It's not easy being a working mom

April 2, 2010 9:39:11 AM PDT
Last week, Erin O'Hearn produced a special on our newscast about the difficulties of returning to work after maternity leave. After her special report, Jim asked me how long it took, after my maternity leave, for going back to work to get easy again. I replied, "Well, Emma is two-years-old now and I'm still waiting for it to get easy."

I was half-kidding.

I really love my job and usually look forward to coming to work every day. I've worked at Action News for more than 14 years now, so my coworkers are part of my family now. But that doesn't mean I don't feel guilty on occasion.

Usually, I leave for work just after Luke and Emma are down for their afternoon naps. My husband, Greg, who is a stay-at-home dad, and I typically split the duties getting our children to bed and it all goes smoothly. But, on occasion, I have to get to work early in the day to attend a meeting or prepare for an approaching storm. That can really throw my little ones. As much as I love my job, the tearful, "Mommy, don't go to work today," really tugs at my heart.

I'm lucky that I don't miss much of my children's day, since half of my workday is after they go to bed at night. But, after appearing on the 11 o'clock news, I rarely can get to sleep before 1:30 or 2AM. And, as Greg can attest, I need a solid eight hours of sleep to function. So, there is no way I can get up in time to see Luke off to preschool in the morning. Instead, I bring him home from preschool everyday and can't but break into a wide grin when he yells "Mommy" and jumps into my arms when he sees me waiting by the car.

I've accepted that, unlike my friend Deb, who is a stay-at-home mom and makes homemade pretzels to bring to school when the letter of the week is "P", I will never be asked to be the "homeroom mom."

I've accepted the fact that Greg gets to take Luke and Emma to their early evening swim practices. I don't get to see their swimming prowess, but I make them recount every stroke during our post-practice dinners.

When I am home with them, I try to give them my undivided attention and to make our own special moments. At times, I may feel guilty about missing some time with my children. But by working, not only am I financial supporting my family. I'm also showing my children how to handle responsibilities and how to make the very most of the time I DO have with my family.