I've talked about the negative aspects of being a working mom and as that possibly is drawing near, I can't help but see some of the good things I find being a working mom. I find our time together is precious. He gets my undivided time when I'm home. He gets to develop relationships outside of mommy and daddy. He gets exposed to more than what we give him. I get time to chat with coworkers and get some 'me' time occasionally even if that means sitting at my desk.
BUT then THIS MORNING I put my arms out for my daily goodbye hug and kiss and he shook his scruffily bedhead 'no'. He barely even acknowledged me as I walked out the door.
Any good thing I ever thought was gone.
Big ouch, a rip to the heart.
I drove to work trying rationalizing it in my head rather than turning around and deciding I was never leaving him again.
I should feel good knowing they developed a good relationship.
I should feel good knowing he enjoys their time together.
I should feel good knowing that he feels safe with her.
I can't be with him at every waking moment.
I can still be a good mom if I leave him.
In some small way, the smart, logical side of me does believe those statements I tried to chant as I drove into work.
The mommy in me, the emotional side wanted to believe those things but I was hurt.
I remember working at a preschool in college. Some of the kids were there for 10-12 hours a day. The day one child called me mommy was one that I will never forget. My heart hurt for him and I swore my children would never do the same. Reality is, we need my income and that means some form of childcare. I know that little boy knew I wasn't him mom. I know he cared about me because we spent a lot of his waking time together and he was one of the favorites, (you know the ones you weren't supposed to have!) We did fun things and we played all day. I comforted him when he was sad or his belly hurt.
Our sitter does the same things. I have to remember that. I want him to feel safe in her arms, I want him to always feel loved. I never want him to feel scared or alone.
Next time (and there will be one if not next week, next year, or 15 years from now for a girl) I have to tell myself, he isn't choosing her.
He knows I can't be there with him and he is trying to make it easy for me.
He knows I want to be there with him and he wants to make me feel comforted knowing he feels safe and secure.
He knows that I will always come back.
I'm his ma-ma and no matter what, no one can replace me just as no one could have replaced that little boys mom.
At the end of the day, he still comes running to me, arms wide open and his face plastered with the biggest smile.
He may be excited to hear her walk through the door each morning but she never gets the welcoming that ma-ma does.