Monday, March 15, 2010

The Hard Days

If you are a working mom your days home are rare.  There are weekends.  Those are often crazy and rushed - packed with family events and attempts at regaining order to your house.  They may mean fun trips to concerts or parks, but they also mean laundry, cleaning, and catchup.

Weekends are so precious.  Regardless of how much "should" get done, I almost always choose the fun and family focused over the housework (my house reflects this well).  And it never fails; weekends fly by and we are always left facing a Monday.

Most Mondays come and you pack up a smiling boy with a bittersweet heart.  You know that he is going some place he loves.  A place full of love and friends.  And yet, you send him away, leaving a piece of your heart with someone else.

Except when you don't.

There are those days.  The hard days.  The days that should not be described in polite company because they involve a variety of "goo" from a variety of sources.  These are the hard days.  The days where your normally happy son may scream at being held, then at not being held, then at napping even as he can hardly keep his eyes open.

It isn't his fault.  He is sick.

And as a working mom (parent) you adjust your schedule.  You make it work (Even Tim Gunn would be impressed).  You rock and play and coax and cuddle the illness out of your child, until the day comes when you can send him bright-eyed and bushy tailed back to daycare.  You are on duty for the hard days.

It is the curse of the working parent.  No, that's not true, it is the curse of every parent.  We all deal with the sick days.  Those are always the hard days.  But it seems that the difference lies in the days in between.  The good days, the cheerful ones, the easy ones (easier at least) - those find a working parent at, well, work.

There are people who debate the merits of being a SAHM vs. a working mom.  I find those debates and the anger they bring tiresome.  The fact is that many (most) working mom's don't choose it.  For me, right now, it isn't a question of choice, it is a question of supporting my family.  Until circumstances change it isn't a question of choosing one or another, it is a question of reality.

So the good days find baby goat at daycare.  The hard days are left for me or Mr. Goat.  What I wouldn't give for a few more good ones to balance the hard days.  Some days to remind me that it can be easy and fun (and healthy). 

I am a working mom. 

But...

If my son grows up and remembers that I was at his side for the hard days, then all the "goo" and difficulty are worth it.  In the end, we were there to rock and play and coax and cuddle the illness out of him.

Even if the days I get are the hard days...

Even when they are filled struggles and goo...

Even when the work piles up and your week will be crazier than normal...

Even is sleepiness...and sickness...

They are days that I get to share with him.

Therefore they are a gift, even when they are hard.

7 comments:

Monika said...

Good for you being a working Mom. I was too up until last year, when I involuntarily became a PT SAHM. I too think that daycare is a valuable experience for my child. All the quality time you do have to spend with Baby Goat is important whether it's on a sick day or an evening or weekend day.

simplicity said...

This, my friend, is beautiful and I am certain that there are many moms, working or not, who need to read these words.

Recovering Procrastinator said...

Beautiful post. It is hard to only be around for the sick days. But when you're home every day, sometimes the sick days are welcomed because it's the only days the kid sits still. Sad but true. Hang in there.

The Fritz Facts said...

This post is ringing true for me so much right now. For everyday I miss work to be around for kids that seems like a hard one, it makes it better.

Thank you for sharing this.

Anti-Supermom said...

Liz, this strikes a cord with me - especially being a child care provider - just remember that it's you they want to be with above all...

that you are home.

Rebecca said...

Thanks. I really needed this today.

Baby Mama said...

I'm so glad to have read this. I just returned to work after a week of vacation, I needed to be reminded of how lucky I am, and that I am not alone.