As a publicist, I have to attend my client’s events if media have been invited. When I think about attending evening gatherings, I want to quit my job. I can’t stand working long days and being away from my boys. I am torn about leaving them for longer than a regular workday.
Just like I realized that my boys stayed with a nanny longer than they did with me, the same is true for day care. I drop them off before 8:00 a.m. and pick them up by 6:00 p.m. on “normal workdays.” Children are in day care longer than working mothers are at work. As working mothers, we sacrifice so much of our family time. I wish I could be the parent volunteering to go on the field trips or helping in the classroom during theme days. I wish I could pick them up from school at 2:50 p.m. and serve them an afterschool snack before helping them with their homework. I wish I could take them to an extracurricular activity without picking up fast food for dinner.
When my boys are the last to be picked up at school, I feel like a terrible mother. My youngest is waiting in his classroom while my oldest is playing on the playground. By 6:00 p.m. they are starving and as soon as they enter the car, they search for remnants of food—a banana, some cookies, cereal in snack size bags. I rush home to prepare dinner and within 15 minutes serve them a meal on the dining room table. We manage to get through homework with thirty minutes to spare before time for our evening routine of a bath and bedtime stories before lights out.
As much as I think this is what is normal for so many working mothers, I don’t want to accept that it seems right. There’s nothing natural about leaving your young for others to raise them. I won’t accept it; I will just dream a different dream–to have a job that allows me to work from home during school hours.
Guiding Lesson: Oh, my dear Eve, I can feel your pain as a mother when I listen to you share your longing to be with your children. It really feels like you are being torn apart physically, emotionally and mentally. This does not sound like the law of nature. You are not alone in this. For what is within you is also a cry you are sharing with other mothers who feel the same longing for their children. Take time to join in.
For the when others share in the pain of the world, the power is so great that it will move you to shift your world to create a new one. You have many supporters and when one woman becomes free, all the women in pain feel relief. You are the woman to pave the way to freedom in creating a new dream, a new paradigm, a new world.
But as I listen, please know that I understand the need to work in your world. I understand the need to provide for your children. But when did everything get out of hand? When did the world forget about making sure that the system is set up to support the needs of our children who are the future? If they are not taken care of, who will be there to care for this planet? These children come into the world seeking to be loved, to be cared for and to discover their talents so they can continue in our legacy. Are they given this chance?
Yes, staying home is not for everyone. However, isn’t there a better way to balance what women need to express their talents and still help to tend to their children?
Eve, I am so glad that you refuse to buy into this. Your dream sounds great. You get to use your gifts by working from home while fulfilling your longing to be present to your sons. I know you can do it. Being present to your children will be a wonderful present to them.
So what are you plans? What ideas are you considering? I don’t want to hold you up. Get started and know I am here supporting you every step of the way. Stand up and follow you longing. You won’t be disappointed. Other women continue to look for courageous women to show them another path so they to may follow.