SO I got of my pity pot from the other day and decided to get proactive. I hate feeling so damned weak about my work situation. I love my job, I love my son and I can have it all. There are just days when I start to feel weak about it and I just need to be reminded that this is my choice and it is a good one for us, for our family. What works for one family is not necessarily going to work for ours.
The hardest thing for me is that most of the people in my life who also have children do not work or have jobs that have or will allow them to be very flexible or are planning to leave the full time work force. I start worrying that my life and schedule is bad because no one else around me really has the same type of situation that I do. The truth of the matter is the amount of people who have or choose to work full time are the larger majority. That there is nothing wrong with how I am as a parent because I work. I will, I am sure, continue to struggle with this but I decided to do some research to help bolster me when I start feeling down in the future
In part, yes, this research is to help make myself feel better. Also, I can skew "my research" in any direction I want to. If I wanted to be a stay at home parent or some derivation of that, I am sure I could find plenty of research to support the reasons for that. Someone wisely told me recently that if everyone in my circle worked full time I would not be feeling this way and it is true but since that is mostly not the case I am working to find ways to feel better about working and to remind myself that at the end of the day just because I work does not mean that I am less of a parent to Matthew then if I did not work (which is probably a really ugly solution on so many levels...)
I found this wonderful article. I have read this kind of thing a million times before but today this is what resonates with me:
Who’s Raising My Child?
There is great debate over this, but it has been shown in studies time and time again that working away from home is not negatively impacting your child. For many mothers it feels unnatural to be away from a little one, and for others it feels unnatural to be with a baby twenty-four hours a day. If your child spends two, four, or eight hours a day with another care-giver, the caregiver is not raising your baby – you are.
Most quality care-givers encourage your input and expect parents to provide details as to feeding schedules, bottle specifics, solids, and nap duties. There are twenty-four hours in a day, and chances are you are only gone eight to ten of those hours. That means simply that you have most of your baby’s time, and most likely you’re there when they need you the most – bedtime and during the night.
Quality Not Quantity
Fortunately for working moms, study after study has shown that quality time together is much more important than the quantity of time together. No parent, working or not can dote on a baby every hour of the day. But if you spend every minute you can engaging in quality activities with your little one, it will go much farther in the long run.
Play with your little one. Talk to her. Take her with you everywhere you can and explain to her what is going on. Working moms are busy moms, but working moms are great at managing time. Your child is a top priority, and you’ll handle it all just fine. (from Working Mom Guilt: Handling the Pressures of Balancing Work and Family by Rebecca Garland)
This link will take you to a short discussion about the recent "study" about day care and children's behavior. Both Kevin and I read this study and the articles and we both felt it was a load of hooey. Matthew is a charming little boy who is absolutely a favorite amongst his teachers (who cannot say this but have said so in so many other ways and one came right out and said it recently...) and his little peers. He is well behaved and knows when he is in trouble. That does not stop him from being a two year old currently struggling with how to share with his friends at times, learning the meaning of a time out and generally just being a little boy. I have to agree with the parents whose kids are now grown and were part of the daycare world - strong parenting is really what is going to develop behavior.
My fav is this site. Nuff said! Ha. I do have to keep in mind the wonderful charming mommy I do know who is full time Pulmonary/Critical Care physician. She loves her son with all her heart. She is the person that convinced me that Matthew would be okay in day care, that life as a working mommy is okay. I need to remember her strength each day as she goes work to basically take care of the sickest of the sick and cover an ICU 24/7, telling families members that their elderly mother may not live through the night but that she is doing everything she can to make her comfortable. That she can make it all work and still be a pleasant happy woman whose son totally adores her no matter what. And while I may not be out saving lives, I am doing what is best for me and my family today, and every day.
I also wanted to share a few of my favorite blogs just because (and not because they particularly have to do with above mentioned topics - BTW, if you have made it this far past my high and mighty BS, I have switched gears on y'all!) Here are some fun blogs about being a mommy in various forms!