I remember my first day back to work leaving behind my two babies… (21 and 6 months old) it was bitter sweet. A part of me wanted to be home so I could control every single detail in their day and another part of me wanted my amazing nanny to deal with it all as I jumped in my car and made my wonderful commute downtown worrying about nothing more than myself. I am fairly controlling by nature so I would probably call home one hundred times a day to ensure my nanny wouldn’t forget ANYTHING that needed to be done, and secretly to make sure my children were still alive and happy. Crazy I know! Toward the early afternoons is when the guilt would start to kick in that I couldn’t be there for them and that I had hired someone to do MY job. I would count the minutes to get off work to come see them and quickly realized that they didn’t miss me as much I would have hoped.
When my eldest started pre-school things really changed for me, I was the only working mom outside of the home; while others worked also they had flexibility which I really didn’t. Seeing all these moms dropping off their little ones every morning and picking them up 3 hours later was tough. I had my nanny or one of my best friends drop off my eldest and they would give me the play by play of what went down in his day. Was he happy? Did he cry? Who did he play with today? I remember kids and moms getting invited on play dates or mommy lunches and I wasn’t part of that and it killed me to think that my little boy wouldn’t have the same opportunity as other kids did because I wasn’t physically there to make these connections with other moms.
That’s when I decided that I needed to work full time but I had to do it from home so I wouldn’t miss any special moments in their day. Although it took me over a year to figure out how to do that I eventually did and it felt liberating to be able to do the two jobs I love most; my career and being close to my children. I was overjoyed at the idea of seeing my kids all the time and being able to keep my career intact. I probably never realized just how hard it would be to do both. Although our nanny was still working with us full time I had a million distractions in the day and getting things done would take much longer. Having said that, I wouldn’t change a thing! I love my job and love waking up to my beautiful children every morning and feel blessed to be able to do both. I have to admit that mommy guilt never goes away but we learn to accept that we do what we can always with the best intentions and I hope my children will always know that.
-Natalie Garcia Taty Prol