I’m a different person when I’m not working. My husband, in not so many words, said it to me today. But it’s true. It’s so much easier to focus on raising my daughter and taking care of my household when I’m not working a full-time job. Working and motherhood is Hard with a capital H.
I’m not one of those people who believe you can have it all. You make sacrifices when you try to take on too much. For me, I sacrifice my sanity.
For mothers who do work, one of the arguments I often hear about leaving a child at daycare or leaving a child with an in-home care provider is that the child will still turn out fine. This is often a statement made by a mom who was raised in this manner. I wholeheartedly believe that statement too. I do not think good childcare damages a child in any way whatsoever. In fact, there are numerous benefits.
It’s me, the mom, who suffers. It’s me, the mom, who misses out on hearing the new word they learned. It’s me, the mom, who misses the chance to comfort my baby after falling down. It’s me, the mom, who misses story time and sing-a-long. It’s me, the mom, who misses the smiles, the laughter, the tears, and the tantrums.
I just don’t like missing out. And because, when I am working, I miss out, I’m not always a happy person. Little things get to me: dirty dishes in the sink, an unmade bed, prepping lunches and milk cups for the next day. But when I’m on vacation, leftover cheerios littered on the floor just don’t irk me the same way. If I don’t get to those dishes in the sink tonight, I can do it tomorrow morning while feeding her breakfast.
Thankfully, my chosen career as a teacher affords me school vacation weeks and summer break. I don’t know what I’d without those “vacations.” For me, they truly help me keep my sanity in check.