The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Friday, February 06, 2009


Mommy's High-Wire Act: The Work/Family Balance

I’ve been working a lot lately and I’m not seeing my son enough. That bugs me. He’s only three. How can he be spending more time at preschool than at home? What kind of mother am I?

This is not the first time I question my work/family balance. Even when I’ve got the balance right, there are still days it gets thrown off, either because I’ve added to my work schedule (less time for family), our son is home sick unexpectedly (less time for work), or I just feel the need to spend more time with our son (no change in time, just want more of it).

Lately, I’ve added to my work schedule, so our son no longer stays home with me one full day a week. Instead, he’s in preschool full-time. Ack, I feel guilty just writing this—even though I know he’s happy there, loves it, and it’s a great place for him.  It’s not him I’m worried about, really; it’s me.

Will I have regret, I wonder, when he’s eight or nine and wants to spend all his free time with his friends instead? Will I think: I should have spent more time with him when he was three and wanted only to be with his parents?

Time does not run backwards, I know. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

The extra work I’m doing now is intended to help our family out in the future when I can then hopefully spend more time with our son. The situation is temporary. The trouble with living for the future, though, is this: you’re not living right now, which is where life happens, where memories get created.

So it comes back to balance again. I have to ask myself what will be more painful: cutting out some work and postponing important goals a little longer, or continuing to feel like I’m not seeing my son enough?

I resolve to pick my son up early from school at least one day a week so that we can play, regardless of my work crunch. Because those are the kind of memories (of my son and family) I want plastered all over my mind.

By Cindy Bailey

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