Last night was a rough night for Mommy and Vinny. I’ve been off all summer, and just started back to work this week with inservices and meetings which means that the kids were back to the babysitter. Well, if you remember, we are living in my parents’ house while we fix up our new house and sell our old one, so we had to switch Vincent’s babysitter right about the time when he turned 2. It’s better, but it’s still a hard transition for the little man. And “hard transition” equals not napping or eating and becoming a train wreck the entire night. I know he’ll figure it out once we get back into the swing of things, but last night he was up at 12:30 and came into Mommy’s bed for the rest of the night. (Not a practice I make a habit of…in fact, this was the first time he’s spent the entire night in our bed, but I digress…) So, needless to say, Mommy didn’t get a great night’s sleep, and I don’t think Vinny did either.
When Sydney got up to eat around 6:30ish, I was looking at my phone, checking my emails and texts, and, of course, browsing Facebook. Well, if you are friends with me in real life, or on Facebook (or both!) you probably saw a status I had posted asking for prayers and positivity as I went back to school and didn’t get to spend 24/7 with my kiddos. I got so many beautiful comments telling me basically what I already knew (but still needed to hear) it IS possible to be a good employee AND a good mother. I saw that someone else commented on that status (a person I haven’t seen or spoken to in over 10 years) and this is what she wrote, “You wanted kids so badly, and now you want to leave them? WHY??? You should stay at home and raise those kids right.”
Let that sink in for a few moments.
Almost immediately I deleted the comment, unfriended and blocked this person before I got into some type of heated debate/argument on Facebook with someone who has no bearing on my life currently. (I detest using Facebook to publicly argue or debate topics…I like to keep my social media filled with pictures of my family and my dog. It’s not the place to air dirty laundry.) But I. AM. LIVID.
First off, what gives anyone the right to judge another person’s life or choices? It’s not your life. And look, I know, we all judge other people to a certain extent. We’d be lying if we said we didn’t, but why would you write a comment like that on social media? I’ll say it again. It’s not your life. It’s not even the life of someone who has any real importance to you at all! I mean, what the hell do you think you’re getting at?
Then there’s the whole anxiety piece to this. You know what went through my head immediately after reading that comment. Thoughts like this: She’s right. I am leaving my kids. I’m a terrible mom, and my kids will grow up to resent me because I chose to work instead of stay home with them. I must not love them enough. I’m a really shitty mom for paying someone to watch my kids instead of me not working and watching them myself.
You know what’s not true? ALL OF THOSE THOUGHTS. None of them are true. I love my kids more that I love my own life. There is literally NOTHING I wouldn’t do for these tiny human beings, but one stupid women said out loud what goes through my anxiety ridden head on a daily basis after I drop them off at the sitters on my way to work. Reinforcing the self doubt, the negativity, the untrue reality I’ve painted in my head when I’m already feeling down on myself. I love my children, and they love me, when I am home and when I am at work.
You know what is true? I did and I do want these kids. I went through hell to get both of my children, and I would do it all again. The fears, the tears, the worry, the pain. ALL OF IT. Because they are worth it. I worked damn hard to get my kids, and I am still working damn hard to be their mom. That will never change.
You know what else is true? I worked damn hard to get my degree and get my job. I was top of my class in college, earning almost all straight As. I won awards, I studied hard, and I got a music education degree in four years. I LOVE my job. I LOVE my students. I truly enjoy going to work every day. My coworkers are incredible, passionate teachers who enrich the lives of the kids that enter our school every single day. I’m PROUD of my school, and I’m PROUD of my job. Is my job more important than my children? Nope. And no job ever will be. But is my job fulfilling, life giving, and something I love doing? Yes. And I’m not sure what else you could ask for out of a career.
That’s not to say I haven’t thought about staying home with my kids. Many days I wish I could. Actually, when I was on maternity leave, Husband and I had many long conversations about me taking a year off to stay home with the kids. I considered it for a long time, and, honestly, I still consider it at times. But, two house payments and other expenses are not able to make that a reality right now. Maybe it’ll be something I can do in the future, or maybe I’ll choose not to. Either way, it doesn’t make me any better or worse of a mom because I’m a working mom.
What is true? I’m a great teacher, and I’m a great mom. And I can be both at the same time. And I won’t let some internet troll try and convince me differently.