We are working mothers. We work 9-6 corporate jobs, or we teach, or we freelance. No, these are not mutually exclusive. Both can coexist. We are working to keep our sanity in check, or we are working because we are ambitious and want to do something fruitful with our lives, or we are single mothers and the only source of income for raising our kids, or we want to support our husbands better. No, it does not make us bad moms; guilty moms at times, yes, but definitely not bad moms. We love our kids as much as any other mom would. Some would call us careless, some would say we are cruel to our kids for being away but for us quality is superior to quantity.Only we know how we feel when we bundle them up in the mornings to go to their nani’s, or dadi’s, or a daycare for the day. We plan ahead, cook their meals, leave little notes about what to feed and when to feed, not to give big bites, or cold milk, or a candy. Our days are spent worrying if they have eaten or not, taken a nap or raising a storm. We are at the office, physically; our hearts and minds are away.
Oh but we have deadlines to meet too. There are meetings one after another, and reports to be submitted but oh there is this vaccination that is due this week. And the doctor sits only once a week. And there is this end-of-the-quarter presentation the same day too. But you don’t falter at either. You manage. You are doing just fine.
And just when you are in the middle of a heated discussion about the new project proposal, your toddler calls you on his way back from school because his little heart is brimming with stories of the day. He wants to tell you how a friend pushed his bag to the side and how this was enough to stir up anger that led to a small punch fight. And how he finished his lunch and got a reward from the teacher. And how great he did at the reading today. And how your heart melts into a pool of love when the phone call ends with ‘I love you mama, I like you very much.’ And how it strengthens all over again when you are greeted with tight hugs when you get home. No matter how tired you are, the dimpled faces, the naughty grins freshen you up.
So we hold them a little tighter, cuddle with them a little more. We are our most loving selves with them. We hug them to sleep but we don’t go to bed until the bags are ready and the clothes are ironed and the laundry is sorted. The heaving chests and the rhythm of breathing comforts us to sleep and before we realize, it is time to start it all over again.
We don’t take a day off from work when we are sick, nor do we call in absent when we just need some rest and a few more hours to sleep. We save all our leaves for when our kids are going to need us. So we go to work and carry on with our day even when we hardly get a couple of hours to sleep at night due to acid reflux (thanks to the soon-to-be-born baby) or bub’s crazy sleep schedule. We worry when we take a day off for being irresponsible employees and we feel mom-guilt when we don’t.
Is it all worth it? Am I doing the right thing? Am I a bad mom? Will my baby ever forgive me for leaving him behind? Does he even miss me?
These are the questions that haunt us every single day! But all our kids need is a happy mom; a mom who does not let any barrier stop her from pursuing what she wants to do with her life; a mom who encourages them to dream and overcome every hurdle that comes in the way; a mom who practically shows them how to maintain a balance and a mom who exemplifies how to love unconditionally!
This bond is irreplaceable and no one can ever be what you are to your kids and few years down the line they are going to be so so proud of you, you brave woman!