Working full time and being a mommy is so difficult. I feel like I am constantily missing out on Gabi and Katie’s lives. A few weeks ago, Gabi and Katie’s teacher, who is also a dear friend of mine, texted me:
K just rolled over!!!!
I knew it was on its way. She was so close to doing it the night before. Juan, Gabi, and I were all watching her so carefully so that none of us would miss it when she finally did roll. But she rolled over for the first time at school. And I missed it.
I was so sad. I sat at my desk and cried. I couldn’t believe I missed it. I felt so sorry for myself. Why? Why do I have to work? It’s not fair.
It’s so hard being away from my girls. In the beginning, it was intensely painful. Walking away from Katie on that first day back was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It felt wrong. I was her mother. I was supposed to be with her all the time. I had spent nine months holding her in my womb and then three more months holding her in my arms. It hurt so much to give her to someone else and let the door close behind me. It felt violent and wrong.
I grieved in those first few weeks. Every instinct in my body was telling me to be with my baby and I couldn’t do it. I cried so much. I felt angry and sad and lost. Looking back, I can see that I was going through the stages of grief. Recognizing that made me feel even more angry. A mother shouldn’t have to grieve. A mother shouldn’t have to feel that sense of loss. A mother shouldn’t have to leave her children to go to work before she’s ready.
In this country, we do not support mothers enough. We do not provide adequate maternity leave. Mothers suffer what I have gone through (twice!) every single day.
I have a dear friend who is working on changing that. She’s at the front of a revolution. Please read her blog to find out what we can all do to be a part of this revolution: Mother Revolution.
They are also doing great things at MomsRising.org. They do a great job of keeping an eye on upcoming legislation and providing concrete ways to get involved.
This past weekend, I was so blessed. Little Miss Katie had a developmental explosion! She started rolling front to back, she started babbling, she found her toes, and on the train back from San Diego she popped out a brand new tooth! I felt so thankful that I got to share those moments with her.
But a part of me is still raging inside. That’s not something one should have to feel grateful about. Being with your baby for those moments should be the norm.
Please join the revolution.