Motherhood: a contradiction

I returned to work a month ago.  Put aside the debate between working moms and stay-at-home moms; I’ve been on both sides of this debate, and both have their pros and cons.  Since returning to work, I feel conflicted at least five times a day.  I love working, I hate being away from my kids, I love working outside my home, I hate it….you see where I am going.  I have been waiting for this feeling to subside, but so far, it has not.

Working has always been my goal.  I was fortunate enough to stay home for Anya’s first seven months.  I started college and placed her in an awesome in-home childcare provider.  I never worried about her, and it was great for me to accomplish some of my schooling in a classroom.  When Lorelei and Addie were born, I was also in school – in fact, I wrote my thesis for my bachelor’s degree when Addie was four months old.  The youngest my children ever were when entering childcare was about seven months.  This gave me plenty of baby time before going back to work or school.  However, I took six years before having my son and final baby.  In that time, I finished a master’s degree and held a few jobs (and also moved three times.  Military life.).  Leo started childcare at eight weeks old – and that felt very different.  I was ready to return to work, but how could I leave this tiny human?  Everyday, he does something new and different.  How could I want to miss all that?

I struggle because I am constantly contradicting my own feelings.  I love my job – even on the days that are stressful and frustrating, I love having something that is entirely my own.  I have amazing co-workers and a boss who has been very understanding and flexible with my return to work.  It is great to be good at something and to have people older than the age of eleven depend on you.  At the same time, I think about my kids all day.  I wonder if Leo is doing something new at daycare.  Even though the girls are in school, I wonder if I will miss some performance or ceremony.  I feel guilty if I cannot get them early or if I’m too tired at the end of the day to play a game.  At the same time, I hope I inspire my children to attain their own goals and to do the things they want to do in life.  Do you see all the contradicting?

I think (and know) that this is the right thing for my family and for me.  Despite the feelings I may have, working is the right choice for me.  My children will be fine in school and childcare, as they have always been.  And as I said before, I hope they see their father and I as examples – no matter what they choose to do in life.  No matter how I feel, at least I get to come home to these people every day.  🙂

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