It probably comes as no surprise to learn that I love my son more than anything in the world. He is absolutely the most amazing creature and I shake my head when I think about my insistence many years ago that I was never going to have children. My life was not complete before him and I wish I could spend every minute with his little arms wrapped around my neck.
But like many moms, I am a working mom. I begrudgingly head off to work early every morning, thankful that my son is still asleep (the tears kill me). I spend my days in a cubicle surrounded by pictures of him (that I keep meaning to update) and swapping mom stories with my co-workers. It both warms and breaks my heart when I get home at night and he says “I missed you”.
Thanks to a Seattle snowstorm last week, I got to spend 3 days at home with my son. Just the two of us. Stuck at the house. All day. By Friday afternoon, I was dreaming of my office where no one was insisting on watching another episode of Thomas and the likelihood of stepping on a Lego is pretty slim.
Don’t get me wrong….we had a lot of fun. We played in the snow, built an indoor obstacle course, baked cookies, took long naps, and snuggled under blankets while drinking endless cups of cocoa. I loved 99% of it. But sometime during those three days, my appreciation for being a working mom started to grow just a little bit. I started to pine for my long commute (hello NPR), my quiet lunch break, and adult conversation.
Staying home with my son is always going to beat out going to work. I wish I could stay home with him and witness every minute of his growing up years. But as I head back to work this week, it will be with a teaspoon less bitterness at having to be a working mom. I’ll remember that “absence makes the heart grow fonder” and savor those evening snuggles with a happy heart.