Dear Working Mama,
You have that look again. That somber look on your face as you pick up Little One at day care.
You got wrapped up in that project and really wanted to finish so you wouldn’t bring work home tonight. You lost track of time at work. You were looking forward to playing with Little One outside, enjoying today’s great weather. You planned to pick up a to-go meal so you and Little One could enjoy a makeshift picnic in the backyard.
But it’s now almost 6pm. The sun is beginning to set; the sky is beautiful but you do not acknowledge its beauty because, to you, it means that the opportunity to play has passed and all the mom-fun you planned today would have to wait until another day.
The guilt strikes you as Little One runs to you as you enter the day care. Little One gives you the strongest hug. As you wrap your arms around him, a little tear falls down your cheek. And just like that – you doubt that you are being the best mommy you can be and your heart feels sad.
Mama, don’t be sad. Little One knows you love him. Sure, he’d love to play outside with you and enjoy time snuggling with his mama. Who wouldn’t?
But don’t be sad because what could have been does not matter at this moment. What does matter is that you cherish the time you do have with him in this life that you have been given.
Mama, quit beating yourself up.
You are a better mama for having spent the day at work. When you get home, you direct all attention to Little One. Whether it is sitting on the couch to read a book or enjoying a snack/meal in the kitchen, your world revolves around Little One. You cherish these two hours with him before bedtime.
You are a better mama for having spent the day at work. Sure, you are exhausted and right now he does not understand, but you are teaching him the value of work ethic. You do what you need to do even though you do not want to. Life is not easy.
You are a better mama for having spent the day at work. Because you haven’t been with him all day, his antics and tantrums are more tolerable. On these weekday evenings, you recognize that you are more patient than you are on a Saturday afternoon after spending all day with Little One.
You are a better mama for having spent the day at work. You had adult conversation. You had an identity separate from Little One. You were you. Maintaining a life away from Little One allows you to be you with a value and purpose separate from being Little One’s mama.
You are a better mama for having spent the day at work. You appreciate the time you do have, knowing the value of each moment. So, it may be 6pm and Little One might be the last kid to be picked up at day care. But soak up that hug. Enjoy his kisses. Cherish the moments with Little One.
This may not be the perfect mommyhood that you envisioned, but this is your mommyhood – and at the end of the day, all that matters is that Little One knows you love him and that you remember how much Little One loves you. So hug him tightly. Kiss him. Talk with him. Focus on him.
He is yours. You are his. And don’t ever doubt that you are the perfect mama for your Little One. You are being the best mama you can be – and that is enough.
Another Working Mama
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