Monday, August 27, 2012

The Last Night

I'm working through motherhood. Hmmm...I think that  double meaning is intentional. At this moment in our lives, we cannot live in Massachusetts and sustain our lifestyle and plan for the future on Sean's income alone.  Entering my second year, I still don't know how I feel about it. Dozens of conflicting feelings boil and bubble in my gut. At times, I feel empowered, fulfilled, progressive. At other times I feel sad, slighted, even weak.

Last year was hard. I woke up at 4:30 am every weekday to drive almost 35 miles arriving at working by 6:00 am. I prepped my classes until 7:20 when the school day began, and kept my nose to the grindstone until 2:00 pm when the students left. One more hour of prep time allowed me to leave at 3:00 pm to pick up Max before 4:00. Dinner around 5:30 pm followed by floor play and books, a quick bath and a bottle. Max was in bed at 8:00.

No time to relax. Had to clean up the dishes in the kitchen and the toys in the living room. Lunches for me and Max had to be made. Perhaps a little bit of computer time, a quick scrub of the bathroom or a pass of the vacuum.

I was often in bed but not asleep when Sean arrived home at 10:00. We didn't see much of each other because he also worked weekends so a precious hour or two before sleep was worth the fatigue the next morning. This year looks to be marginally better in that respect, but we still won't have weekends together.

As a result, we parent fairly separately. Communication happens through notes on the counter, text messages and short phone calls. We have to make special efforts to see each other. Thank God for the summer.

I have high hopes that this year will be a little easier, not because our schedules are better--they're not--but because we are used to it. As much as I wish that Sean and I could be Max's sole caretakers, I do think that daycare is good for him. I have to believe that seeing all those other children moving around and doing things he has not yet mastered serves as strong motivation. His teachers are wonderful and the center is very accommodating. Max is clearly a favorite there.

But I wonder if Max misses out on anything because he isn't with one of us all day every day. I'm sure there are many working mothers who wonder the same thing. Am I depriving my child of the best possible upbringing he could have? Or will he be better adjusted than some of his peers because he has been spending time with others since he was nine months old? I have to hope so. I have to believe that we are doing the right thing. We would never knowingly do anything to Max that would compromise his well-being.

I think stay-at-home mothers are lucky. I envy those mothers who are plugged into a network of other mothers. It's sort of a built-in community. As a working mother I feel excluded from that life. I feel it most in the summer when I am home with Max. People say that it gets a little easier when the kids get to school because parents meet each other through their kids. While a don't want to rush Max through this beautiful time of discovery and learning, I am looking forward to his school days and the opportunities it will offer to both of us.

I know you wanted to see pictures of Max. I've got many, but today, on this last night of summer, I needed to unburden myself of these thoughts. This is my public diary entry. If you've gotten this far, I thank you for reading it. Maybe it will help me sleep better tonight that I have for the last few. A purging of sad thoughts and a good cry can do that.


  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    1. My pleasure. This post is a little self-indulgent, but feels good. :)

  2. Ok Amy, as you know I have been a parent of both, a single parent who worked two jobs and a stay at home mother. I think both of my boys turned out great . You and Sean are doing a fantastic job.