The caption reads: This face makes being a working mom so hard sometimes #motherhood #mommyguilt
I was grinning ear-to-ear, pushing the kids in the double buggy and Luis was behind me, walking Rocco when we ran into our neighbor and her dog on a cool July evening earlier this week. Though we had met the neighbor’s husband a couple times, we hadn’t met her yet. After exchanging pleasantries, chit-chatting about the unusually cold summer (#puremichigan), and telling us how adorable the kids are, she asked if I worked, her eyes darting from the two squealing babes in the stroller to me — beaming with pride behind them.
But with her question, my face fell. I found myself heaving a guilt-ridden sigh. And then choking back tears as she shot me a knowing glance and told me how she stayed home with her kids when they were small. How she has no regrets. How it wasn’t easy, but it was the right choice for her.
I breathe in his freshly-shampooed hair, twirling the fine baby-soft strands of blonde sweetness around my finger. Ben has been asleep in my arms for close to 20 minutes now, but I’ve selfishly (?) stayed upstairs in the nursery rocking him, snuggling him close and savoring the night-time quiet — his even breathing and the pitter-patter of his heart-beat while Luis prepares Maya for bed.
He’s limp in my arms, in such a deep sleep he’s easily placed into his crib and I do the “hand slip” out from under him. He moans a little, lets out a sigh as he drifts into dreamland. I touch his back, rubbing it ever-so-softly, making shushing sounds, while his legs curl under him.
So I thought I had this whole “weaning” business figured out. After all, I nursed/pumped for nine months with Maya and then weaned her pretty easily. My supply was dwindling and I just pulled the plug (literally and figuratively). No problem. Within a day or two, my chest felt like “mine” again (as in, not twice its pregnancy/breastfeeding size). And I assumed that it would be a similar situation for round two.
What’s that line, “when you assume you make an ass out of you and me?” Definitely ate some crow this past week.
All moms probably want more time in the day to spend quality time with their kids — time that isn’t spent schlepping them from activity to activity or feeding/clothing/bathing them. And as a working-outside-the-home mom, this article definitely rings (sadly) true.
I haven’t written poetry in eons, it feels like … but the other night I was so inspired I just started drafting a poem on my phone, allowing the words to just flow while I focused on the present moment with my son.
This is what I wrote. It’s not exactly some award-winning great work, but it captured the essence of how I was feeling in that moment … a moment that, not too far down the road, will just be a distant memory.