I rush home, run in tossing my shoes haphazardly. Swiftly sneaking upstairs before I am discovered, I change into sweats and run down to greet a child excited to be read to and play. Plopping down on the floor, thirsty and still overwhelmed from the hideous commute, I smile and invite Sophia to pick a book to read. How can I explain to a 20-month old that all that I need is 30 minutes, a glass of water and I’ll be reinvigorated. Besides, how can I afford 30 minutes having gotten home at 4 and knowing that bath-time is at 8? The guilt is immeasurable but it is worth it. For me. It is worth it for me.
You see, I’ve had a few reasons to re-evaluate my persuasion as a mom working outside the house (a stay at home mom is still a working mom, trust me). I feel mild pangs of jealousy over both friends and family who are staying home with children. I have, still do and probably always will. My four hours a day plus the weekends aren’t going to compare to their 10-12 hour days with their little ones. At times, I felt like I am missing out on Sophia’s everything and will never get that time back. But then, I realized that no matter how much I want to hold on to her, hold her, hug her and have her be all mine, she has and will continue to grow, flourish and pull away establishing herself as her own self.
I realize that she turns 2 this fall. She will soon enough join other toddlers and pre-schoolers at a nursery school and before I know it, I’ll be taking her to her first day at kindergarden. As Sophia begins to branch out and fill her days with extra-curricular activities, what will I do? I could and probably would take on a more active role in her school, volunteer, and apply my well-polished technical skills to something. I’d go on, until she and any other children we may have, are well into their teenage years. Time flies — of this I am sure. But then, when the kids are grown, when they leave, and embark on establishing their own lives, what will I do? My husband will hopefully still have his job and his career, and I will finally have time for tennis and golf lessons, lunches with girlfriends and the spa.
My education and degreeS will curdle faster than milk and I will be outpaced by those who come after. I want Sophia to look at me as a freshman in college and know right then and there that I worked. This isn’t to say that mothers who work in the home aren’t working. But most kids (and some husbands) don’t consider that to be “real” work. The kids will eventually realize this when they are parents… the husbands, well that’s another story altogether ;-).
If I have realized anything about life it is that you, yourself, and your worth should never diminish or disappear as you navigate life’s seasons. You should always remember that and that in itself is a critical lesson for our children.