Our family is like a lot of families in the sense that my husband and I are both working parents. I would obviously would love to have one of us be a stay at home parent but unfortunately we aren't in a place where we can do so. A lot of the time Michael and I will work opposite schedules so that my mother-in-law doesn't have Grace all day every day and so we don't have to put her in daycare. Because of this I feel like we miss out on a lot of special family time together. My job requires I work many weekends and sometimes all weekend with my days off coming during the week. My husband works Monday through Friday, goes in before the sun comes up and is home between 3 and 4 with his days off being the weekend. There are days that Grace doesn't get to have us both home together while she is up and that breaks my heart. I know we aren't the only family that goes through this kind of situation but honestly it doesn't make it any easier. I fell like I miss SO much!
While I was on maternity leave I was living the stay at home mom life and enjoying every single minute of it (okay, almost every minute. I had my moments). I was always by her side and didn't miss a thing. I watched her breathe while she slept and make her milk drunk faces while she was nursing and I forgot completely about the fact that I was going to have to return to work. It wasn't even a thought. I wasn't thinking about the fact that eventually I would miss things with Grace. In the beginning 12 weeks felt like eternity with my new baby girl. Going back to work was the hardest thing ever (that is another post entirely).
One of my first days back at work I got a text message from my husband saying, "You'll never guess what Grace just did!" followed by a video of my baby girl's first laugh. I missed her first giggles! Ugh! It was seriously the cutest laugh I've ever heard. It was then I realized just how difficult being away from Grace was going to be. I also realized how Michael must have felt while I was home with her all day, every day while he was the one working after she was born. Missing your baby's first anything is such a bummer. We want to be there for everything soaking in every little thing they do. This is just one of the realities of being working parents.
Another reality? Stuff around our house is a lot less likely to get done now that we are both working. After being away from your husband and your daughters all day who wants to come home and do laundry or clean up? Not me! I much rather change out of my work clothes and sit on the floor and play with my baby girl. My house is more cluttered than it ever has been, the laundry basket is full and the dishes are piled up in the sink as I write this. I will get to all of that eventually but something I've learned about being a working parent is your babies are only babies once and honestly almost everything else can wait. In a few years I won't remember how long it took to get the laundry folded, I will have the memories of spending quality time with my family. Family is what matters.
Being a working mom also has a few up sides. I would say there are about two benefits to being a mom that works. One would be having a mental break from being a parent and the other would be the reward of knowing that going to work helps me provide for my children.
While I'm at work I miss my girls and husband terribly. Every second I am away from them my heart aches to be next to them. I think this is a benefit of being a working parent. It makes your time at home a little more special. For me I appreciate my time with my family and tend to be more in the moment after a day at work. I know for my husband work gives him the mental break from being a dad that I believe he needs. He is an incredible dad and husband and I think that working is one of the reasons.
Everything we do, we do for our children. Whether it is staying home or working, we all provide for our families. I think all of us mamas (and dads) can agree that no matter what, we put our children first. Even though being at work is incredibly hard, seeing the smiles on my kids' faces makes it all worth it. I love that when I come home from work and Grace is still up she gets so excited to see me. She squeals and claps and if that isn't the best thing ever then I don't know what is.
If you're a working mom, how do you feel about missing out on some things? And if you're a stay at home mama, do you ever feel like you just need a break?
See you soon, E