I worked a total of 1.5 days this week. Why? Well, snow. And my mother-in-law had abdominal surgery (she watches Nora), so I planned to take Friday off to allow her to rest and heal. The extra time with Nora was amazing. We did many things together: smile, laugh, lay around in pajamas (yup!), nap, play with Koda, and explore the dusting of snow.
During our time together I realized something. I like to work. Being a mom, at home, is work. It's some of the hardest work I've had. (And I've had plenty of jobs in my day.) I have a wealth of respect for mothers who stay home and raise their children. It's challenging and exhausting, to say the least. You, stay-at-home-moms, have a grace and patience I will never know. After a day with Nora, when Chad comes home, I welcome passing off our daughter for a quick moment. Knowing that I don't have to keep an ear open toward the monitor in case she cries, coughs, or chokes brings a relaxation that can only be divine.
If we were in a financial position for me to stay home with Nora, I would, in a heartbeat. I'd be the mom who arranges play dates, brings bake goods to nursery school fundraisers, serves in various PTA roles, makes daily organic lunches, and volunteers at local charities in between knitting scarves. That isn't a joke. I really desire doing such things!
But in this season that's just not possible. And that's okay because I like working...outside of the home. I think that can be a tough realization for mothers to come to and publicly admit. When I'm at work, I miss cuddling Nora and rocking her to sleep for her naps. I miss her coos and big, gummy, bubbly smiles. I miss being her mom, all day, every day. But I like getting teenagers to read a line of Macbeth and feel the weight of Shakespeare's words. I like hearing a reluctant reader say, "That book wasn't so bad." I like seeing a student, who believes he is a bad writer, delight in the story he has told because the words came easy and with power. I like working to support my family and knowing I'm providing a life for my daughter that will open doors.
Does that make me a bad mother? Judge as you wish, but for this season, my role fits quite comfortably and I'll continue to wear it.