We are faced with a multitude of choices in our daily lives. Some are easier than others. Some only impact our lives and others may change the path of those around us. How do we make those choices and then how do we live with them? That is the question I am asking myself.
Almost seven years ago, soon after my son was born, I considered going back to work full-time and I tried it. It was not for me. I tried working part-time. That was not for me either. I could not resist the call my baby boy made to my heart. I wanted to be the one to experience every little thing he did – his first smile, the first time he rolled over, the first time he crawled, his first step, the first word he spoke (which was Dada, despite all the time I spent with him!), and the appearance of his first tooth. I had waited too long for this wonderful little boy to give someone else the pleasure of raising him, so I became a stay at home mom, a decision I never regretted for a moment.
Fast forward seven years and I now have a beautiful little girl who is two years old and full of life and mischief. She has captured our hearts and brought even more joy into our lives.
But this year, I made the decisions to go back to work part time and also to focus on my writing. This in addition to taking care of the children, dogs, family, and everything else, has made me feel more overwhelmed than ever before. I am juggling so many balls in the air, I am afraid that I am going to drop one. They are fragile and I am worried.
I am not the first mom to have to make tough decisions and I will by no means be the last, but mom guilt is weighing heavily on me. I keep telling myself that my mom went to work and raised two kids and we both turned out pretty much okay. I know friends who have chosen to go back to work full time and their kids are doing fine too… but I can’t help thinking Marissa might resent me some day for not spending as much time with her as I did with Shane, but I know she is going to love school and her time away from me will make her independent. I’ll make sure that the time we spend together is special. I know I have to learn to let go and trust that the world will be good to her, but I can’t help wondering if it will be as good to her as I would have been.
I have to reconcile living with the choices I am making. I can’t let guilt incapacitate me. I think that when I choose to live my life and my dreams to the fullest, I will be teaching my children, especially my daughter, that its okay to live theirs too. I will teach them that nothing comes easy – that it’s okay to work hard, and make tough choices and sacrifices in life, finding a way to stay true to ourselves and to follow through. I know I will regret the things I didn’t do in life, more than the things I ever did.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, about the choices you have had to make, and how you lived with them.