Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Letter to My Children From Your Working Mother

Dear Tiny Humans,

I love you. I want you to know that right from the start of this letter. Also, I wanted you. I wanted to be a mom from the moment I even knew that moms existed.  I always knew that, no matter what it took, I would become a mom someday.

And so I am. I am YOUR mom.  

Like my mom before me, I wanted to stay home with you.  Also like my mom before me, I can’t.  

You ask me everyday, and my heart breaks a little bit telling you that you can’t stay home in your pajamas, that from the ripe old age of four months, you had to leave your cozy home well before 8 a.m. and go somewhere else.  

I know it’s hard for you. I know. I know. I know. It’s hard for me, too.

But here are four things you need to know about what having a working mom will mean for you.

  1. You’ll avoid (the basic) struggle. I know that life isn’t all about things, but life is a lot less stressful when simple things like clothing and a roof over your heads aren’t something your parents struggle to provide. Your daddy and I were lucky enough to go to college and find jobs that pay well, and we don’t have to struggle. You don’t have to struggle...well, until you turn 18 and suddenly decide to become an artist, in which case, just know that the struggle is real and that you’re welcome to come home and do your laundry.
  2. You’ll see your family. Your daddy grew up far from where we live, and we love the family and friends he left behind. Because we both work, we have the money to fly and visit them. You get to see your grandparents and your aunts and uncles and cousins and friends and tractors and horses and so much more, and your life is already richer because of it.
  3. Your mom loves her job. I love you more, and I’ll always put you first, but I took a long time to find the right career. You’ve asked me, “Why do you go teach kids?”  I teach kids because they need me to teach them. They need someone to be honest with them, to challenge their thinking, to push them to conquer new challenges. And, trust me, there will come a time when you’ll enjoy having 100 + older kids who will fight for you.
  4. We have this in common.  My parents both worked - they worked way crazier hours than your daddy and I do.  I had a key to get into my house after school and strict instructions to do everything in my power to not burn down the house. I grew up sane (well, at least according to me) and well-adjusted and full of the knowledge that a woman can have a meaningful career.  You’ll share that with me. And considering you look just like your daddy, it’s awfully nice to share something with you.

Even though I won’t always be the mom at every classroom party, and even though your valentines and school party treats won’t be the fanciest thing anyone ever saw on Pinterest, know that you will always be loved, will always be in dozens of photos on that I look at on my desk all day, that I talk about you and think about you to anyone will listen even to thirteen-year-olds who might prefer another topic.  You’re first on my mind.  Always.

And we can stay in jammies on weekends.

I love you.


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