For the most part, I enjoy being a work-outside-of-the-home mom. I am satisfied with my career. It may not be my ultimate dream job but until someone will pay me to eat food and read books (preferably in a tropical climate), it is just fine. There have been a few times though when someone made a comment with (most likely) good-intentions that made me cringe. At the time, I smiled and nodded and responded with the appropriate polite remark, but nonetheless their words stung. Here are a few things people have said to me that struck a nerve, and what I really wanted to say in response:
Don’t you wish you could stay home with them? No. If one day my husband and I become millionaires I would still choose to work (ok, maybe I’d cut down on my hours, but still). I love spending time with my kids but the thought of entertaining them all day every day just exhausts me. Also, I love my co-workers! These are the people I spend the majority of my day with and they are my confidants, therapists, cheerleaders, and comedic relief. I can’t imagine not having them in my life.
Aren’t you afraid of missing milestones? Yes. Luckily I have been present to witness both of my sons’ first steps and hear their first words; however, yes, there is a possibility that I will miss at least some milestone moment. And that makes me sad.
It’s such a shame that both parents have to work today just to make ends meet. My husband and I both have worked hard to get where we are in our careers. We find joy and take pride in what we do. We choose to work because that’s what’s best for us, and our family. And no, I don’t think that’s “a shame” at all.
I could never put my kids in daycare that young, but it’s great that you’re ok with it. Oh I just love these types of passive aggressive comments. Listen, I am no stranger to feeling guilty. I’m a mom. It’s part of who we are. But the reality of the situation is that my husband and I both work full-time; therefore, our children go to daycare, and yes, they are young, and yes, I am ok with it (…most of the time).
I’m sure they’ll be just fine in daycare. I send them to daycare. I don’t drop them off in the middle of the woods. Yes, they’ll be just fine, but thank you for the confirmation.
You must miss them so much. Of course I miss them so much! That’s why I don’t go three minutes without glancing at their pictures. That’s why my favorite part of the day is when I pick them up and they come running up to me and attach themselves to my legs. Of course I miss them so much.
Here’s the thing: I question every decision I make in regard to my children. Every. Single. Decision. In fact as I write this, I am wondering if long pants versus shorts were the right decision today. (I mean, it was chilly this morning, but it’s supposed to warm up and if they go outside later they might be too warm…oh god, I made the wrong decision. Can I leave work now and bring them shorts?) The bottom line is although I believe the decision to work outside the home is the right one, there will always be those “what if” thoughts. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) I’ll never know the answer to the “what if’s” so I have to trust myself and the path I chose…oh excuse me, it’s been more than three minutes…