Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Working Girl: For anyone who's ever won. For anyone who's ever lost. And for everyone who's still in there trying.

I'm back at work.

At lunch it dawned on me that I had not thought of my daughter for about 3 hours.

This afternoon I thought of her playing at the park and my nose ran.

I missed taking a nap at midday. Instead, I called a friend at the exact time I had promised I would.

Nobody scampered after me when I left the room. I peed alone.

I fed myself.

I felt fulfilled. I felt fragile. I felt relieved. I felt like a weirdo for smiling at every adult holding a child. I felt like shouting, "I have one too."

I am surrounded with women that commute with this conflict. That share the same anxieties, enjoy the same adult interaction, get a kick out of knowing something. Knowing something else. Working hard but with clear working hours.

Motherhood is an exempt position. It doesn't pay extra for overtime. The glorious second shift is where worry comes with the turf. No 401k, just TMJ. Lying awake wondering if your daughter's teeth are going to rot because you forgot to brush her teeth after her night milk is the motherhood version of carrying a blackberry at all times.

There's conflict.

Since we moved cross country and I had time between jobs I was able to spend the last 5 weeks with my daughter. It was an incredibly special time and I'm glad that in all the change, I was her constant. We became very close - you might call her clingy but I would counter that I needed her just as much. Yet there was conflict there too. I loved the time together but found the loss of independence and spontaneity hard.

See my last post. Feel me at the end of my tether. The grass isn't greener. It's equally green. Or brown or whatever it is that we are trying to get away from.

And so back to work.

But, it's harder this time. Somehow.

Yet I need this.

But, it's not without conflict.

So - to combat the disappointment of zero trashy reality television on a Wednesday night (seriously, why cram it all into Monday and Tuesday?) I hit the world wide web on the hunt for trashy celebrity musings and trip up on a blog. I shan't name the blog because I respect the difference in opinion and enjoyed the writing if not the content. This was a post on the role of the mother in a household. Anyhow, I love to read the comments after a blog post (bizarrely, I am actually interested in what people that I will never meet have to say) and as I scrolled down I read one that felt like being slapped in the face with a wet fish.

"Amen. The reason we have so many lost, dysfunctional, selfish, and, dare I say, even evil, people in the world today is the fact that they’re mothers effectively abandoned them to the child-care machine."

Ouch. I take comfort in her poor grammar and incorrect spelling.

Deep breath.

Perhaps if she just noted the conflict I would feel better...?

"Amen. The reason we have so many lost, dysfunctional, selfish, and, dare I say, even evil, people in the world today is the fact that they’re CONFLICTED mothers effectively abandoned them to the child-care machine."

Perhaps not.

Anyway, I'll go back to searching for childcare now - right after pulling a knife from my back. You see, I'm a monster ;)


  1. Well that's just crap. Mothers who have to work (or choose to work) are no less of a good mother than ones who don't. In fact, the time away may make you become a better mother (see absence makes the heart grow fonder). Staying at home, to me, is both a blessing and a curse. I love that I don't miss a moment of my kids life, but I also wonder what I'm missing out there in the real world. We should not judge a woman based on whether her job is inside or outside of the home. Instead, we should stand together and applaud each other for being good mothers. I'm very glad that you made a decision that works for you, and that you are happy in it!! :)

  2. You're absolutely right, the grass is equally green. You are a loving, caring mom that is doing what's best for you and your family, and that is what will make your child a secure and loving person - regardless of what that decision actually is.

    Erg, judgemental crap makes me so mad!!

    Stay strong... and we all are!!


  3. You are so NOT a monster. You are human, just like the rest of us moms out there. We are all different. Some of us can handle the staying at home thing and indeed love it, some of us need to work (and not just for economic reasons!). It's none of anyone's business what you choose to do, so get that knife right out of your back this instant! I just read your previous post as well, and you mustn't feel bad. There are days when motherhood is just plain hard! Contented moms make for happier children and if working is what works for you than that is what you should do.Honestly, why does everyone feel they can tell women what is best for them and their families? Only you and your family can decide that, and - I'll say it again - it's none of anyone else's business!


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