*Disclaimer: I believe ALL moms work … whether they are stay-at-home moms, work-outside-the-home moms, part-time working moms, you name it … ALL moms work. Just wanted to clarify before you read the article I reference below.*
Of course, it WOULD be that the day I planned to blog about this awesome article I read — “What NOT to Say to a Working Mom” — would be the day Maya decides to throw me for a complete loop.
We were getting ready for school this morning and I asked her a question I ask her every morning: “Do you want to go to school today?”
Usually she grins and begins jumping up and down. “School!” and then ticks off her little friends she will see.
But today was different.
“NO. Want to to stay home wit MOMMY.”
My heart shattered into a thousand little pieces. While she might have felt that way before, this was monumental because it was the first time she had verbalized such a thing to me. I tried to hold back tears … lest my two-year-old see the waterworks!
[They’re learning emotions at school so right now “happy” and “sad” are the two she uses most and I didn’t want her to think Mommy was “sad”].
I pulled myself together and gave her a big hug and smooch, hanging on just a little longer than she might have wanted me to. Because my hubby is out of the country for work right now, I’m doing drop-off and pick-up all this week. So to make the most of our bonus morning time together, in the car on the way to school, I asked her if she wanted to sing her ABCs — something she usually loves to do.
“No, Mommy! Go back HOME sing ABCs.”
Well why don’t you just stick that knife a little further into my wounded heart now, sweetheart?!
Naturally, I felt horribly guilty all day at work … til I peeked at the webcam and saw her sitting with her little friends during story time, enjoying mealtimes (last one left at the table, every.single.time!), pushing trucks and cars, running around in the gym during recess, and patting her babies to sleep. Then the guilt that had washed over me lifted just a smidge seeing her so happy in that environment.
By the time I went to pick her up, I was so excited to see her I practically busted into her class … and she didn’t give a darn. In fact, she just peeked her head out of the child-sized doll-house to say “Hi Mommy!” … and then went right back to playing with her baby dolls.
As if I wasn’t even there. Adding insult to injury, she thrashed her arms and fought me on the way out. “Stay school!”
This time, though, my heart didn’t hurt. In fact, by the time we got to the car she was fine and I was grinning ear to ear. While I am so happy she wanted to be home with me today (and think we need a mommy-Maya day soon!) I also love knowing how much fun she had today at school — so much fun that she didn’t want to leave!
Today was a good reminder that, like anything in life, being a working-outside-the-home mom is full of pros and cons. Some days the pros weigh heavier than the cons. Some days the cons weigh heavier than the pros. And other days — like today — the scales miraculously find equilibrium.