The other day I dropped off my kids at school and pretty much wept the entire way to work. I thought to myself, I’m not the only mom who does this every single day. We are many and we continue to do this day after day. I thought about why we do continue to work outside the home when it can be so difficult day in and day out. Here is a letter to the moms who sometime struggle with leaving your babies in someone else’s hands because as much as I like people to believe I’m all high and mighty in the workforce….well, I’m with you.
To the mom who drops off a toddler at daycare who is screaming to take her with her. As she heads for the door she takes a quick glance over her shoulder and catches a glimpse of that tiny face peeking through the window with a tear in her eye….I’m with you.
To the mom who has to pull herself together before walking inside the office because she doesn’t want her coworkers to know she’s been crying…I’m with you.
To the mom who spends her breaks pumping and washing and pumping because she feels this may be the one thing she can do for her baby while he’s away and her coworkers look at her like “you’re going on a “break” again?”…I’m with you.
To the mom who should be working, but finds herself reading articles about babies not sleeping at night, and she finds one that says, “Babies whose moms work are often awake more at night to reconnect with their mothers” she sighs in exhaustion and thinks to herself if that’s the case then I’ll sacrifice my sleep…and I’m with you.
To the mom who might miss those first steps, first words, first smile because they happened while she was away on a work trip…I’m with you.
To the mom who declines another happy hour and night out with her friends because she’s not sacrificing the only 2 hours she has with her kids at night…I’m with you.
To the mom who’s late again to school pickup, but hears that little voice yelling “mommy!” no matter what time it is and all is okay….I’m with you.
To the mom who goes to bed at night wondering if she gave enough of herself as a wife, as a mom, as a coworker, as a friend that day…I’m with you.
To the mom who wakes up to do it all again…I’m with you.
So why do we continue to do this. Why do we continue to work outside the home when some days are just so damn hard. I feel the guilt almost every single day, yet I continue to go on at my job. Well. My mom raised me to follow my dreams and still at 32 she encourages me to reach for the stars, the ones that I want to reach. At this point in my life, I’m within my reach. Will my goals change, absolutely. Will I always work full time…I’m not sure, but I’m following my mom’s advice and daring to dream. And I want the same for my kids. By following my dreams, I hope they see that I want the same in them that my mom wished for me. I hope I’m an example to them that anything in this life is possible. I’m raising my kids to be whoever/whatever they want to be. If they want to work, be full time parents, work part time, turn into a Christmas tree…whatever it is, I want them to do it. But just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean your dreams stop…and your kids should always see you living the life you want…I hope they see you happy.
If your dream is to work full time and continue to climb the corporate ladder, I hope you do it. If your dream is to stay in the home with your kids, I hope that’s where you find yourself. If your dream is to work part time, I hope you find that way. Yes, we’re raising dreamers; we want our kids to move mountains. But we as moms cannot forget about ourselves…our happiness trickles down to the ones we’re raising. So always continue to dare to dream.
Thanks for reading,
Colleen (the third)