How Hard Is It To Be At Home? How Hard Is It To Be At Work?
I'm lucky enough that I was able to stay at home with our son for his first year. There were other circumstances that demanded I be here and some big sacrifices we had to make to do so. But still I got to be with him everyday, see every first, and become the most important person in his life (and he in mine).
Soon I'm going to begin working again part-time. And to be honest it's something I have really been looking forward to. Until......
Last week. I got a little preview of what it will be like to go to work all day. I volunteered for our local elections to assist voters at the polls. Granted this was a longer than typical day. I left the house at 4:30 AM and returned at 8:30 PM. But I was so excited to get out and do something else for 16 hours!
At first it was freeing. I was talking about movies and books with other volunteers. I could get up and go to the restroom ALONE whenever I wanted to. I actually put my hot coffee cup close to the table edge without worrying about little fingers reaching up to grab it.
I was loving how the day was going until lunch time. I had planned to walk home and have lunch with Leo then walk back to the voting center. When I called my mother to let her know I was on the way she told me that Leo had juuuuusssssst fallen asleep for his nap. My heart sank. I wouldn't get to see him for 7 more hours. It felt like a lifetime.
I've been away from Leo fro 5-6 hours before when I've gone into the city for Dr. appointments. I was away for 48 hours when I went to the Women's March. Knowing in the back of my mind that 7 hours a day was going to become my new normal somehow made missing him more painful.
I went to lunch at a local sandwich shop and saw lots of other Mom's there eating in two's. It seemed like all their kids were in school since at 2 PM they all asked for the check and hurried out of the restaurant.
The second half of my day seemed to drag on. We were all sleepy from getting up so early, things had slowed down so time wasn't moving as fast. I kept hoping the door would open and Leo's smiley little face would come through for a surprise visit. I just ached to hug him and kiss his little cheeks.
When the day was over I raced home. I even unconsciously unbuckled me seat belt before the car had stopped moving (something I NEVER do!). All I wanted was to be next to my little Hunny Bunny.
I ran upstairs and found him in bed with Marcelo. They had finished reading "The Little Blue Truck" I waited for him to look up and be as excited to see me as I was to see me. Instead he looked up, showed me the book and went back to looking at the pages. As if I had never been gone.
Honestly, I expected a bigger reaction from him but I didn't care. We snuggled up and read four books before turning out the light to go to sleep. Right before he went to sleep Leo threw his arms around my neck and pulled my forehead up to his and just held me there until he had a big yawn and laid down.
Then THUD it hit me. This will be harder than anything I've ever done before.
All Moms that go to work everyday and arrive home late at night. I don't know the words to express how strong I think you are. I don't think there is a word in the English language that can relate the feeling of only wanting to be with your child when you are at work but wishing you could be at work sometimes when you are with your child.
What are your experiences of being a stay at home Mom or a working Mom or a 50/50 Mom. What's the hardest part? What's the best part? What's your advice for other Mom's? We'd love to hear your stories.