Monday mornings are the worst. There are the obvious things like having to wake up earlier, rushing around, and starting a new work week. But for me the worst part about Monday mornings is seeing my little boy’s face crumple up into tears when I drop him off at daycare. He’s perfectly fine two minutes after I walk out the door, and there are some evenings I show up and he runs away because he’s having fun and doesn’t want to leave. So obviously his boo-hooing is much harder on me than it is on him! But as the door to his classroom shuts behind me and his loud “mamaaaaaaaaa” fades, I have my typical Monday morning “ugh why do I have to work??” moment. Well it’s quite simple; I work because I have to! No biggie, that’s just how it is.
As I settle into my routine I remind myself that I’m not sure I’d really want to stay home full time if given the opportunity. I have many friends who work full time, like me, and others who stay home; and I think we all agree that there are pros and cons to both scenarios. I feel like there is still a misconception about stay-at-home parents having some sort of fluffy, easy-as-pie daily routine. And it wasn’t until I had my own child that I realized it’s absolutely not the case. Stay-at-home moms are in the trenches day in and day out. They change every diaper, fix every meal, clean up every mess, and provide all of the entertainment. And some parents are trying to work at the same time too. While there are days when I long to be the one wiping his butt at 2:00 in the afternoon, I also realize that daycare has been a blessing for me in many ways (i.e. waking up with a flu bug and sending junior off to daycare while I stay in bed all day). I have an infinite amount of respect for stay-at-home moms. And you know what, I feel certain they also respect the life I lead. It’s not a piece of cake either, but it’s the one I’ve got for now and I’m happy with it. The grass is always greener, and in my unprofessional opinion there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to go. It’s whatever works for you and your family at that particular time. Both scenarios can be very fun, very challenging, and most importantly very rewarding.
A couple of weeks ago, before our road trip, I took my mini-me to Chick-Fil-A for a quick lunch, just the two of us. I don’t have the opportunity to do that very often, so I was really excited. An older woman was sitting alone at a nearby table and she finished up her lunch about the same time we did. On her way out she came up to me and told me that I had such a sweet and well-mannered child, and she could tell I was a good mother. I’m in no way tooting my own horn, but that is probably the most wonderful compliment I could ever receive. It absolutely made my day and at that moment I totally agreed with her. My little boy WAS well mannered and sweet as we sat together (not always the case, but sometimes the stars align…). And while there are times I doubt myself as a parent (don’t we all?) I knew, based on her unsolicited feedback, that I must be doing something right… So cheers to the working parents, to the stay-at-home parents, and to the parents who fall somewhere in between!