The thing is, we are raising teeny, tiny humans. What we do and how we teach them is going to form them into the people they will become… for the rest of their lives. This is an insanely important job and I catch myself thinking, is this going to scar them for life?
I like to watch that show Intervention and there is a constant pattern with all the addicts, something happens in their childhood that changes their course. Granted it is usually abuse, abandonment, bullying, divorce, parental drug use, but of course mommy guilt isn’t a rational thing. So I think, if I force her to eat her grilled cheese sandwich is she going to become an anorexic to have some control in her life? If I pay too much attention to her brother is she going to become a rebel teenager? It’s crazy.
And then there’s the working mom/stay-at-home mom thing. I have been a mom for almost four years and I am still so on the fence about this it is ridiculous. I love being a stay-at-home mom, most days, but it is isolating and I feel like I am not using my brain nearly enough. I am hopelessly addicted to Facebook and I get stressed out over all the things that need to be done around the house. But I am with my kids. I am raising them and experiencing every moment and every new thing.
There’s a lot of pressure when you are a stay-at-home mom, not that their isn’t when you are working of course, but I don’t work so, you know. Since I am home I feel like the house should be spotless. I should be doing projects with the kids and teaching them how to read. We should be going to activities and play dates. The fridge should be stocked, the laundry done and a home-cooked dinner on the table. And don’t even get me started on Pinterest. It’s really easy to feel like a bad mom if you don’t have an advanced degree in glitter application. Does anyone just buy valentines, teacher gifts and Christmas ornaments anymore?
And what happens if I decide maybe it’s time that I get a job with more hours? What if I think we need a second income and I go to work fulltime? What will happen to my kids? Will they miss me? How will my parents manage watching them? Will I be able to handle being away? When they grow up will they say, “I wish my mom hadn’t worked?”
Here’s the thing, I want to work more than I am so I can take a little of the pressure off of my husband and have some human interaction, but I am paralyzed with fear of the change. Maybe I have been home too long and gotten too comfortable, but I am worried about how it would go and I already feel guilty for any sadness or confusion that my kids may have.
And I stayed home for three and a half years with Little Miss, shouldn’t Mr. Man have the same chance to spend all that time with me?
I could go on forever. I guess in the end, all we can do is make the decision that feels right for our family and handle the changes the best we can. I don’t know what the future holds or if I will be looking for a job in the near future or when the kids are in school, but whenever the time comes, I am going to have to push through the cloud of mommy guilt and do what feels right. And I’m sure if we love the kids as much as we do, they will turn out just fine.