Modern motherhood can bite me

It’s official: ten months into motherhood and eight months after my son’s first glorious day at daycare, I wish I didn’t have to take him elsewhere for care.

Now, to be clear, this will be a fleeting feeling, one borne from frustration with the following:

  • My week is total effing hell at work.
  • Customer suck. Every one is insane.
  • My husband is frustrated with having to take on childcare at the last minute.
  • I am frustrated with not being able to take on childcare at the last minute.

This modern motherhood thing, the one where we are the mamas but also sometimes (often?) the primary earners and/ or responsible for something work-related and therefore other people’s lives while balancing our own… this thing can bite me today.

We have these friends – a married couple – where the dad stays home with the baby while the mom goes to work, which is fine, except the dad wishes he didn’t have to and the mom wishes she could. I’m so sad for them.

We’re not quite there. I like my job and am (usually) quite comfortable with the fact that I am good at many things and all-day child care (even of my own child) isn’t one of them. I love that he has his own life aside from his dad and I. I love that he has friends and learns things and experiences life without us around sometimes. I can honestly say I haven’t had a speck of sadness about missing something he’s living yet.

But today, when Joey left to drive him to the (new awesome) in-home daycare Mary Poppins lady, I cried. I sat on the bed and felt my heart break because I couldn’t be the one to drive him there and help him acclimate. I cried because next week I will be out of town at something that is really, really good for me as a professional but really, really hard for me as a mama.

My male peers miss their kids, sure, and tell stories about the things they didn’t get to see and how happy they always are to get home, but I seriously doubt they cry when they think about leaving. My mama peers do.

In the end, mamas and daddies aren’t fungible – you can’t switch one for the other and be back where you started.

Tomorrow, I may have more perspective, but today, just for a moment, I wish I wasn’t getting to live the modern life I have, because, just for a moment, I wanted my son to get to stay home with me.


5 thoughts on “Modern motherhood can bite me

  1. Own those feelings mama! I hear you, I provide the health insurance coverage while my husband works from home and is able to spend a lot more time with our daughter. I’m soo- jealous of his schedule, he works full time from a fullfilling job while I’m working in a less than satisfying job and am away from my little girl. Ugh- sucky. But we’re looking into things and seeing if anything can change with my job situation. I think I’m learning this parenting thing is an ever changing thing. What works for 8/9 months may not work after that. Dang life lessons! 🙂

  2. I’m sending hugs! That’s all I can really offer. It doesn’t seem fair, does it? I am by far the breadwinner and also the one who has travel as part of work. I have been doing the absolute minimum level of travel I can manage (not maximum for my job performance, but I’m willing to deal with that part) so that I do not have to miss alot of mornings and nights with my daughter. I HATE not seeing her every day. My husband traveled for the first time for work a couple weeks ago and while he said he would miss her, he didn’t seem that bothered by it.

    I don’t think I’d be a happy SAHM, but it does suck that it isn’t even an option for me. Sometimes I wish for more traditional gender roles, but I’m sure the grass isn’t greener on the other side!

  3. I feel so weird commenting on this because I will probably be the primary caregiver (my work situation is just awful and not conducive to either parenting or breadwinning), but I want to make sure that my husband has a big parenting role. Like, is it *fair* that I’m going to want him to split parenting duties with me when he’s not working? Doesn’t he need a break, too? (But why should I be the primary parent 24 hours a day?! Why can’t I just be the full-time parent while he’s the full-time worker bee and then we split the rest?!)

    All that to say… man everything sucks.

  4. I’m in the same boat as your friends- I’m working, hubs is home with the baby and I beg and plead and so wish it was the other way around. But then throw in the fact that hubs is only home because he was laid off and it adds a whole other dynamic of listening to him stress about being home and not working while I’m complaining about being at work and not home to raise my daughter the way I dream of doing. It kills me that I have to sit in front of a computer instead of enjoying life with her but for now, we have no other options. I just wish hubs could enjoy all the time he’s getting with her right now without constantly worrying about finding a job. I am so happy you are happy with your situation because it sucks being on the opposite end of the spectrum. The fact that you cried is all part of being human and shows how passionate you are for that cutie pie and of course it is normal as a mama, these babies are gonna break our hearts over and over while at the same time giving us more joy than we ever knew possible.

  5. I don’t think those who aren’t working mothers can really understand the stress of being pulled in two very compelling directions. Working moms have often dedicated years to building a career and when we have jobs that are somewhat fulfilling there’s guilt if we don’t give 110%. And of course the guilt at not being with our child 110% is overwhelming. I know how you feel and I wish someone had the answer.

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