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Allow me to start by saying that I love my job. I have learned so many things about myself that I never knew before and I learned a lot of skills which I never would have gained had I not pursued this position. However, one of the many working mom problems that we, parents who work outside of home, have to live with is that we miss out on so many things.
We miss milestones, card days. and school programs among other things.
My heart aches every time my kids excitedly tell me that they have activities at school. Half of me tries to appear to be listening to their plans while the other half tries to mentally calculate if I still have paid leaves.
I know that I should be thankful that I have a job that allows me to help put food on the table and I truly am but you can’t help a mother’s heart from wishing she could be there for her kids all the time.
I miss having dinner with them. Although we get to sit down and eat as a family every weekend, there are days at the office when I just miss the dinner time chaos at home. I miss listening to the kids talk about their day at school, I miss catching up with my husband who has a totally opposite work schedule than mine and of course, I miss cooking dinner for them.
Okay, the last one might be a lie…
But I sure miss just being with them. I miss the feeling of wholeness and contentment every time we sit down, say grace and share a meal as a family.
The opportunity to provide support when they need it
I never thought I’d say this but I miss helping them with their homework. Never mind the fact that my eldest kid usually ends up doing his homework on his own because I’m useless. Apparently, my expertise in Math is only up to first grade level. Ha! I usually leave the office at 10 in the evening so my husband is the one who helps them each night. God bless him.
Simply being there
I long for goodnight kisses and bedtime stories before the kids go to sleep. I only get to kiss them when I get home late at night when they are already fast asleep. I miss cuddling with my little girl and the late night talks with my son.
I also miss watching them rush through the door as they get home from school in the afternoon. I miss seeing them kick their shoes off and drop their bags on the floor as they race to give me kisses and hugs. Never mind that they usually look like vermin and they reek of sweat, I treasure those chaotic moments in my heart.
Being a working-mom is hard
I’m good at it but it doesn’t mean it isn’t slowly breaking my heart.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you have an office mate who’s a mom, please don’t make fun of her if you see her with a spaced out look once in a while. She’s probably thinking about her kids at home.
Or that call she just got from her husband informing her that her daughter did not get to eat lunch at school because a boy spilled her packed lunch onto the floor.
Or the text message about a missed assignment because her son forgot to do it.
Or that call from her daughter who’s crying because she’s getting frustrated that she can’t read.
So what’s next?
I’m worried that I will never be able to catch up. By the time I’m done being a working mother, what’s gonna be left for me to take care of?
It’s a pretty tough balancing act, this mothering thing. We do what we can despite and in spite of.
Knowing that we don’t have all the time in the world because sooner or later, our kids won’t be needing us that much.
Knowing that someday this whole chaos will slow down.
But also knowing that the worrying will never stop.
It simply is a mother thing.
So where does this leave me? I’m just gonna continue going to work, wait for the clock to tell me that my shift is done and rush to my already sleeping but oh so loved kids.
Doing my darnedest best.