A Brand New Job with a Wicked Case of Working-Mom Guilt

newjobAfter four months of solid job searching and applying to nearly 70 jobs, I was finally given my break and offered a job as a marketing coordinator with an architecture firm. Since I still felt that I was early in my search and had not hit bottom yet, I continued to apply for jobs that I felt were interesting, would be challenging and in industries that I would want to move into next in my career.

Through the help and urging of an old high school friend, I applied for jobs in the architecture/engineering/construction industry because of my foundation in public relations and journalism. And when I met with my future employer for an interview, I actually left the meeting feeling like it went well and it would be a good fit. It was actually weird because I felt that I had lost my ability to gauge interviews after being invited to so many in the last several months that I ended up not getting. But then again you can’t get every job you interview for because what would be the fun in that.

In my excitement when I received the phone call, I was with my two boys – of course. And I turned to them when I hung up the phone and said, “Mommy, got a job!” My four-year-old said, “Hooray, mommy, I’m so proud of you!” and gave me a hug. But then came the words from my two-year-old that have rang in my ears ever since I said it, “No, daddy goes to work. Mommy stays home.”

Then I found myself calling my husband, telling him the good news through my tears. I kept saying, “Why am I crying?

My absolute downfall of this temporary situation has been through the eyes of my two-year-old who has already become accustomed to mama being home all the time after just the last two and a half months.

What I had nearly forgotten was that my four-year-old was also two years old when I spent about two months at home while on maternity leave after giving birth to his new baby brother. So he’s been through this routine and it kind of breaks my heart that he already knows the deal and how it works.

But now it’s his little brother’s turn to understand how it works. Since I accepted the job, five days ago, the two-year-old has continued his mantra of “No, daddy goes to work. Mama doesn’t go to work.” Once or twice there have been tears involved and the big pouty lip that I makes every fiber of my being want to melt.

Positive-wordsI love both my boys, if that wasn’t the most apparent aspect of all my blog posts. But as much as I’ve said that I think that parenting is about 99-percent common sense, I can honestly say that I believe my children continue to teach me things everyday especially over the last two and a half months.

1) Pride should always take a backseat when raising children because no one has time for that.

When faced with two screaming, whining and crying children in public during the holidays in a department store, filled to the brim with shoppers trying to get their own shopping done, you have to swallow all your pride; do what you have to do, even if it involves holding your child like a football through the store or nonchalantly ‘carrying’ your child by the arm to just get through the store; do what you originally intended to do at the store; and then leave peacefully and calmly, as if your children didn’t just leave a trail of destruction through the entire store.

2) Open-mindedness, well, that word should be tattooed on every true parent’s arm the moment their child is born.

My great example: While in a very public bathroom, my four-year-old always tells the most imaginary, yet sometimes embarrassing stories I’ve ever had in my entire life. It is not unusual for me to hear people giggling or even outright laughing as he is telling his stories or asking his unusual questions — “Mommy, why does this bathroom smell like bad green beans?” That’s one of my favorites. Ha!

3) Squashing a child’s imagination should be a crime.

My four-year-old has imaginary animals living in every nook and cranny of our house, and there are monkeys living in the trees outside our house and otters swimming in an ‘enclosure’ at the youth center. His imagination is wide open and his brother’s is becoming just as amazing except with cars, trucks and superheroes. To watch the two of them feed off each other’s imagination and creativity has been a wonderful experience in itself because there is no other greater bond than that of your siblings when you are young.

4) Children want to learn and soak up knowledge like a sponge.

Over the last two and a half months, I’ve taught my four-year-old a variety of different things – most good, but some not so good. And my two-year-old just wants to mimic everything we do except go to the potty in the potty. My oldest is writing his alphabet and numbers so much better now, along with his name, his address and his brother’s name because I’ve been an insane strict mama who makes her child do his work before we can leave the house. And the youngest got so excited when I taught him just how to pull his zipper up on his coat all by himself. Absolute sponges who want to soak up every piece of knowledge that their parents, teachers, grandparents and siblings want to teach them, not necessarily television, the internet and everything else society has to offer. Even though, I will admit my four-year-old has an uncanny ability to rattle off movie quotes like a seasoned movie veteran. Oops, he may watch a few too many movies!workingmoms

5) I may be going back to work eight hours a day, five days a week, but my children will still love me when I get home from work each day. Because I’m still their mother and I know my children will always know that.

Every working mom has a feeling of guilt every single time they leave their child or children at daycare, with their grandma/grandpa, a relative or a home daycare. I’m human and I’m a mother, who wishes that we had the means that I could stay home and watch my children grow up firsthand and not through someone else’s eyes. But I have to admit through the course of the last two and half months, that I’ve lost my cool probably one too many times, maybe dropped the f-bomb out of sheer wits end frustration and flown blind when things were just too crazy to really make heads or tails of a situation because the kids were just in that kind of mood.

largeNow that the kids are old enough to both tell me they love me on a regular basis, life can be a double-edged sword. Because nothing sounds better than hearing a four-year-old  or a little two-year-old’s voice say, ‘I love you, mama.” But it also makes it one of the hardest parts of my morning when I’m walking out the door, especially when I know now how it feels to just sit on the couch, watching cartoons and eating breakfast with the two greatest little boys in the world. But it’s the love of those two little boys, who won’t stay little forever, that helps keep me going and looking for the silver lining in all of this.

Because everyday is a blessing and I know that I am so truly blessed. So wish me luck on my new adventure. I’m sure I’ll write a thing or two about it on here.

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