When I first started writing this article…well, it was an interesting morning, to say the least!
Monday, December 17th
I just got a text from my brother-in-law, who is watching Quincy for a bit this morning, that she just projectile vomited everywhere. She’s never thrown up before. And I have a project management meeting at work in 20 minutes, that I run so I can’t leave. My heart feels like it’s breaking in two. She must have been so scared, having never thrown up before. My poor baby, I just want to run over there and hold her until she feels better! My poor little lady! Mom guilt…all time high right now!”
Before I ever was married or had kids, I thought, “I could never be a stay at home mom. There’s just no way!” My thoughts didn’t change even after Jordan and I got married. Not until I found out I was pregnant, did I even BEGIN to think…staying at home might be something I’d like. The longer I was pregnant, the more I thought, “Hey…I think I could see myself as a stay at home mom.” But with that desire, came thoughts of, “What will people say if I choose to quit my job & stay at home? Will people lose respect for me? Will they talk behind my back about how I gave up on my career & the dreams that went along with that?” or will people think “How nice, to just get to lounge at home all day in your sweatpants & not work a real job.” Even more frustrating though, I then wondered what people would say about me being a working mom! “Well, she must not love her child THAT much if she chooses to work full-time. She’s literally choosing to have someone else raise her child.”
You know what really makes me mad. There IS. NO. WINNING. You’re damned if you do & you’re damned if you don’t. You’re a working mom & people will shame you for not spending enough time with your children & nurturing them in the way you “should”. You’re a stay at home mom & you’re shamed for having no ambition or one that REALLY trips my trigger…calling stay at home moms lazy. I’m sorry judgemental person who knows nothing about my life…have YOU watched a child for an entire day? Have YOU tried to keep a 1-year-old out of all the drawers, rooms & shelves they’re not supposed to get into it? Yeah…there is literally nothing lazy about being a stay at home mom.
And on top of all those judgemental thoughts that swirled around my head…was the worst of the worst…Mom Guilt! I don’t care who you are, or what you say – it is so so real. I love my daughter SO freaking much! Literally more than any tiny person I’ve ever loved before. I had no idea my heart could love a single person so much. While dropping her off at my mom or sister’s while I go to work, has gotten a bit easier, I still miss her EVERY single time I leave. It’s pretty much like taking my heart out of my chest & saying, “I’ll be back for you in a few hours.” I know you mamas out there know what I’m talking about.
But then there’s my coworkers & the company I work for. I don’t mean to brag…except that I do & I’m going to. I’ve been working at the same branding & creative agency since I graduated college (many many moons ago). My boss is more than just my boss. My co-workers are more than just people I share an office with. For goodness sakes, I spend more time with them than I do my family & I spend A LOT of time with my family. They are some of the freaking raddest people I know. They are supportive, encouraging, understanding, creative, smart, freaking funny as all get out, any positive adjective you can think of…that’s what they are.
It’s so hard not to spend my entire work day thinking of Quincy. And it’s so hard not to spend my evenings & weekends with Quincy & Jordan thinking about the emails I need to send or the contracts I need to set up. Which is why I try to be as present as possible in whatever situation I’m in. At work, I try to focus only on work (although, I do check in on Quincy once or twice a day), and when I’m at home with my family, I try my hardest to enjoy those moments with them.
This past weekend we took an impromptu trip to Lauritzen Gardens to check out their new dinosaur exhibit! We took full advantage of the “heat wave” & it was so refreshing to get out of our routine at home & spend some time the three of us outdoors. Quincy however, could careless about the dinosaurs, she was more interested in the melting snow & every single tiny rock on the ground. But hey, I’m still going to call it a win!
I honestly don’t know what the right answer is. Staying at home. Or working. And is there really even a “right” answer? No…it’s different for every single mom & every single family. But what’s right for me? To be honest, I’m not sure…I love love LOVE my freaking daughter & the children I hope to someday have, but I also really love my job & the people I work with. I love that I have something I can be proud of that doesn’t include getting a child to nap for longer than 45 minutes. But let’s be honest – that is a FREAKING accomplishment that deserves a gold medal!
I guess this article doesn’t have much of a point to it, other than to say…
Hey, you other moms! I see you…I understand the mom guilt & I seriously CONGRATULATE you for doing what you’re doing, however you choose to do it. Whether you feel guilty for working full-time or letting your kid watch another episode of Caillou (I curse the day when that show becomes a staple in my house…) or doing another load of laundry rather than reading another book with your kiddo or wanting JUST ONE dang afternoon to yourself to get a pedicure or a massage, give yourself some freaking slack. Let yourself breathe. Work on learning to embrace the chaos of life rather than trying to be perfect and avoid it. Most importantly, know that YOU are incredible, strong, brave & a total boss. Not to mention, your butt looks GREAT in those jeans 🙂