It’s the question every Mom faces when they are about to return back to work after maternity leave. Am I doing the right thing? Should I be home with my child? Am I a bad Mother for wanting to get the heck out of the house and feel like myself pre-baby back at the office? And then all of the logistics… who will take care of my kids? How can we afford daycare or a Nanny? And then what if we can’t? Does that mean I will be forced to stay home? These are the questions I think about every day on my way to work.
I worked hard for my degree in Computer Engineering. I love my job, not to mention the perk of drinking my coffee and eating lunch in peace while looking out of my office window. My brain is challenged beyond doing toddler sized puzzles, making bottles and creating snails out of Play Doh. Then, I look at the pictures I have on my office wall of my kids. I am paying almost my whole paycheck for someone else to raise my children 10 hours a day (I trust our Nannies 100% to do a great job, but still they aren’t me). Then my contemplation turns to feelings of jealousy. Someone else is probably showing my children something new right now and watching them smile. I want to be there in those moments, making those memories. How do I reconcile these feelings with the feelings of wanting to have a career? It’s a question that sometimes leads me to tears. It’s a feeling I think that working Mother’s have that working Father’s do not. It’s in our DNA.
The truth of the matter is, somehow we are making it work. I thank the Safeway delivery man, Diapers.com, our bi-weekly cleaning service and our amazing extended families for keeping the house running. I’m lucky to have a very flexible job that lets me leave for doctor’s appointments and turns the other way while I run out at 4pm to make it home in time to beat traffic and relieve the Nanny. My house is usually a mess and the laundry is never really done and put away. Home cooked meals have their highs and lows. Somehow, we still make time for play and smiles. Is all of this sustainable? I honestly don’t think so. I love my children with all of my heart and deep down my instincts are telling me that I need to be with them.
So to answer my question, “Can I really do it all?” Yes & no. I can try, but I can never have the perfect house, the perfect family and be #1 at work. Some things I have to let go. The hardest part of being a Mom is making the decisions of what to make a priority in life based on what is best for your family. On top of that is the making a leap of faith to act on those big decisions. Eventually, I will quit my job. I’ve made that decision.. but when? And will I have regrets? Can I even handle three young children on my own day in and day out without losing my sanity? How will we handle the budget? Who knows, but I know that I do not want to wake up one day and realize my kids are 10 years old and I’ve missed some of the most important moments of their lives while I was busy at work. I think with careful planning and some trust in myself, I can make it happen.