Oh for three

Today, I’m 0 for 3.

I was present for zero meals with my girls. The sitter made breakfast, lunch and dinner. I did not get to ask them how they slept, how school was, or how they napped. I had minimal interaction with the girls today.

This led me to ask myself the dreaded question: is this all worth it?

I tell myself my work is important. I believe that I am setting a good example for my girls as well as keeping a roof over their heads, food in their bellies and access to all of the basic necessities of life. I also think that someday they will ask me for a new pair of boots, to play sports, or to have a birthday party and I will be able to provide these things without hesitation, assuming they are deserving at the time. I believe that having fun vacations will create memories that we wouldn’t otherwise have without my income. Lastly, I want them to learn that it is okay to have a passion and do what they enjoy, even if it means they may have to sacrifice time with those they love.

But again, is it worth it? As I sit here and watch S at gymnastics wearing a slightly too-small leotard with her Elmo undies hanging out, I have to wonder, “if I worked just a little less today, would I have remembered her shorts?”

I try to anticipate how my work will affect the girls as they grow up. Would they rather have more of my time day-to-day opposed to having tangible rewards? Am I spoiling them with “things” opposed to spoiling them with love and attention? Am I being selfish by doing something I love instead of spending time with the people I love?

My last question is: do they even care???

Sure, when I walk into the house after work I am greeted by screams and hugs, “mommy’s home!!!” But does this mean they missed me? Were they sad that I was at work? Someday will they be resentful of me taking care of others’ family members instead of my own?

I’ve been working since both girls were 4 weeks old. They don’t even know what it means to have a “stay at home mom.” In fact, they get a bit confused when I am home during the week. Truly, they seem comfortable with the routine we have created, but I still worry about the effect it has on them.

I tell myself that I am teaching them to be strong, independent women. I want them to know that they can do anything they put their mind to (within reason.. it must be legal). I have a goal of them WANTING a significant other, not NEEDING one to survive (emotionally or financially). I hope my girls are learning that from me.

That being said, I am strong and independent and my mom didn’t work outside of the home… it’s hard not to second guess my decisions.

Everyday I stress about how to raise the girls. I don’t want them to feel second fiddle. I want them to know how much they mean to me and how much joy they bring me. I hope that the time we have between work and bedtime is quality time, and that it fills their hearts with enough joy to last until I see them again the following evening.

I hope they will forgive me when I miss their field trips, plays, classroom celebrations and understand that I am doing my best. I also hope that I can find a comfortable balance between work and the girls. Mostly, I hope my work is impacting them in a positive manor and not harming them in any way.

For now, I will continue to tell myself that I am teaching the girls a lesson that cannot be learned from books: we have to make sacrifices everyday and sometimes what we love the most has to be sacrificed in order to follow through with our obligations.

And on a lesser note, I may not have been home, but the kids DID receive breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and for that, I’ll call today a win.

an addendum- I hope no moms were offended in the reading of this post. I can only relay my experience, and that consists of working outside of the home. Stay-at-home moms, you amaze me.

6 thoughts on “Oh for three

  1. Dana, I struggle with this everyday. My husband stays at home with ours and I work full time. Some days I don’t get home before her bedtime which means I haven’t seen her all day. Have faith that your girls appreciate your sacrifice. At least that’s what I keep telling myself on days that I get home in time to put her to bed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Dana!! I completely relate being a working mom. AND a working mom to two girls, just like you! I wonder all the time if I am providing them with the kind of life they deserve, whether they miss me, are they going to be upset if I miss a school event, etc. Then I realize – I am providing them an example of what a woman can achieve in the 21st century – advanced education, a career, and a family. Is it hard?? YES!!! Do I rely a little too much on my husband sometimes? YES! I believe my girls are learning a great lesson right at home. You CAN achieve. Keep going Dana! You’re doing a great job!
    On the other side of things – I have NO idea how a stay at home mom does it. There is no way I could function. Huge applause to all those moms.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dana,
    This one really touched my heart. I remember working with you and your compassion and generosity with your time along with your sense of humor in some challenging, crazy, heartbreaking and insanely laughable situations somehow assures me you are doing just fine and your daughters are very lucky indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

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