Parenting is hard sometimes.
Seriously, it’s really hard.
And I’m not talking about the middle of the night feedings or cleaning up puke when both you and your little one have the flu (although though things are far from easy and definitely can be a challenge.)
I’m talking about those tough decisions. Miles is only two so I know we haven’t had to make a whole lot of them; there are tons more to come. But most mornings I’m faced with one of them — going to work.
A lot of parents (in most situations it is the mom) struggle with the decision of going back to work. In our household it didn’t take a whole lot of thought; the responsible and grown up decision was for me to go back to work. I was the one with the more stable job that earned more money.
But it was tough then to go back to work. There was guilt — I’m not the one taking care of my baby. There was jealousy — my husband gets to spend more time with him than me. And there was even a little anger — I’m missing out on so much!
Some mornings that tough decision is harder than others. This morning was one of them. I was away from Miles for three days and nights last week; it was tough for both of us (and my husband who did a wonderful job taking care of him in my absence.) And since I’ve returned anytime I have left (even if it is just to take a quick shower) it is met with a flood of tears.
It kills me, breaking my heart. He has this brilliant fake pouty face where he wrenches his bottom jaw — teeth and all — way out. But when Miles is really upset, ugh, his whole face melts. His big brown eyes turn all sad and fill with tears — that’s the look I got when I started to get ready this morning.
Almost the whole time I’m in the shower I could hear him on the other side of the door crying, “Mamma, mamma, mamma!” Michael is trying to soothe, distract and comfort him but he wants none of it.
When I sit down in the recliner just before I really need to leave he plops on my lap — a rare treat these days — and just leans his head back into my shoulder asking to rock. How could I say, “No.” Of course I don’t, and we sat and rocked for several minutes.
But I had to get to work, now running several minutes behind. He senses it is about to end and crooks his head around and plants a kiss on my chin. Heart melts.
It just plain sucked that I had to walk away from that sweetness to go to work. But, for our family, that is the best decision.
So after I peel him from my leg and make it out the door he dramatically presses his hand against the glass wailing.
Apparently 30 seconds later he’d calmed down and was happy to go back to his train playing. That thought soothes my broken heart a little, but it still hurts. And all mornings, thankfully, aren’t like this.
So yes, parenting just plain sucks sometimes.
What are some of the tough parenting decisions you have had to make and how do you get through them?