Today one of my friends had one of the toughest moments in all of Motherdom…the day you first drop of your baby at child care. Dun, dun, DUN!
What an awful moment. I remember the first time I dropped off. I had returned to work weeks earlier but Paul had been home for several weeks with a baby Ava and now it was his turn to work. I had the dreaded task of leaving—nay—abandoning her at day care. I cried in my car. I cried at the office. I cried when I picked her up that night.
Little did I know that just four short years later (aka this morning) I would be gleefully running out of day care while Carmen threw a massive hissy fit about not getting to eat pizza for breakfast at home. HA! The joke's on you, sister! I get to leave and NOT hear you scream about things that only a two year old could possibly care about (your step stool in is the wrong place, I brought out the wrong sippy cup, you want to wear two mismatched socks). Yes, once again…this all happened this morning. Fair reader, you know I am not making this up. Plus, you probably could hear her screaming. I could hear it all the way to my car.
As working moms, we struggle so much trying to balance time, husbands, money, day care, kids, work responsibilities, chores…the list just goes on and on. For example, I work downtown. If it is my turn to pick up the girls from day care and I don’t leave before 4:50, I can guarantee that J Street will be a total cluster and the trip to day care (which should take 20 minutes) will take at least 55--making me invariably late for pick up. This leads to much guilt on my part, stink eye from my provider (sometimes even a fine), and my children crying all the way home about how they were the last ones to be picked up.
Nothing is harder on a working mom, though, than sick kids. Over the past two weeks my entire family has had the nastiest stomach flu I have ever experienced. I swear that I have never seen a thing like it. We thought we were through the worst of it and then, unexpectedly last Friday (yes…two weeks after she first puked) Carmen puked and—ahem—crapped everywhere A-G-A-I-N! Of course, I had to take another day off (make that four in two weeks) and take her to the doctor. Now, I know I am lucky--very lucky. Some families don’t get paid sick time. If they don’t work, they don’t get paid. Nonetheless, I missed a Board meeting and other important work responsibilities during these days at home with Gatorade, rice, and bananas.