Making it Work

I spent most of my morning at work today picking up the shattered pieces of my heart and trying to put them together again with coffee, the eternal glue to my soul. The reason for my sad (mixed in with a bit of furious) state of being was that I had been forced to leave my beautiful baby boy, the one with the huge brown eyes and soft, curly hair, crying in the arms of his daddy at 6:49 a.m so that I could make an early-morning meeting. Which ended up being canceled. I was furious, sad, and groggy.

It’s a moment I cherish yet dread at the same time. Those delicate, early-morning minutes before I leave home to start a full 10  – 11 hour day at work before I can see my family once more. Those minutes hold the promise and curse of a certain small, warm, 3.5 year-old body stumbling out of bed, clutching his stuffed Puppy and Dolphin. He looks up at me with his warm eyes that could melt a glacier, and they are filled with anticipation, uninhibited love, and need. The need for his mommy to embrace him, hold him close, and be completely present. This is distinctly different from the frazzled, out-of-time, need-to-get-out-the-door-right-now mother I feel I am during those moments.

I can usually manage to get out the door while everyone is still asleep, avoiding the pain of feeling as though I’ve left him with an unfulfilled need, longing after me as I shut the door behind me. On days when I’m running a little late, however, or on days when he awakens earlier than usual, I am torn between wanting to be there for him but also knowing that, at this job, it matters what time I walk through the door. Any time I can spare an extra 15 or 20 minutes  in the morning, I try to give him as much of me as I possibly can, hoping against hope that it will partially make up for the next 11 or so hours until I can see him again.

I KNOW I have made a conscious decision to be a working mother. I KNOW that it is a choice, and that I need to own up to it, and in the words of Tim Gunn “Make it work!”. But would that really  be his advice to me? Wouldn’t he say that I should trust my gut, and be true to who I am? Is this really who I am?

I know mothers do this all the time. I know (hope) my son is and will be stronger and more resilient because of it. I know I am/will be too. I just wish it didn’t have to hurt so bad.


One Response to Making it Work

  1. The daddy says:

    A small correction: you left the beautiful baby boy in the arms of his ‘sleeping’ daddy. :D

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