Dear Working Mom,
The transition from stay at home mom to working mom is not easy. I took two years off when my daughter was four to six years of age. I felt her babyhood slip away and I wanted to hold onto it with all my might. I want to be the mom who brings cupcakes to class, is always volunteering for everything and is completely present for my baby before she is 18 and leaves me.
The past two years were great; I got to know my girl, to be there for her, but now that I’m working, her expectations are much higher. She doesn’t understand why I can’t be at every birthday party at school. I explain that it’s usual for the parents of the birthday kids to come. I can’t go on every fieldtrip/learning expedition.
I have been there; I’ve been present, I’ve overachieved, I’ve set the bar high for myself, and now I have to create a new bar, one where I am fulfilling my own needs as well as hers. She is more independent and I have to give her that independence. In 10 years, when she goes off to college I want to have something for me. I felt like I wrapped my whole purpose in life into being her mother and I will always be her mother, but her needs will become fewer and fewer as she gets older and I have to be able to let go.
It’s not easy; I have my mom guilt.
She has to go to aftercare everyday and I’m afraid she is feeling abandoned, but when I pick her up she is making bracelets with her friends and doesn’t want to leave. She is ready for me to let go and I’m ready to let go too, but being ready and taking action are two very different things.