By: Leslie Jacobi
When I was growing up I never wanted to have kids. I wanted to live in a busy city, have an awesome career and live my days out like the girls on “Sex and the City”. I would see coworkers have kids and would just roll my eyes at them. Why would you want to have kids while you work? I would NEVER let my kids go do daycare! If you can’t raise your kids, then you shouldn’t have them.
Fast forward 10 years and here I am. . . . .rushing out the door and dropping my daughter off at daycare. That’s right! The girl who once scoffed at other working moms is now a working mom herself. How did that happen?? Well, 4 years into our marriage my husband and I got baby fever. We had our daughter while I was finishing up Chiropractic school. It was the best decision of our lives. As any parent would tell you, there is nothing in this world that I love more than being a mom.
After finishing Chiropractic school, I spent many months waiting on my license and also getting my clinic set up. During this time, I was home with Emma full time. My girl likes to be busy and will let you know when she is bored. Our days were spent all over town doing stuff. Museums, parks, beaches and play dates. It was exhausting and so much fun. I look back on those months and treasure them. When my clinic was up and running, Emma started daycare 3 times a week.
That first day of daycare was rough! Not for Emma, but for me. I packed bottles of milk, brought a blanket and lots of pictures of our family. Her school told us to bring pictures so that they could put them in her crib for her. When I dropped her off, she went into her teacher’s arms and looked back at me with a big smile. I said goodbye and gave her a kiss and she waved at me. She was in heaven! No crying at all! As any parent will tell you, it is the hardest thing to leave your child at daycare. You feel so guilty and scared that something will happen. Even though I toured the school and talked to all the teachers, I was still worried. Emma is a very social kid. She loves people and actually gets pretty bored with me at home. All day I watched my phone. I called a few times to see how she was doing. As soon as my last patient left, I drove straight to her school to pick her up. When I got there, she was snuggled in her teacher’s arms rocking in a rocking chair. She was so happy and content. I started to cry. I wasn’t crying because I was sad, I was crying because she was safe and secure. I spent my day feeling guilty and so much resentment towards my career. She wasn’t scared. She wasn’t wondering where I was. She was fine. She was ok. I was ok. I was fine. I knew where she was. I wasn’t scared.
Being a working mom isn’t easy, but really, being a mom isn’t easy. You feel guilty. You feel stretched in all directions. There isn’t enough time in the day. The list goes on. It doesn’t matter if you are a working mom or a stay at home mom. You always feel like you aren’t devoting enough time to your kids, family, spouse, career, friends or life! You feel guilty for having a career while your child is spending most of their day with someone other than you. I worry when my daughter took her first steps. . . were those REALLY her first steps? A funny thing happened the other day. I was so excited that Emma was using utensils. I put it on Facebook and sent emails to her grandparents. Look at how amazing my daughter is!! She learned to use a fork!!! I told her daycare teacher this the next day and her response was…. “Oh yeah, Emma has been using a fork for a few months now”. It is times like those where you feel deflated. You feel like it should have been YOU that saw that for the first time. It should have been ME that sees all her firsts. The truth is, she will have lots of firsts that I won’t see. That’s ok. It’s a lesson that I can’t and won’t always be there for my daughter. Sometimes she will have to do things on her own. It is a lesson that she will be ok even without me. Parents feel like we need to be around all the time for our kids, but the truth is. . . . we just can’t. That’s ok. They need to sometimes figure things out on their own. That’s how they grow. That’s how WE grow.
As we raise our daughter, I am also “raising” my business. Right now, it is in its “toddler stage”. . . . exciting but stressful. I TRY to put equal attention into my daughter and my business. People are always talking about finding the “balance”. For me, I just can’t find that balance. Some weeks, I have to devote more time to my business. Other weeks, I need to devote more time to my daughter. I have not been able to find that “balance” everyone talks about. You know what. . . that’s ok. What works for some people, doesn’t work for everyone. At the end of the day, my business will be there and my daughter will continue to be happy and loved. That’s really all that matters.
Being a working mom is something that I now embrace. I’m proud of my daughter for doing so well in her daycare. I’m proud of myself for allowing my daughter to be on her own. I’m proud of my life. As moms, we need to own our life. We need to accept our life. We need to love our life. Resentment, guilt and sadness are toxic. Those toxic things are what destroys families and relationships. I can’t be with my daughter 24/7 and I own that. I am done feeling guilty about it, because my daughter is fine and loves her busy days. No matter what your situation is. . . own it and embrace it. It’s all we got in this life. My daughter is ok. I am ok. YOU are ok. As soon as we realize that, it makes this life a whole lot easier.