The Adventures of Sloane

Friday, September 21, 2007

Mommy Guilt

Dear Sloane,

When you're old enough to read this, I want to be able to give this to you as a gift - the day by day story of your first few years of life. Doing this for you makes me really happy and on a purely selfish note, it helps me remember the moments and milestones, big and small.

Today was a tough one. I live with the "mommy guilt" every day -- I think most mothers do. I want to spend more time with you and be home with you and be your mommy, but I also love my job and my career and what I have worked so hard to accomplish these last ten years of being in the workforce. I hate to admit this, but even if we had the financial means to do so, I don't know that I would be willing to walk away from those accomplishments so easily.

So, back to today. I am in charge of a big and important conference that my team is hosting next week in Atlanta. I created the agenda, lined up the outside speakers, created workshop content, coordinated and negotiated speakers contracts, directed the graphic design team in creating materials... in short, it is a big deal and it's mine. A lot of responsibility and a lot of work, but really interesting and worthwhile to do. And today was basically the last day to complete it all. So mommy got stuck at work. Really stuck (not to mention the additional three or four hours of work I brought home for the weekend).

And when I finally showed up to get you, after a hellish commute and being stuck in Yom Kippur Get-Home-Before-Dark traffic, you were the only, sad, forlorn, orphan child still at day care. Oh, the mommy guilt! I felt a stabbing pain in the pit of my stomach - I wanted to throw up. Actually, you seemed blissfully unaware that you had been abandoned at day care a full hour later than I usually pick you up and that there were no other children there - you were happily playing in your activity swing, while Yasmine, your teacher, sang to you nearby. But it doesn't matter, I cried all the way home and I'm crying now as I type this and you sleep in the next room.

After getting home, I had exactly 30 minutes with you - during which time I had to warm your bottle, change your diaper, get you into pajamas, get the room ready for bed time (all toys out of the crib, nightlight on, etc) and feed you. We had exactly 2.7 minutes of time to just BE together. Oh. The. Mommy. Guilt.

Someday, when you're old enough to read this and to understand it, I hope you will see and know just how very much I love you and that you will understand and respect the choices I make. Because my choices are what makes me who I am. Your mommy. Who loves you. But who also loves her work.

You are always going to be the most important person in my life.

your mommy


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