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When staying at home is not an option: A working mom’s frustration

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Have you ever been so tired, had too much on your mind and so much work to do that you wonder how you’ll muster up the energy to get through the day?

That was how I felt recently and to make matters worse, I overheard our receptionist talking with a client in the lobby. They were talking about kids.

Client: “How is Kendra doing? How is her baby?”

Receptionist: “She is doing great! Her little one is 13 months old already and his first birthday was a hit.”

Client: “Do you have kids?”

Receptionist: “Yes, I have three. They are all grown now but I was able to stay home with them throughout their younger years.”

Client: “Oh, that’s nice.”

Receptionist: “Yeah, I just didn’t want a babysitter or anyone else raising my kids for me. I wanted to be the one to do it.”

Really?!?!? I’m in earshot, lady. And today. is. not. the. day. Do you think I had a baby and said to myself, “Gee, wouldn’t it just be the best thing in the whole-wide-world to let other people spend 40 hours a week with my son!” “I mean, I don’t need to spend that much time with him do I??” “10 hours of quality time during the week should be sufficient for me!” “I would love for my baby to learn new words while at daycare instead of from spending time with his dad and myself.” “I would love for him to enter the room at daycare and immediately waddle up to the teacher and beg for her to pick him up because he likes being with her so much.” “Yep, that would be the life for me!!!”

I guess I just never knew how perfect my co-worker really is and the fact she had the choice to stay home and raise her kids makes her a better mother. Well, now I know.

I hate that my son goes to daycare full-time. But there is not one thing I can do about it. The situation we are in is currently the best for our family. And when it comes to providing for a family, want vs. need is a no brainer. My son is well taken care of and he is safe. As a mother there is nothing else more important to me. I know my co-worker’s sometimes ditsy personality meant no harm by what she said; she was just expressing her opinion. But like I mentioned, today was just not a good day for her to express it.

I got through the rest of that tough day with lots of deep breathing, finding my happy place and repeating, “I love my job, I love my job, I love my job.” Then, I went home to the two people in my life that make any stupid day better. My hubby greeted me with a smooch and a squeeze and my son smiled, waved and said, “hi!”(his new word) then resist my attempt to scoop him up and smother him with kisses. It will be perfect.

And I just need to remember that.

Kendra’s blog My Full-Thyme Life is about being a full-time working mom to a precocious toddler and newborn child and how she attempts to balance her life as a wife, mom, and key employee.

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Comments
  • comment avatar Amber Johnson May 30, 2012

    SUCH a great reminder not to judge and to be sensitive to all moms, working or at home!

  • comment avatar Jourdan May 30, 2012

    As a mom who chooses to work, I love it but sometimes feel guilty for missing out on the field trips, plays, etc. However, it makes me upset when other moms judge me for my decision. Working and having a family are not either or…many of us choose to do both and that doesn’t make anyone better or worse than the other.

    • comment avatar Kendra May 30, 2012

      Jourdan, I couldn’t agree more! You said it best, “working and having a family are not either or…” The judgement that moms put on one another is unfortunate and unneccary. After all, we may go about things differently but in the end aren’t we all trying to accomplish the same thing? Thanks, for your comment!

  • comment avatar Krystal May 30, 2012

    As a stay at home mom, I would love to work. The cost of quality daycare for two just about offsets any income I would be getting in my chosen profession. Yes it’s great getting to be there for all the milestones… But I think I could have better quality time with my kids if I could miss them more often! I really admire working moms. I feel like no matter what you do (work or stay home) you are looked down on by somebody and feel guilty about not being enough. It’s this supermom image society has established. We are supposed to work but only for hours a week so we can still be full time moms. It’s a lose-lose situation.
    I salute ANY mom who does what she needs to for her family and her situation!

    • comment avatar Kendra May 30, 2012

      Amen to that, Krystal! I hear you about the cost of daycare. With Baby #2 on the way the Hubby and I are wondering how we will make it all work. :/

  • comment avatar Daria May 30, 2012

    It is a very tough balance for sure.

    • comment avatar Kendra May 30, 2012

      Yes, it is!

  • comment avatar Suzanne Bastien May 30, 2012

    You said it perfectly.

    I’m also a “have” to work and “want” to work Mom, and when people say things like. “Oh, I don’t know how you do it. I’d hate to be away from my kids.” I am stunned that they think I Like it.

    I don’t mind getting out of the house and doing the things I do at work.

    But the GREATEST part of my day is when I go home, get my 4 and 5 year olds running into my arms and saying, “I missed you Mommy… How work?”

    It’s awesome.

    • comment avatar Kendra May 30, 2012

      Suzanne, you are right! It is awesome to go home and have my son greet me with a huge smile. He’s not talking yet but I’m sure I’ll enjoy that too!

  • comment avatar Jen May 30, 2012

    Guilty: YES, Wrongly Judged: NO. I’m not proud that my son spends more time with his daycare provider than me, and hopefully it won’t be like that in the future, but for now, I’m doing what I can to give him everything I possibly can. Plus it just makes the time I do have with him even better since I feel the need to spoil the crap out of him and I love doing it. 🙂

    • comment avatar Kendra May 30, 2012

      Jen, you are right about how precious that time with your kids becomes when you are away from them all day. I also like how you said, “for now” you are doing what needs to be done. That’s how I view it too. It may not be ideal but it is what is important for my family at this time.

  • comment avatar Susan May 30, 2012

    I am a working momma too, I have no other option. And it makes me so angry when someone says “Id hate to have a stranger raise my kid”. That’s flat out stupidity. My son is well taken care of and oh at 20 months he knows his ABCs and makes 3 word sentences. I am PROUD.

    • comment avatar Kendra May 30, 2012

      Atta girl, Susan!! I am proud of my son too! He is very social and comforatable with other people and doesn’t make a fuss if mom and dad aren’t holding him. Everyday he amazes me with a new word or task that I hadn’t seen the day before. Thank you for the reminder that it isn’t all bad our babies are in daycare! 🙂

  • comment avatar Ratna May 30, 2012

    Amen sister! Thanks for sharing your thoughts because I go through this all the time- all the time! It is worse when it is subtly done too day in and day out. It is a constant reminder of the choices we make and that perhaps they are wrong- mothers making each other feel bad, that is the true war on women. Thanks for the reminder that they will be fine and what you are doing is okay! Hang in there!

    • comment avatar Kendra May 31, 2012

      Thanks for your comment, Ratna! You are right about mothers making each other feel bad. Isn’t it a shame!

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  • comment avatar Terra June 7, 2012

    When I chose to work at home it was never an option it’s my choice and until today I am so very thankful I made that decision!

  • comment avatar Michelle September 1, 2015

    That’s really tough. But coming home to the people who love you is priceless. 🙂

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