My daughter recently write a blog post about balance. She and her husband recently started a blog dedicated to recording their journey toward financial independence. Both of them work full time, and they own a cute little house (a nice little starter home in a well-kept urban area) and have a beautiful eight-month-old daughter (I suppose I'm a little biased, but grandmothers are allowed to be!).
Anyway, she wrote that one of the hardest things for her is being away from her daughter. She's experiencing the same feelings of guilt that plague working moms everywhere. Guilt at having days when she spends more time at her job than with her daughter. Guilt at enjoying her job. Guilt at making financial security a priority, taking away from quality time with her child.
Having been a working mom, I wanted to reassure her. I responded under my pseudonym and made no references that would identify myself as her mother. I empathized with her feelings, because I had felt them when I had left her with others. I tried to make her see that Little Miss B is happy and healthy because her mother took the time to choose the right person to care for her. And I reminded her that she and her sister have grown into happy, confident adults.
I'm not sure if my daughter has seen my response. I hope so. I'd like to think that I was able to a little bit toward assuaging her fears and concerns. Those concerns are valid, but she's making the choices she needs to make. If, someday, their circumstances change, she may re-evaluate and move in another direction. And I'll be there to cheer her on. Because I'm her mother.
But for now, hopefully, my words can make a difference.