They say ‘you can have it all’. You can work and be a good mother. I don’t know who they are, but I think they are delusional. Sacrifices have to be made to do both jobs well. I was in an awkward position today. My 6-year-old daughter was vomiting at 4 a.m. That wake up call is more painful than shopping for a bathing suit or blue jeans.
I hoped it was just something she ate. I wanted her to feel better. I also needed her to go to school. As much as I want to stay home to care and comfort her – I have a job. Calling in because you want to be a good parent is generally frowned upon. It’s a shame, but that’s the way it is. For goodness sake, the United States is the only developed country in the world that doesn’t mandate some form of paid maternity leave. If the Family and Medical Leave Act didn’t exist many businesses would want you back before the afterbirth hits the floor.
I did not have a choice today. I could not go to work. I didn’t have a babysitter and Child Protective Services frowns on leaving a first grader home alone. I am fortunate that my boss was gracious and understanding. Still, I felt guilty and slightly embarrassed that I had to pull the “mom card.” I know I shouldn’t be ashamed that I am a good mother. However, in a country where women make 79 cents for every dollar a man earns, we cannot afford to appear weak. It’s the plight of most working mothers who are trying to juggle careers and children- while maintaining our sanity. It’s not easy juggling children. They are heavy.