Monday, August 10, 2015

The Working Mom's Godsend

As a working mom one of the biggest challenges is finding who is going to replace you while you work, and accepting that someone is taking your place while you're gone working more than half the hours your child is awake for typically five days a week. I use to think of working as a sacrificial thing. I was sacrificing time with my children to pursue my career; I was sacrificing time with my children to bring more money into the household to afford luxuries and activities that I could have instead chosen to sacrifice. But I've reached a point in my life where I've come to learn we just need to flip mommy guilt the middle finger and reexamine our situations a little differently.

I made the choice that my girls would spend about eight hours a day in someone's else care five days a week while they would only spend about five or six with me or their dad throughout those five days for those tender first five years of their childhood. I feel confident that my kids get plenty of quality time with us in the evenings, on the weekends, on the holidays and weeks we do get off. But you know what else they got from this choice. They gained amazing relationships with the three women I entrusted to treat my daughters as their own while I made the choice to work. We do not have any family anywhere nearby to rely on for watching our kids or to count on to take them and treat them like the family they are. But we found family in these three women.

They only had Sarah for about six months between the other two and even though she's a part of our Baltimore family too, those six months strengthened the bond between her and the girls. To this day she's like another aunt to them. She knows what makes my kids great, what they can do that can drive you crazy, and I know she loves them no matter what.

Miss Kate was the first I had to hand my baby over to while I ventured off to work. As any first time mother knows that feeling of dropping your baby off at daycare the first time is such a sickening feeling. However, Miss Kate became like our surrogate grandmother, including mother to me. Like a grandma I think she's convinced sometimes my girls can do no wrong but I truly treasure the wonderful relationship she has with them. But not only do my girls have a wonderful relationship with her, the relationship that has formed between her and me is very sacred to my heart as well. As a new mother she became a friend, a mentor, a confidante, and my adopted mother away from home. Even though they no longer go to Miss Kate s we drop by to visit just like we would with any other beloved family member.

Now since we've moved we've been so blessed to have our Miss Tammy. She reminds me of Sarah in several ways. She sees the good and bad in my girls but adores them no matter what. She's too young to be like a grandma so she's more like another aunt.  My youngest all summer has kept asking when she gets to go back to Miss Tammy's. She does crafty things with them that we all know I am completely incapable of, but again rather than seeing this as a threat it's something she has with them that I'm thankful. Again as a mom of teenagers she has also become a great personal confidante and mentor to me.

These three women are such a valuable part of our family. Yes, they fill my shoes in some ways while I am gone working hours a day, day after day, year after year. I turn my kids over to these women every day to love on them, fix their boo boos, feed them, read to them, sooth them to sleep when they need it, play and engage with them, laugh with them, and even make their own memories with them. They've opened their hearts and homes to my children, and really all I can feel is gratitude towards them. I could never thank them enough for what they do and who they are to our family.

Being a working mom has it's doubt, moments of that damn mommy guilt, and struggles, and if you're a working mom and don't have family around to help I hope you found some wonderful woman/women to be a part of your family during those early childhood years.

Thanks to our Sarah, Miss Kate, and Miss Tammy. We love you!

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  1. My decision to go back to work after having my kids was a purely financial one. We just couldn't afford to give them the life they deserved without it. When the divorce came I was ever so grateful to have a good steady job that I could depend on to support us. There was guilt sometimes but my kids had the most wonderful caregiver ever and I knew that they were loved and well taken care of. Like your kids, mine were lucky to have this person in their lives. Every family has to make the choices that work for them and I, for one, have no regrets.

  2. Being a working mom comes with a lot of guilt unfortunately. I try to think of another caregiver as training/practice for when the child goes to school. That way my baby doesn't only get used to having interactions with me.