I think that this is something that many people do not talk about or maybe they are afraid to talk about it. Opinions and emotions are stronger than ever when it comes to this topic (working moms). For the working moms, sometimes all you can do is not talk about it in order to keep it together. For non-working moms, you might not be able to relate and probably don't even want to imagine being away from your little one. For non-moms and the male gender, some of the things working moms go through might seem somewhat relatable, but it can still be very difficult to actually understand. No one is wrong because they react these ways and I think more than anything people truly have the intention to help, comfort, and become empathetic for each other. But no matter how we paint the picture, the situation of a working mom is hard.
Women work for different reasons. Some women work because they want to, some women work because they have to, and I bet there are even a handful of women who are working because they just aren't sure what to do. Whether you are working full-time or part-time, you have days where life is just hard. You have days where you wonder, "why am I doing this?" and "why did I think I could do this?" You have days where you look yourself in the mirror and just stare because you are not even sure who is staring back at you.
Yesterday was one of those days for me. One of those days that hurts so incredibly much. Like rip your heart out, tear it to pieces, and then try to stick it back in your chest and expect it to work well "much." I am not sure why it seemed worse than other days, but my body literally ached to be away from my son. For a few moments there was not one good reason to be away from him, miss out on his smiles, smells, noises, and cuddles. There was no good reason I was sitting at my desk working hard to help provide for my family. Nothing mattered but him.
On my way to pick Asa up at daycare I found myself sobbing, the kind of sobbing that exhausts you once you are done but also feels so liberating because you have actually allowed yourself to feel pain and allowed your body to respond accordingly. I decided to just let it happen. My body and mind recognizes that being away from my son is painful. It didn't make the situation change or improve, but it did allow me to feel real, raw emotion. This is what I am learning. Being a working mom for me is not about always having great days or even enjoying time apart from your child, it is about learning to be real. To be real with who you are, what you are capable of, and what you are feeling. It is about being real with what your family needs in your current situation, and being real in meeting that need. It is okay if real is ugly sometimes (because luckily it is not always ugly).
Another real moment that happened: picking up my son and have him immediately nuzzle into my shoulder. After my rather tough day I could literally feel the oxytocin being released into my system as I held him. The juxtaposition of the two extremes was startling to encounter so close together but holding him seemed to melt away the tension that was building within me. Being a working mom might be one of the hardest things that I have ever done but that first moment where I see Asa after a long day of work is one of the sweetest things that has ever happened to me. Isn't it funny how God provides that balance for us?
I am thankful that not everyday is as hard a yesterday was. I am thankful that I have a good job, a loving husband, and beautiful, healthy son-even if these things might clash with each other sometimes. If you are a working mom who is struggling right now- you are not alone. I can't tell you that it will get better (but it might) but I can tell you that there are blessings in this situation. We have the opportunity to really explore what we are capable of. We have the opportunity to feel emotions at a level that otherwise might not be experienced. We have that special moment of reuniting with our child and we have God to sustain us when we hurt.