As of 2014, 70% of women with children under 18 years old participate in the labor force according to the US Department of Labor. I know working outside the home has become commonplace for today’s mothers, but I still wonder if it is what is best or just what we think is necessary. As much as it was welcome to have women work outside the home in the 1960’s and 1970’s, I’m not sure women really benefited as much as we would like to think.
My reason for saying this is that each day I drop my children off at Summer Camp and preschool. I am plagued by a feeling that this isn’t how things are suppose to be. Each day my heart aches and I struggle with the guilt of leaving my children to be cared for by someone else. Each day my heart hurts knowing my time with them is limited and I am giving these precious moments over to someone else to enjoy.
Yes, it’s true they are learning valuable socialization skills and are being exposed to experiences and new opportunities for learning, However, in my heart I feel I should be the one teaching them. I should be the one sharing in these experience. I should not in an office or a cubicle staring at a computer without purpose. My purpose is them and that is where I should be.
It’s biological I know. I am programmed by nature to feel this need to be with and care for my children. It’s instinctual and it is not something I can overcome. Mothers are forced to push aside this biological instinct to yield to societal pressures and perceived need.
To sum up well… it just sucks! If I could convey how I feel, that the time with them is slipping away. Staring out the window watching other children play. My heart climbs into my throat and I choke back tears hoping no one in the office will notice my watery eyes.
Rationally, I know I work to provide a better, healthier life for them with more opportunities. Looking back I wish I had planned. I wish I had saved more. I wish I could have foreseen the need to be with my children would far out way any monetary benefit work could provide.
For those thinking about having children, let my feelings be a cautionary tale to plan, to save and to adjust so you can be there for every moment with your children. So you can care for your babies, like nature has designed you to do.