I haven’t had much time for blogging lately, and I sure don’t have time for it today either. But I’m compelled at this moment to carve out 5 minutes to process my feelings through a bit of stream-of-consciousness writing. I was moved just now by a video, “3 Queens,” shared on Elephant Journal, and so I’m taking a break from my work and thinking about motherhood, feeling grateful that I’ve been given the opportunity to be Jackson’s mother.
Being his mother is the best thing I’ve done with my life. Nothing will top this, I am sure of it. And when I think about how lucky I am to have him, my heart nearly bursts.
Some days while I’m at work, I regret not finding a way to stay at home with him longer than my maternity leave. It simply wasn’t meant to be. Jax was born in 2009, smack in the middle of the economic downturn–the one that caused my husband to lose his job. There was no way I could stay at home with Jax, as my income was (barely) supporting my family. I had a lot of anxiety about returning to work. Actually, “a lot of anxiety” doesn’t come close to describing how I felt.
A few months into my return to work, I felt more at peace with my decision. I began to find enjoyable moments, even. The ones you would expect a working mom to say: peeing in private, eating a hot lunch, and all the other things I had previously taken for granted. Sometimes, though, this made me feel guilty.
Now that he is 4 years old and I’ve been back to work for so long, I’m mostly OK with being here. But not today. Today I want to be home with him, reading books in our jammies and then out exploring the neighborhood together. I don’t want to be stuck at my desk, where the best I can do is occasionally glance at a photograph of him and daydream about our 3.5 hours together after work and before bedtime. It doesn’t feel like enough. It doesn’t feel fair that I spend 8.5 hours away from him and only 3.5 (awake) hours with him.
I hope I’m giving him enough of myself on the weeknights. I have doubts sometimes. Some nights, it takes effort to be present with him and ignore the chore list. I tend to overcompensate on weekends.
I think about all this and I tell myself that I am a good mother, and I believe it. I’m doing my best, I can say with certainty. I love him fiercely, whether he’s with me or not.
I think it’s almost time to use a sick day and have a mommy-and-Jax day.