This has been talked about to death. It’s exhausting. And really, I cannot say it better than Glennon Melton did here. But yesterday when we were at the pediatrician for the 2-for-1 head-cold/earache special, I was joking to the mom next to me about how you were both excitedly jumping on the couch– real sick yah, hehe– she said, “they’re probably just excited you’re home with them.” And with that, the weight of the mommy wars settled over the waiting area. And my heart twisted in a knot. Was she right? Am I ok? Are you ok? What am I doing with 2 kids if I can’t stay home and take care of them myself? I was so sure in that moment that she was so much better than me. I felt smaller than small. And bad. Really bad. I bet she actually makes the crap she pins on Pinterest. She was cool too– tattoos and all. I hated (loved) her.
By far the worst mommy war is the one I wage against myself every single day of my life. I know the talking points– that I am providing for you, that I’m giving you a great example of what women can achieve, you’re being “socialized” in daycare, blah blah blah. But it sucks so much to drop you off and know that your whole day, filled with learning moments, the 736 questions you ask, the cool new things you encounter, the boo-boos that I can’t kiss, the firsts I am not seeing; that all that is happening without me and in fact I am almost living a parallel existence for those 10 hours. (TEN HOURS, my heart just skipped a beat.)
And yet. I also know that when we spend too much time together I am longing for my office, my job, adult conversation and achievements beyond the mundane (I wrote that without thinking. You are not mundane. But folding laundry and making PBJs so are). I know that I am probably not cut out for the stay at home mom gig and also, that it’s not even an option, so mostly, I just don’t go there.
I firmly believe that we belong to each other (again, Glennon Melton) and I don’t fault those stay at home wonders; in fact, I am in awe of them. Just as I hope they look at me with a little jealousy and some respect, like I do at them. Not because of my title at work, or my title at home, but because really, we’re all on the same side of this battle. The Mommy Side.
It’s late, and I’m still up, working as a mom, working as a program manager, and trying not to feel horribly guilty about both. It’s just our reality and actually, I wouldn’t change a whole lot.