Ah, the tension of working motherhood. It is a constant and unwelcome companion. It goes something like this:
I like my job. I like working. I would love to work fewer hours, but that isn’t realistic at the moment.
I adore my daughter. She has excellent caregivers. I don’t have to worry about her when I’m at work. She is a happy, well-adjusted child. She has many special people in her life and is having wonderful experiences.
She does this thing now where before she eats, she folds her little hands to pray. She did not learn this from me. Not because we don’t pray, but because it’s rare for the three of us to eat together and I don’t stop to pray with her when I give her dinner because I’m usually unloading the dishwasher or making lunches while she eats. She learned it from her babysitter. It’s sweet and darling and so lovely that she has learned this and I SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE ONE TO TEACH HER THAT.
That’s how it goes. The sorrow and guilt and fear lurk beneath the surface and rear up when I least expect it. The next thing I know, I’m battling a downward spiral of “her babysitters are better parents than I am.”
Logically, I know this is untrue. I know that it is okay and good for her to learn things from people besides her parents. I know the people teaching and caring for her are godly and loving.
I know that I am always her mother and she does not doubt that. I know I am doing the best I can and making the most of my time with her. I know this is my path and my calling right now. I can use my gifts in the work world AND be a good mother. Maybe, somehow, the two roles can complement each other.
But that doesn’t mean it is simple. As a friend said, it’s a constant evolution and acceptance. It’s that constant part that gets me.
I would like to wrap this post up neat and tidy-like, but I’m not quite sure how to do that. What I have are these words, drummed into my head by my counselor and friend:
God loves me. God is in control. God does not make mistakes.
God loves my daughter. God is in control. God does not make mistakes.
God loves you. God is in control. God does not make mistakes.
What blessed constant assurance.