A Slice of Life

Being a Working Mom

My Own Slice of Life on Being a Working Mom

I’m a mom of two young children. My Evelyn is two years old and Johnny turns five months old today. It wasn’t until the end of both of my maternity leaves that I really got the hang of being a stay at home mom. After having two kids, I was amazed at how I could time things just right so that I could feed Evie lunch while Johnny napped and feed Johnny while Evie napped. I was having so much fun playing dress up and having tea parties and watching Sesame Street and cuddling in pajamas until noon with my babies. I even found time to take a shower and eat lunch myself on most days!

Then it was time. Time to go back to a job I’ve always wanted to have. Time to be a full time teacher and a full time mom? I realized neither job, being a teacher or a mom, was full time anymore. My mom was getting to spend time with my kids during the day while I went to work. Morning drop offs were not fun. Evie would wave her chubby hands out the window and blow kisses as I drove off down the street. Johnny would just sleep peacefully in his car seat until he got hungry again and then my mom would get to feed him his bottle. At work, I was so busy that the day would fly by but when I would catch a glimpse of the clock, I would immediately begin thinking about our daily routine and wonder if Johnny was napping and if Evie liked her lunch today. It was so sad to think about all of the hugs I was not getting while I was away from my kids. Although, they seemed completely indifferent about the idea of having a working mom, my heart was breaking every day.

Just when I think I am starting to get used to the idea of juggling both jobs, something happens that reminds me of the stay at home life that I loved so much. This morning, as soon as I walked into my classroom I received an email from my mom saying that right after I left her house, Johnny rolled over for the first time. I missed it. I missed it when Evie did it too. There’s that pain in my stomach again. There’s that ache in my heart.

I know Johnny will roll over again and I will be there to see it when he does. I know my students need me at school and I need to be there for them too. I know my kids are fine at my mom’s house and they probably don’t even miss me. I know this is difficult right now but it will get easier, right? I’m thinking it will. And as soon as it gets easier, something else will happen to bring me right back to my own inner conflict about being a working mom again.


Comments on: "Being a Working Mom" (13)

  1. This piece hurts my heart. I feel you in every word. The pull of my heart between work and being with my peanut gets me all the time. I know our kids love us and feel loved as well, but it still pulls.

  2. I understand this piece as if I wrote it myself. I feel for you.

  3. The firsts you are there for will outweigh the ones you miss and if you have to miss something who would you want to see it? Your mom of course, I can assure you that she cherishes those moments just as much as you! How blessed you are to be able to leave your children with her. I was able to do the same thing many years ago.

  4. I can totally relate to this piece. I am going to be leaving in September for maternity leave and I am afraid of that feeling I had at the beginning when JP was born and I had to go back to work. It really does stink having to leave them. I thought it would get easier, and some days are! But, like you when my mom calls and tells me something they did, I feel guilty and sad. This piece really hit home with me. Thank you for sharing.

  5. 30 years later, now it is easier…it wasn’t even easy for me when they were in college. I’m glad that you have your mom, who can love like no one else to help. I used every moment of summers to my advantage and used to pretend when I was at the pool that I was that mom who got to stay home. xo

  6. I missed the firsts I missed with my son because I was at school, but I also knew from the beginning that I wouldn’t be happy as a stay at home mom. By the end of my maternity leave (and same with my summer breaks these days), I need a break away from the house, from being Mommy to be the best mom I can be.
    I won’t say that I haven’t felt it – that tug at my heart when I knew I would rather be home with him when he was little or if he’s home sick with his dad. (He’s 7 now – time flies!) Take it all one day at a time.

  7. Enjoy every moment – with your children, school and home!

  8. I love your sense of balance – you are needed in two places, you want to be in two places, and yet there is one of you, and you acknowledge that. You have found a way to be at peace….hard as it is to juggle both worlds.

  9. Brave women! Juggling a career, a vocation, and a family, as well as maintaining a writing life. How do you do it? I applaud you! Carry on.

  10. I told myself that ALL moms miss firsts and games and smiles and hugs at one time or another. I told myself that my kids were better when we were all busier. Yet the balance and the pull of the two sides of your heart are never easy. I am glad your mom is there for your kids and for you…the gift of time … priceless.

  11. pinkieup said:

    That is so tough. I always wonder if I will, one day, be able to do both. If I can stay at home I know my husband and I both want that, but I always wonder if I will want to go back. Your post just confirmed for me that no, I probably won’t.

  12. Ugh. This piece tears at my heart. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I have to come back to work after my leave.

  13. I know exactly how you feel! Your writing touched me because I’m going through the same thing right now! It’s so hard but I have faith that it will get better.

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