I’m not sure that there’s been a day since my son Jacob was born that I haven’t been faced with the whole work/life balance issue. The first time I ran head to head with it was while out on maternity leave. Though “officially” clocked out and supposed to be focusing on my family alone I was still keeping tabs on work through email during late night feedings, during Jacob’s naps, etc. Plus, near the end the interactions were getting more interactive – I was getting calls and emails that expected clearly expected responses. Funny that, because at least one of those calls I was being lectured to stay away from work and instead put my focus on my family right now. Then maybe you shouldn't call!
The next bout of balance issues came when Jacob started daycare and I headed back to work. I swear, every known germ found him and clung on for dear life. New mom that I was I jumped at every fever. With my husband’s work schedule taking him in at 3am each morning I’m essentially a single mother in the morning. So I often made the call to stay home and take Jake in to see the pediatrician. Every single day off (only 3 or 4 in total) my guilt at not being at work grew.
Then came the snow…
Mother Nature’s wild mood swings left me with daycare closing or delaying opening constantly. Yet again, points off for ol’ mom because though work closed occasionally, I was out of paid time off and starting to look downright irresponsible with my inability to get into the office. Plus, the bills were piling up.
Now I’m faced with a potential job offer that would rock our world financially but might kill me personally. I’d be rescuing us from debt that’s been amassing since we decided that having a baby and buying our first house in one year was the BEST.IDEA.EVER. However, I’d also be working crazy long, erratic hours that would force me on the road and away from my baby. But hey, my dad did it, didn't he? So did a lot of other father’s I know. “You've got to do what you've got to pay the bills,” as they say. However, though I know they exist in a mythical type of way, I don’t personally know any moms who have taken this particular beast of burden on.
So ladies, I know you’re out there, how do you do it all and drop the guilt?