Let me start off by writing that I am not writing this for sympathy or for anyone to comment, “You can be a Stay at Home Mom if you try hard enough”. There are a lot of personal reasons that I choose to work that I am not here to debate with you about. With that being said, I do have days where I wish to be at home with my daughter instead of at work.
Here are the facts: I absolutely love my job and I am finally at a good place in my life where I feel confident and happy with my career. I leave my job feeling great and I don’t dread coming into the office like some of my previous jobs. I work in the middle of a quaint downtown area where I frequent the local coffee shops and restaurants for lunch. I also work in a community filled with a variety of moms, but I seem to run into the stay at home moms at the cute coffee shops and stores I frequent on a daily basis. Moms who are in their workout gear or moms that have dressed to the nines carrying or pushing their strollers with their bundles of joys throughout the town. They are smiling and have their babies dressed up in cute outfits and appear to be very happy. This is great until you are having a day like today where you miss your daughter and just want to be home with her instead of wondering what it would be like to be one of them.
I know better than anyone that being a mom – working or staying at home – is tough and not all roses and butterflies. I can’t help to forget that when I see these moms strolling around me, drinking their lattes and laughing with their kids at the table. I caught myself fantasizing what it would be like to not work and stay at home. I wonder how many times I would be able to get out of the house and enjoy the day at a Downtown area. I remember thinking I was lucky enough to brew a pot of coffee at home much less be able to go to an actual coffee shop. But then again, Reese was a newborn and now she is almost 8 months. She is so much fun and I find myself wondering what it would be like to plan each day with just her and I. Again, I have a great job that would allow me to take a few days off and spend time with her, but it’s still different. I find myself talking to these moms all the time to ask them about their baby and then I gush about my baby for at least 5 minutes. They are probably thinking I am a crazy stranger and hopefully they don’t think I am evil for not being at home with my baby, but I can’t help talking about her. It helps me cope and makes me feel like I am with her when I am really not.
At the end of the day, I have to remind myself that if I was the mom in the coffee shop with my baby I would see the working mom walk in. She would most likely order a a large coffee (because she was up all night with her baby having to wake up extra early to get to work), play on her phone, and run off to the next meeting with her head cut off. I would look at her and know all of her challenges, but I would also envy her being able to still juggle it all and all the pros that come with still working. Knowing myself and knowing that I always want what I can’t have, I would start to dream about her lifestyle as well. So, here is my little note to the mom I saw today.
Dear SAHM Coffee Shop Mom,
Know that when I see you, I do get jealous and I’m not going to lie about that, but I know that you are working hard and some days you feel like you want to run away. You may or may not look at the working mom and envy them. I see that you are struggling to get your daughter to put down the bags of chips and cookies because it’s breakfast time, not snack time. You are keeping your cool even when your toddler is about to blow. Keep your head up, put an extra shot of espresso in that coffee and know how blessed you are and really how blessed all of us are for having children – a job that is unfortunately not granted to everyone. Also, thank you for allowing your little girl to say hi to me, wave and smile at me because sometimes a working mom needs that to remind her about how sweet her own child is.
All the best,
Working Mom who dragged into work today and is thinking how quickly her baby will grow to have the same breakdown in the near future. You handled it pretty well I will say!
I guess what I am trying to say that no matter what route or direction you choose as a mom you are always going to dream and fantasize about the life of another mom(especially if you are on Pinterest or follow other mom blogs). It’s okay to tear up, it’s okay to have sad days, but it’s also okay to share these thoughts with other moms and hopefully other moms that don’t make you feel like crap or judge you. We are all human and mommy guilt is truly something that everyone will face no matter what your home-life is like. It’s how we deal with it that matters.
How do you deal with the dreaded Mommy Guilt?