Honestly this past week has sucked the life right out of me. Emelia’s croup has lingered since last Friday and with a repeat visit to the doctor yesterday followed by a chest x-ray and nebulizer treatments I was DONE, or so I thought. She woke up like a bear after her nap–tantrum after tantrum–and bedtime, well that was one joke. She literally kicked, screamed, cried for an hour straight (this is so, so unlike her). Finally she fell asleep at 9:00 last time (typical bedtime around here is 7:30). This morning–she woke up with a bang— 6:00 am–same mood she graced me with before bedtime last night. There was nothing I could do to make her happy. So by 8:30 this morning when I needed to shower to get ready for work and her meltdowns began once again I had one of my own. Like my toddler, I sat on the kitchen floor and just cried. When I went to leave for work you would have thought someone was cutting this child’s arm off–she was beside herself–crying so hard because she wanted me and only me—she wanted me to stay home. So as I got in the car and backed out of the driveway, I cried some more. I had so much guilt—guilt over her being sick and me losing my patience— guilt over the fact that I cannot stay home with her to hold her when that is all she wants—but most of all—guilt because of a moment of relief—relief that I got to leave to go to work.
Now please, before you judge me understand this, for a short time I worked 3-4 evenings a week when I first went back to work after maternity leave. After a while my husband and I agreed that I would decrease my hours and work at the hospital only 2 evenings a week with one short day of home health. We both would love for me to be able to be a stay at home mom with Emelia, but financially we need my income so I work part time. I have done multiple shifts/hours–almost full time—part time—now only two and a half days a week. There are days where I am so envious of stay at home moms who don’t have to leave their babies to go to work, days where I think the grass is so much greener on their side—but then there are days like today.
I love my daughter more than life itself, but as I got home this afternoon while Emelia was napping I had an “ah ha” moment if you will–and my heart instantly went to that mom who has or is doing this same thing I did this morning–crying on the kitchen floor. The stay at home mom who sacrifices and stays home with her babies–who has little help–who doesn’t get to pull out of the driveway like I did this morning–the mom who doesn’t get that moment to leave and come home later that day.
Now don’t get me wrong either, there are days where I don’t come home refreshed in the least, sometimes being a working mom sucks the life right out of you too! Working moms sacrifice too! I know that because I am one.
The truth, all moms sacrifice. We sacrifice so much of ourselves every moment of every day, because no matter what, we are a mom first, always. We are all doing the best we can in the best way we know how and we all love our children more than we love ourselves.
I’d like to take a moment though and tell a stay at home mom out there I salute you. I salute you because you are the hardest job, every day, all day, at every moment to your children. I salute you because you are better mom than I am at our hardest job we will ever do, and that’s the job as just being mom. I salute you because after you cry on the kitchen floor you keep being that stay at home mommy to that little person and you’re so good at it—so much better than I ever could be at it. And as I get to pull out of the driveway you are there, home, still being just mom, and that my friend is so much harder than being anything else.