If you’re a working mother like me, you may have noticed a few raised eyebrows from time to time. When I first mentioned my son was starting daycare, full-time, at 5 months old, I got the side eye look from people. I was asked why was I putting my child in daycare at such a young age. Why every day? All day? Yes people, Monday-Friday 8am-6pm. Some thought I was putting my career before him. I was being judged. Truth be told, I was thinking the same thing. However, I didn’t have a choice. My husband and I needed to work. We didn’t have our parents near us to watch him during the day. My mother helped for a while, but traveling from Brooklyn to Queens every week was a lot after a while.
His first day of daycare, I wouldn’t leave, I was so scared. I strolled the entire school looking in every classroom, watching the staff interact with the kids, and watched the other babies in his class. My son’s teacher had to calm me down. I was so late to work that day. I felt guilty every day leaving my baby boy and I felt even worst when he got sick his first week in daycare. Because of the guilt, the nerves, the fear of him in daycare, I realized I have officially entered motherhood. My heart was no longer with me, it stay with him the moment he left my side every Monday-Friday from 8am-6pm.
Due to this fear, I thought my career would suffer. I thought I would be held back because of “motherly duties.” I wouldn’t be viewed as the “boss lady” that my students once called me. I wouldn’t be able to do my job because I had to rush out at 5pm. It took some time to realize that I didn’t lose that part of me, rather I gained a whole new level of leadership without the pay but plenty of benefits.
So, I continued with my new life and attended pediatrician appointments in the mornings and meetings at work in the afternoon. I fixed student problems in the day and kiss boo boos at night. I drop my son off to daycare every morning, then haul myself to work, on time, with a smile! I’m tired, but smiling. I was still bringing work home every day like a maniac.
Then, It finally hit me to just STOP trying to do it all! Which meant something needs to give and it wasn’t motherhood. So, I may not be able to stay late at work like I use to or take on every extra project presented to me but, “when in doubt, choose the kids. There will be plenty of time later to choose work.”
I will never make my own goals a priority to my son. My career is important but motherhood has been the greatest accomplishment for
me since 2014.
I’m still a “Boss Lady.” Just add mom to my resume.