It’s 8:30 am. As I prepare to leave for a few meetings this morning, all day work in the city, and then a shoot for the travel channel tonight, I can’t help but feel a little torn. Being a working mom, even though I have the freedom of my own hours, means I need to find the fine balance between my professional life, and my personal one.
My son has been learning to be okay, when I am there, and when I am not. And I have been learning to not rely on the nanny completely, even if she is there. As new parents, my husband and I can already see the effects of not spending enough time with our kid, and so we are trying to make an effort to do so.
If you are a parent, then you know exactly how separation anxiety feels like. I’ve already turned down a few free travel opportunities (for work and leisure) simply because I can’t bear the thought of leaving my son for more than two days.
The other day, we were on a road trip with a friend, and she commented how I’ve changed, in that “mommy” way. I now travel with mosquito repellent, extra handwash, tissues, a change of clothes and three full bottles at a time. And then some. I am also now overly paranoid, protective, and all those things that kick in when offspring arrive.
But I can’t help it. It’s even hard to not feel guilty about work, but I know I have to let this little one grow into his own person, and trust that he will be okay.
When I am home, though—which, thankfully, is most of the week—we try to do more together. Flashcards, swimming, playtime and eating together. As a parent, you may always feel, “it’s never enough”…but sometimes, maybe we just need to accept that there is only so much we can do—and if we do our best, that’s enough.
I wave goodbye to my son as he sits in his highchair, eating yoghurt. He wines a little, but he’ll be ok, I tell myself…
He’ll be okay.