Friday, June 26, 2009

Thoughts of a working mother, part I

I've heard a lot of different perspectives on how being a working mother affects people. Some people are anguished by the thought of leaving their babies, others welcome for the escape. I suspect many actually feel both on a regular basis. Overwhelmingly, I think being a working mother means loads and loads of hot, fresh guilt. You feel guilty for leaving your innocent baby in the hands of another. You feel guilty for missing all of his or her precious moments- moments that someone else may not appreciate. You feel guilty for being a burden to the caretaker. You feel guilty for feeling like you can't do your job as well as you did before due to new scheduling restraints. You feel guilty that after a long day of loading up all the baby's crap, driving to the babysitter's to drop off your precious wee one, working all day long, driving back to the babysitter to pick up said wee one, driving home to throw together dinner, and then get the little sweetie to bed you just don't have the energy to clean your filthy house. Or scrapbook the glorious moments of your child's life. Or work out to get rid of that ghetto booty. Or bake bread in the effort to be charitable to your neighbors. You're just stretched too darn thin, and it hurts. I 100% do not think men understand this, unless they are single fathers. After all, traditionally men are supposed to be away from their children working most of the day. Society (and genetics, I do believe) dictate that they are not the nurturers by nature, and do not long to be with their children more. Maybe they do and they're just too tough to say so, but I honestly believe that the burden rests more heavily on the shoulders of the working mother than on the working father.

I keep hoping I can get used to this lifestyle, and in a lot of ways I've been able to dull that ache inside that tells me I should be with my sweet girl. But some days when I turn around to look at her one more time before I leave and she looks at me with those big blue eyes and reaches a little hand out to me, it's as if that little hand has unknowingly torn my heart out and once again it hurts.

Don't get me wrong, I was never the type that dreamed of just getting married and having babies. Sure, I wanted it, but I dreamed of a career as well. I wanted to be that high-powered, intelligent woman who made big decisions and was important. I am in no way berating the women who are able to do this with little ones at home. I admire them and respect them and support them. I am in no way judging any working mother who enjoys working. This is purely my personal experience I am speaking about, and I've found that since having my baby my dreams have changed dramatically.

I actually do still want to work throughout my life, I like being mentally challenged. Although, truth be told motherhood has taught me the definition of "thinking on your feet" far more than any job I have ever held. I just want to work a little bit and only on my terms. Maybe someday it will happen, but until then, I hope I can get this emotional juggling act perfected.

No comments:

Post a Comment