Let me start off by saying that I am a full time employee and a full time mommy. My son (2 years old) has been by myside 24/7 since the day I gave birth to him, and I have loved every single second of it.
I was fortune enough that my job allowed my son to come to work with me since day 1, and I couldn’t be more thankful to have that gift of helping to provide for my family as well as be the mother I felt that my son deserves.
However, as time has gone on and my son as gotten older it has been harder and harder for me to balance work and being the mommy he deserves during the day. I shamefully admit that now that he can climb, run, and understands more suddenly playing with toys around my desk hasn’t been enough, and while I wish I could give him the constant attention he craves I simply can’t. At the end of the day I’m still at work, and I still have to earn my paycheck. So what do I do? I give my son an IPad and put on show and hope it keeps him entertained while I try to get something done. I know, awful right?
To name the situation more complicated, I found out I was pregnant with my second back in February 2022 and while we couldn’t be more excited for our family to be expanding to four it makes me worry how I can be a full time employee and take care of two children.
So what do I do?
Well the short answer is my husband and I decided that getting my son into a daycare/toddler program while I am at work would benefit him the most. Not only would he be getting the social interaction he needs to develop, but I can concentrate on work and my newborn when she arrives in late September.
So its a win-win for everyone right?
My son would receive the social interaction that he needs to develop properly as well as the constant attention he craves. I can focus on work, and be able to give my newborn the attention she needs once shes born, and my husband can just keep on chugging along like he always has.
If its a win-win situation then why do I feel so awful dropping my son off at daycare every single day? Why do I feel like I am not being the best mom I can be, because he isn‘t with me 24/7? I feel like he thinks I have abandoned him and it’s the worst feeling in the world, and now I have to think how he will feel when his little sister arrives in less than two months time.
Have I failed my son? Will I fail my daughter?
I have rationalized to myself that he’s better off in daycare with other kids to play with and 24/7 attention then he is at work with me. Because, at work I am constantly busy and shamefully enough place an IPad in front of him to keep him happy. I know daycare is where he needs to be, and I know that I am fortunate enough to find a fantastic center for him to grow and learn in. With all that being said, why do I still feel like a failure as his mom?
How do I stop the intrusive thoughts of failing my child? From day one my husband went back to work like normal and my son absolutely loves his dad even though he’s not with him 24/7. Why can’t I feel like my son will still love me and want me even if I am not right next to him 24/7? Why do I feel like the failure because I am pursuing my career just like my husband?
At the end of the day, I think it is safe to say that to much is placed on a mom‘s shoulders. From childcare, to cleaning, to cooking, and even working depending on the families situation. But even if the mom isn’t working she’s not good enough because “housework and childcare” isn’t a job and if she’s working full time she’s not good enough because no one is watching the kids, cleaning the house, and cooking all the meals. Is there ever a happy medium when a mom can pursue her career but still be a great mother?
Will my son see me as failure because I am pursing my career vs being a stay at home mom? At the end of the day I know the answer if no. Of course the answer is no. I know my son will love me no matter what, but the mom guilt eats at me every day that I am failing my son.
How as a society do we make this better? How do we make mothers feel more appreciated and celebrate there accomplishments outside of being a mom? The short answer is I don’t know, so if you have any words of wisdom I would love to here it!