Tag Archives: daily routine

See Jane Go To Work

Today, while Jane and I were playing quietly in her room and Sam napped in his room next door, Jane matter of factly picked up her Tweety Bird Easter basket from last year, slung it over her shoulder like a purse, and stated,

I’m going to work.  I gotta go to the ofsup [aka office].  See you later.  You stay home.  I’ll be back!

Then she turned on her heels and left me staring at the empty doorway.

Childhood mimicking blows my mind sometimes.

My first emotion after Jane left the room was sadness for my poor little girl who has known me to leave her every weekday since she was 14 weeks old.  Then I felt guilt for not staying at home with her.  (And then more guilt for feeling guilty when I know I’m supposed to stop feeling guilty for everything).  And then I felt what might best be described as disgust for the whole situation and perhaps a little resentment over the fact that I even have to choose between my career and being a full-time mom to my kids.

But when Jane returned to the room with her Tweety Bird “briefcase” and smiled,

“I’m back.  I’m home now!  I went to the ofsup.  I love you!”

and gave me a big hug and kiss, I felt proud.

Holding her Tweety briefcase, Jane had an air of confidence and the look of someone who knows who she is.  She walked with a purpose and beamed with self-assuredness.  Best of all, she looked happy.  And that made me happy.

For one, I was happy to know that she has a professional role model.  But most importantly, I was happy that leaving her every day has not been the death of her – and might even be an inspiration.

Her play acting reinforced to me that not only has she accepted the daily routine of our lives, but that she also knows Mommy has another – equally important – identity besides being a mom to her and her brother.  She sees that I am not a one-dimensional person:  sometimes Mommy stays home to play, sometimes Mommy takes time out to play with her friends, and sometimes Mommy goes to work.

Today’s verdict: Being able to provide my daughter with a multi-faceted female role model is satisfying enough to assuage my working mom’s guilt for the time-being.  Whether I need to set this type of example while Jane is only 2 and Sam is not yet 1 years old is a question I’ll leave for another day.

The Case for the Stay At Home (not to be confused with the Stay At Home Mom)

I’m determined not to sound whiny – especially after Hubby’s comment about some of my Dilemma Diary posts – but really, working part-time is both a blessing and a curse.  It’s great when your home life is going swimmingly and you don’t have deadlines falling all around you, but quite the opposite when you have sick kids, a sick nanny, a sick husband work deadlines right and left.

As a rule, childcare is short on the days you’re supposed to be home and not working (but need to be) and the days you’ve designated for the office are cut short by this or that from the home front.  As a mom, you’re the one (at least I am) who has to leave later in the morning and take care of the kids before work and the one who has to come home early to let the nanny go and take care of the kids before bed.

Plus, if you’re as lucky as I am to have a daughter who loves you so much that she won’t let her Daddy put her to bed on nights you want a break (read with sarcasm), you can’t log on to continue your work until 9 p.m.  And if you do manage to do so, you’ll be in bed at midnight, only to be woken up periodically by screaming children, and then struggle to fall asleep for an hour and wake up at some obscene hour to start the same day over again.  Forget just being more tired than the previous day (when you thought you couldn’t possibly get more tired) – try being infinitely more in the hole at work and infinitely worse at the doomed, desperate scramble to get out.

Yes, in the scheme of life, it ain’t so bad.  I have two healthy kids, a partner, a home, a job with a nice paycheck.  I have the luxury of grumbling, as it were.  But I make no claims to comparing myself to someone in actual dire straits.  I’m comparing myself to the imagined Wonder Mom who I admittedly foolishly think exists:  she is never tired, never burdened by work, financial or child-related woes, and lives a peaceful, unblemished existence . . . somewhere in an alternate universe, of course.

So, today’s verdict: Forget the decision whether to be a SAHM (Stay at Home Mom) or a working mom.  I’ve decided.  I want to be a Stay at Home (SAH).  You know, a SAHM, but without the responsibilities of having children . . .

(blissful daydreaming for six uninterrupted minutes, aka .1)

. . . now back to work before it’s time to go home and pick up the kids.

(That was a little whiny, wasn’t it?).