When Catherine came along, her health necessitated me being home full time. And full time it was. I found myself suddenly with a toddler and a newborn with a bad lung who couldn't be exposed to sickness. Remember that movie about the bubble boy? That was us. The bubble family. For the better part of a year we didn't go anywhere. ANYwhere, people. I was like Nell when I finally got out of the house...screaming in an indecipherable language and running around in circles flailing my arms. At least I had on clothes. Talk about going from one extreme to the other.
Then came Stu. I was actually working on getting things in place to go back to work when I suddenly craved hot dogs and fell asleep at the wheel at 2pm one afternoon running to Target and realized that I was pregnant. I didn't even need a pregnancy test to tell me that. Shock and awe, that was. So I made the decision to just stay at home a little longer because...I mean let's face it....would you have wanted me working for you? What do you think were the chances I'd ever even make it out of the door in the morning? And I didn't see my firm agreeing to me working between the hours of 1 and 1:45 in the afternoon.
So I wouldn't give anything for the years I had at home with my babies. I joke and jest and probably embellish a lot on here in the name of creativity, but I truly loved being at home. But the flip side of that was the fact that I felt...and here's that word again... guilty for not working and using my education and hard earned skills. So when the opportunity came along a few months ago to return to work in a much more flexible and less stressful capacity, I jumped on it. Because I was afraid to let that boat sail. So I jumped back into the world of working mommyhood.
Only now I find myself peering over at three sleeping babies instead of just one. But only sometimes. Thankfully.
I do have it good. I know I do. And trust me, I am more than thankful to even have a job in today's world. I could quickly make you a list a mile long of all the pros of working. But sometimes in that deep dark place inside I wonder if a mile long pro list outweighs the one con...
So here I am feeling guilty once again. But I realized the other day that when I was home full time I felt guilty. Not only about not working, but I'd get to the end of the day and feel guilty because they watched too much TV....because I yelled at them....or they only ate goldfish for every meal....or I let someone get away with something....or punished someone too severely....or because I should have read to them more....or...or....or.... and on it went.
So I'm thinking that as Moms maybe we need to accept the fact that once you give birth, that cloak of guilt will just become part of your wardrobe.
Maybe I should learn to accessorize. With grace. And mercy.