I returned to work after having been off for 11 days with my favorite little people. I am so lucky that I had the opportunity to stay home during their entire winter break. We truly bonded during the time off and I enjoyed organizing constant activities throughout. As I ventured back to work, I felt both sad and excited to step back into the routine.
As I drove in, I kept thinking about the week and how by Friday, I was ready to get back. I felt a moment of guilt for wanting “work” time. I so many times have wished that I was a stay at home mom, but in that very moment; I realized that I couldn’t do it. Is it wrong to feel this way? Does this mean I am not the most “amazing” mom (from the mouth of my daughter)? Was it just that I am “solo” and tried to fit it all in over just 11 days?
I will never know the life of a “stay at home mom.” I will never have the opportunity to see them on the bus or flag them in at 4PM to do homework and eat dinner. I will always be a working mother, not by choice but by circumstance. My children understand and seem to thrive in the environment that they are accustomed. After spending 11 days together, I know that they appreciate our time and also appreciate the sacrifice that is made to provide the life that they live.
So what have I learned over the last 11 days? I have learned that I can accomplish 5 play dates, 4 dozen cookies, shopping, 2 family dinners, 2 father/family visits, visit to Monkey Joes, 2 basketball games/1 practice, 2 movies, and finally…a kid friendly New Years Eve party all in 11 days. I have also learned a new appreciation for the “stay at home mom.” By day 9, I yearned for adult conversation. By day 10, I yearned for an uninterrupted shower. By day 11, I yearned for work.
So in Keeping it REAL, I run circles around my “stay at home” mom friends when I am not at work but that is because I hear the timer ticking away the “free” time. As we all could see, I crashed at day 9.
My advice today….we are all different. I am a working mother and will remain a working mother until my children are grown. Make your decisions wisely; take into account your happiness and how that will reflect onto your children. Happiness is not built around “quantity” of time; it is built around “quality” of time. In those 11 days, I built more memories then some make in an entire year…..