I came home from work today with a new respect for the mother who works outside her home. I had to plan ahead and leave my house early so that I could get my child to his sitter with enough time for me to arrive at my job on schedule. I had to go out of my way on the drive home to pick him up. I didn’t have to, but I enjoyed chatting with the friend who’d watched M as the kids finished playing their random games. But once I got M to the car, I realized how late it had gotten, and we still needed to go to the grocery store and figure out dinner.
I honestly don’t know if I could do so much each day. My sister began her first week of work after her maternity leave this week, and my heart goes out to her. Her baby’s still small, and they are still so connected. She is lucky to have all the great arrangements she has in place, but it can’t be easy to leave that precious little one. Look at me, my kid is closing in fast on four and I’ve been anxious about leaving him with friends for a measly five hours. It’s one thing to leave your child with family, but taking him somewhere else, picking him up, figuring out what’s going on in the remaining parts of the day, that takes a lot of mental and emotional energy, not to even mention the physical logistics of getting it all done.
So I wanted to just take a moment and give out some props to the moms who work. You who’ve made the choice, or had it made for you, to do what it takes for your family to survive, to thrive. As my family makes its transition to new jobs and new routines with new schedules, calendars, timelines that all have to coordinate with each other, I am grateful for how fortunate we have been over the last few years of working and parenting.
I am lucky that for most of his life, my boy has been cared for by either his mother or his father. That was something I always wanted for my child, not only for him, but for my own purely selfish reasons of wanting to experience his formative years firsthand. I am fortunate that with all the stress that came from trying to fit together all the puzzle pieces of all our new obligations, friends have offered so much support. The reality of everything that’s happened over the last few months is finally starting to sink in and alter our days, but even this is temporary. And I’m excited to see where it all goes from here.