The “we” in the title of this post is for my fellow working moms — whether you have been at this for years or are new to the game like me.
Last night I found myself solo with Rylan as Mike is traveling for work. Before Ry I used to look forward to my alone nights because they meant I could get to the gym, have cereal for dinner and watch any trashy reality show my heart desired.
Now I get a little nervous about those nights. I grab Rylan from daycare and arrive home anywhere between 5:30pm and 6pm depending on traffic. I race to do his first of two nighttime cluster feeds on our new schedule (which is working fabulously for him but a little more stressful for me as I continue to breastfeed as much as possible). Then we sit down for some solids, which last night ended up more on the wall, floor and me than in his belly. And then normally we enjoy some snuggle and play time, followed by a bath if needed, then one more nursing session and bed. It is quick but sweet. The best part of my day.
But last night I could not turn off from work and my Type-A self was screaming. There were dishes to be put away, laundry to do and some emails and tasks that didn’t get done before my last meeting that were gnawing at me. So I put Rylan in his swing during those precious few minutes we have together during the week and I worked, picked up the kitchen and conquered the laundry.
But in the end, I felt awful. By the time I put Ry down for the night I wanted those 30 minutes back. The emails could have waited and the dishes weren’t hurting anyone. I missed it.
However, that’s the tightrope we walk every single day as working moms. Please know that I am NOT saying we work any harder than stay at home moms. I commend my friends who do that and I am in awe of all they juggle. We’re all equal, I am just writing about the tightrope I know and walk every day.
So when the alarm went off this morning and the guilt was still there I sat up and out loud told myself, “you are enough.” I am enough at work because I give it 150% every day. I am enough at home because my heart and soul is in everything I do for my boys. Yet, sometimes, “enough” is spread over a few days — or even weeks and months. Yesterday I was more “enough” for my job and a little less for Ry. Today I am going to strive to be all there for Ry when we get home and work will have to wait until he is down and I have found time to eat dinner sitting down in a chair.
We are enough. It may not be all the time to everyone, but we are enough.