Tuesday, May 17, 2011

having it all?

I'm working on my big post about being a work-out-of-the-home mommy, and it should be ready soon. I'm writing it mostly for me so that I can keep figuring out who I am as a mommy, as a teacher, and as a person. But in the meantime, I have a confession to make: although I am an English professor who teaches writing, I am a terrible blog writer. Want a 25 page academic article on an obscure pedagogical theory? Give me a weekend and I'll bang it out. Want a one paragraph blog post every few days? Hmmm.... Let me work on it and I'll get back to you in 10-15 days. Ugh. How do you people do it so well? I'm in awe of those of you who post regularly and write so beautifully on the fly.

For today, I'll just share one thought about being a work-out-of-the-home mommy. Even though I love working, and it feeds my soul in so many ways I can't imagine not doing it, I desperately miss my baby when I'm not with him. This thought is brought home today because W is in daycare and I'm working from home (my car is in the shop and I couldn't get to campus easily). In other words, I'm home and my baby is in daycare singing little songs with his friends and doing arts and crafts.

I miss him so much. I couldn't keep him home because I really had work to do, and I knew I wouldn't get it done if he were here. But oh, man, do I miss him. When I'm at work, it's not that palpable--I'm busy, I'm working with colleagues, and I'm speaking to students in my office. I think about W every few minutes when I'm at work, but I'm able to remind myself I'll see him soon. At home? It's a different story. I see his toys, I miss him. I make lunch and realize I don't have to make him lunch, I miss him. I check email without having a 17-month old toddler wailing for the computer mouse, I miss him. I'm literally counting the hours until I can go get my car and get him. It happens when my husband takes him to the park or something to give me a break--I usually end up not enjoying my time alone and instead, I spend my time wondering whether W is enjoying the swings or if they're stopping for ice cream.

I suppose this is the paradox of working outside the home and being a mommy: many of us want to work and enjoy being out of the home and doing non-baby-related things, but we also desperately want to be with our kids. I never wanted to "have it all," and in fact, I used to make fun of people who claimed to want it all, but I think I finally get what that phrase means.


  1. Great post! I'm a SAHM, but I sometimes struggle with wondering if my daughter is getting enough (socialization). I think "mommy guilt" will find us regardless of the choices we make.

    All the best,

  2. Yes--mommy guilt is the worst. And there seems to be no way around it. Ugh.

  3. Really great post. I sometimes think the only way to get everything done is to have an extra 12 hours or so in the day.

    ICLW #6