March 3, 2009
I really don't want to admit this. I LOVE working 40 plus hours a week. I go to work and talk to grown ups all day and accomplish things and am often asked to stay late and work on extra projects. And I love it. Lila spends long days with Grandma and Grandpa and Daddy picks her up after work and often they stop by to see me for a few minutes on the way home and I really enjoy these visits because she is happy to see me and I was "just starting to miss her".
When I come home, she is happy to see me and I am thrilled when she runs to the door and begs to be picked up and hugged. I spend my couple of hours making and eating dinner with her and Dad, then one of us gives her a bath and I usually put her to bed. I love bedtime. She doesn't often fight me, and when she does it is usually our first fight of the day so I have plenty of patience with her and eventually she goes down to bed and I get Mommy and Daddy time.
There have been days where Lila is teething or is going through a "No" phase where I actually ask my boss if I can stay at work late. And I am always totally honest about it, saying, "I really don't want to go home to my kid today." The other day, he shook his head and called me "The Most Reluctant Mother " he has ever met. But am I really so bad?
I went through this whole ordeal where I cried alot and felt bad for telling everyone how much mothering is not for me. Mostly, I only felt bad because of the reactions I got. But many of my friends agree that motherhood is the worst job one can take on. But they always seem to need to qualify it with "OH I JUST LOOOOVVVE MY KIDS, BUT..." I don't do that anymore.
The fact that I come home to her and hug her and cuddle her is my testament to my devotion to her. I love Lila. I know I do. And when Lila needs anything I am the first one to find a way to provide it. I would never do anything intentionally to hurt her and that includes making the decision to stay at home with her full time when I know that it makes me an all-around better person to have a life away from her. I have never been guilty of abuse in any of its forms and when I have time off, the time I spend with her isn't spent bored and sitting in front of the tv trying to get the hours to pass. We enjoy eachother more in small doses.
It still makes me cringe when I hear women say that motherhood is the best job in the world because I disagree. The best jobs in the world aren't only the ones where you get a sense of meaning and accomplishment. If it were that simple we would all be living our dreams. The BEST JOBS IN THE WORLD pay well, provide incredible health insurance and match your retirement savings. You get to work in a climate controlled (or outside if that's what you are into) environment and have tons of flexibility as to how you spend your days. They PAY YOU to take vacations and days off. In addition to these things, you work with people who are more or less agreeable and rational and you get to use your talents daily. Motherhood hardly fits that bill.
The upside to motherhood? Lila brings me so much joy that it makes me sick. Seriously. I sometimes feel nauseated thinking about her cuteness and the other day when she started clapping to Joan Jett's "I Love Rock and Roll" and bobbing her head up and down to the drums, I nearly squeezed her to death. She is so smart and sassy that a mother has to be proud. As long as that sassiness isn't directed at me 24/7.
I will continue to defend my position that being away from Lila during the day actually contributes to my ability to be a good mother. Because no matter what I am doing, I love her.