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Childcare, when you are a working mom, is one of your most valuable assets. Knowing you can trust someone with your son or daughter while you are at work relieves mountains of stress and guilt. And how incredibly valuable Guilt Forgiveness is as a mom!
Guilt is one of those talents moms harness to perfection, one we routinely polish like a precious stone. She is a miraculous person who says “Go to work, don’t worry, I will teach your sweet little one and give her love and build up her sense of self worth for you while you focus on supporting your family financially with your time and your attention”. Seriously! Thank you so much to the “Kinder Cares” and “Ms. Joans” of this world who forgive us an ounce of our heavy guilt load!
Friday morning before Mother’s Day, however, I was pulled by feelings of frustration, my ego pushing its bold head into the day. Why, as mothers, are we asked to drop work to attend “Muffins with Mom” or “Mother’s Day Tea” in the middle of a busy work morning? To relive the agony of separation a SECOND time that day, prying our preschoolers off our freshly ironed suits to head back to work? We rely on childcare time! We plan for it, we value it, we DEPEND on it! Why risk shaming the mom who cannot leave work that morning? The poor mom who is made to feel terrible when the other kids’ moms can take the rest of the day off and your little one is left in tears. And where are the Donuts with Dad mornings anyway? These accusations tore at me as I apologetically excused myself from my conference, breaking the speed limit to get to my daughter’s preschool, forgiving myself one piece of banana bread for when I arrived.
When I burst through the preschool door, flustered, my daughter leaped up from her story time and flew into my arms. I melted. I breathed. We sat together and listened to the story of a man swallowing first a fly, then a spider, then a bird and each animal he swallowed was followed by hysterical giggling and wriggling and jiggling in my lap. She does this every day. She is surrounded by love and attention and a moment of presence in the midst of a crazy, chaotic day of activities and chores. My daughter’s preschool gives her peace. And last Friday morning I was gifted one hour of presence with her. I didn’t eat the banana bread but I did drink the tea and we happily sipped it together. (It was such a precious moment for the two of us that we repeated the ritual on Sunday.) I drove slowly back to my conference, filled with gratitude and not one person mentioned it all day. I only got a knowing nod from another mom who left later that day to indulge in her own muffin event.
Being a mom is so complex and so incredibly precious. No wonder they expect so much from us. The job requirements are monumental. Eleven years into this gig I am still learning on the job. I learned a big one last Friday. My lesson was a reminder to be present. Not one of my colleagues cared that I left for one hour during our important meeting, but boy, my daughter did. For her sake, this Mother’s Day, I will forgive myself the guilt of my anxiety leading up to the Mother’s Day Tea Party and I will bask in the beauty I allowed myself to appreciate with her that morning.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Mary says:

    You are an amazing mom!!

    • mBrace admin says:

      You are very kind! Aren’t all moms amazing? It definitely takes a whole community and every “mom” in that community makes a difference. We couldn’t dream of doing it alone! Thank you for all YOU do to help raise a generation of well adjusted, loving children!

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