Do I miss my girls when I am at work? Sure, most days I do. I'll be honest, though, after a rough night of broken sleep, endless whining in the morning, and three poopy diapers in an hour, I am a little eager to get to the relative peace and quiet of my office! (You know the kind of day I'm talking about, right? Right?!)
Some moms are at their best when they are with their children all day long. I am a better mom when I have a variety of activities, people, and interactions in my days. Sometimes my afternoons are long, and I can't wait to get home to their sweet faces. After being at work all day, I am energized and ready for an evening of playing, feeding, bathing, and snuggling.
Sure, there are times I wish I could be at home with them all day. I am fortunate enough to have a job that is flexible and understanding, and if I need to take a day off to be with my girlies, I can do it easily. We get lots of long-weekend holidays too, and after 3 or 4 days at home without a break, I am usually pretty much ready to get back to our normal routine! As Addison and Mackenzie get bigger, there will be more days when I will take an afternoon off to take them out for a special activity. My mom worked when I was growing up, and I have fond memories of outings like that....which were all the more special because she made a concentrated effort to plan and arrange something fun for us to enjoy, sometimes even as a surprise.
The best part of our situation right now is that the girls are kind of getting a "best of both worlds" experience. While I am working, they are with my mom at her house or my mother-in-law at our house. So they are with a close family member, in an environment that feels as comfortable as home to them. Basically, for this first year, they have had a similar experience to the one they would have had if I had stayed home...except they got their grandmothers, who, let's be honest, often have quite a bit more patience than their mama! And again, my job is flexible enough to allow me lots of time with them, and I see them every day for an hour at lunch.
In two weeks, they will start attending Mother's Day Out, which is a decision we made not out of necessity, but for their socialization and development. I think it will be a good thing for them to have some interaction with other children and they will get to participate in fun activities that we just aren't brave enough to do at home yet (finger-painting, anyone?). When they get out in the afternoons, they will be with my mom until I'm off work, and on the days they don't go to MDO they will go to mom's like usual. I'm hoping it will be a great experience for the girls, but if for some reason it's not, we have the flexibility to go back to the old routine.
It's hard to have a conversation about being a working mom without at least touching the money issue. Jeremy and I both work in public service, so we are compensated with good benefits a lot more than with good pay. Still, we know that we could have made it work for me to stay at home, if that's where my heart was. We would have stayed in our first house instead of moving back to my hometown. We would have had to make some budget changes and cut back on a lot of extras, and there would certainly be no MDO this fall. We could have made it work, but it just wasn't the right situation for our family at the time.
We are very blessed in so many ways that our circumstances have allowed us to give our girls the life we want for them. Jeremy and I were both raised in homes with working mothers (and both were single parents for a significant portion of our childhood), and partly because of that, we are super-close to our extended family. We kind of like knowing that Mackenzie and Addison will have that kind of family environment as well.
They are happy, healthy, and loved beyond belief by many, many people...and that's what matters most to us.
For more posts on this topic, head over to Multiples and More!