I walked through the door on Monday feeling good about getting a workout in after work. “How are the kids?” I asked my husband. He responded, “Well, Mason threw up four times.”
Here are the thoughts that ran through my head…
1) I am glad he wasn’t in the gym childcare!
2) Great, selfish me decided to workout and clearly my little boy needed me.
3) I have an important meeting in the morning. Who is going to stay home with him?
And so it begins…a working mom dilemma.
As my husband and I compare calendars and what we each have going on the next day, I fall to tears. I want to be the one that stays home with my kids when they are sick. But I am a working mom and the reality is, it is not always going to be me. We have amazing help with our kids, as I’ve mentioned before, but no emergency childcare was available and it we decided that it was easier for my husband to stay home.
The following day starts out fine since my four-year old baby boy slept well despite being sick. By about 10am, I am sitting in my office I can literally feel the mommy guilt eating away at my heart. My husband texts that our son is having a “take it easy” day and is doing perfectly fine. But still, I feel tortured as I sit through meetings thinking of nothing but my family.
My last afternoon meeting ends and I get home as fast as I can. When I race through the door, my son is awake and running around our cul-de-sac with my husband. He’s excited to see me. But, he doesn’t ask where I’ve been. He’s been loved and cared for all day.
I cuddle him extra throughout the rest of the day. That night as I put him to bed he says to me, and I promise this was completely not a set up, “Mommy, you are the best mommy in the world.”
I cry for the 4th time in a 24-hour period.
Only this time, it is because I realize that I am and always will be his mom, even in the moments that I won’t be with him. And nothing can change that. He doesn’t feel neglected. He knows I love him.