left a whole bunch of appliances on. It's not so much sadness as it is anxiety provoking." We need to have more copnversations like this.

I'm sure for most, if not all of us, going back to work after having a little one sucks. Maybe it sucks less for people who love their jobs and don't have to listen to kids tell them horrible stories about their lives that make them want to run home and pick up their little owlets and never let them go. Ok, that's probably just me. But seriously. As working moms I don't feel like we have a role model. Someone that we can aim to be like, who's doing the 9-5 gig and seamlessly transitioning to being a mommy at night. Maybe we don't have a role model because there just isn't anyone like that. Or there are people like that but they also feel like they don't know how to make this all work.

Last night I saw my owlet for a total of an hour while he was awake. An hour. Not cool. He also woke up like 6 times last night too, probably because he missed me as much as I missed him. I just don't know how I'm supposed to make everything work. Something's gotta give, and it's not going to be being a mommy. I've only been back at work for 3 weeks and I find myself coming in late and leaving early. I no longer linger after team meetings to chit-chat with people and catch up, I'd much rather book it to my car so that I can get home to my guys.

I guess the only role model I have for being a working mom is my own mother, who worked the swing shift while I was a wee one, and the day shift once I started going to school. My mom was a single mom doing the best she could so that she could give me the best life possible. But she never told me how difficult it was for her to leave me with a sitter everyday. Other than it was a sacrifice she had to make in order to make things work. We need to talk about this too, mammas, about how hard it is to leave our little ones in the care of someone else, especially when they are so small and when we feel like no one else is going to care for them like we do.

Don't get me wrong, my mother in law is wonderful and caring and I'm sure she loves my little owlet as much as she loves her own children. But that doesn't make dropping him off with her any easier. People think it is, but it's not. Because he's not with me. Sure there's times when he screams for hours on end and I'd love nothing more than to hand him off to someone so that I can drink an enormous glass of wine while taking a bubble bath, but that's only for a couple hours. Once I'd calmed down, I'd want him back. And not just at the end of a long, tiring day of work.

So working moms and SAHMs, how do you make it work? I'm including you SAHMs too, because I'm sure there's days that you miss being at work. Days where the kids won't nap and you haven't gotten anything done and you wish for a minute or two that you could drop them off with someone and just go be by yourself or with friends (sans kids) for a few hours. I know the grass isn't always greener, that sometimes we want to be on the other side of the fence, but I think we forget what it looks like over there too.

Let's talk!

1 comment:

  1. The first couple of weeks of leaving Declan was the hardest but when I picked him up all we did was cuddle and nurse. I too found myself racing out my office door as soon as I possibly could and picking him up was and still is the favorite part of my whole day. Especially seeing him smile and get excited when he sees me. I think what made it easier after the first few weeks was seeing how much the people at his daycare loved him, cared about him and really really knew him. I would come to get him and they would tell me things that they had noticed about him that day, his likes and dislikes and I understood that they really knew and cared about him and he wasn't just another baby. Then I started to notice that when I dropped him off he would smile at Ms. M. (a daycare lady that he took a particular shining to) and be excited to see her and that made me feel good that he knew he was in a safe place and somewhere where people would take care of him even if I wasn't there.

    I miss Declan lots but I also have a lot of guilt about the fact that I know I am not cut out to be a SAHM and even if it was an option for us (and it's not) I am not sure it is the choice I would make:(

    I wonder does Alex sleep with you or in a crib or in a different room? If you yearn to be close to him maybe the family bed would be a good choice for your family. Some people say not to do it and it is dangerous but I have also read a lot of research that says it is the best choice for some families.