April Moments

Maybe, just maybe, telling the story is just as important as the story itself

The working mom conundrum

I do not like complaining, but forgive me while I complain.

I cannot help but remember what my life was like last year at this time. Being that I was employed by a school system, I was off work — on my fabulous six-week summer break that I am so missing right now.

Elliot playground 2010

Fun at the playground

Not having anywhere to go on a daily basis was nice. Elliot and I could leisurely eat our breakfast, hang out in our lounge clothes and play outside. No hurrying, no deadlines. Aaaahhhh….

Except that gets boring after a couple weeks.

You see, I like having a job. I like using my brain and the knowledge I gained while earning my very expensive bachelor’s degree. I like writing, proofreading and editing. I like having adult conversations.

But, I like having silly 3-year-old conversations too. I like coloring and doing puzzles. I like reading “Rain Feet,” “Go. Dog. Go.” and “Good Night Moon.” 37 Times. Each.

I do not like sitting at my desk, wondering — and occasionally worrying — if Elliot’s time at his day care is going OK. I do not like paying someone else to teach him his alphabet. I do not like beating myself up and cursing myself for not being able to stay home with him: “This is not how it’s supposed to be. God didn’t give me a child so someone else could spend more time with him than I do most days.”

I also do not like temper tantrums that begin with “I want a treat.” I do not like refusals to nap, especially when I know the teachers at preschool succeed at naptime every day. I do not like losing my cool when Elliot deliberately disobeys simple instructions.

Would I trade my red editing pen for a fat, red crayon? Would I hand over my business suits for lounge clothes? Would I swap promotional brochures for board books? Probably, to all three.

But, the reality is, those are simply not options right now. And, even if they were, I actually think my ideal situation would be to work part time, preferably three days a week — a schedule that would allow me to be with my son most days and still wear heels on the others.

Such is the conundrum of being a working mother.

Originally published on ovparent.com.

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