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Only 9 More Summers

by Deborah Cruz

Mom work life balance, is there even such a thing?

Oh the working mother guilt in the summertime is almost unbearable. UNBEARABLE. I thought I couldn’t handle leaving my girls all day and going to an office to work because I didn’t want to miss anything and I still don’t. There are only 9 more summers until my oldest turns 18, then college and then I won’t have these every day opportunities that I take for granted.

I work from home. I am living my dream except for one small thing; well two small things. I work from home. Which means, I am never technically off. I know this is my own fault but I just can’t find the balance. I want all the hugs,kisses, giggles and the air filled with laughter and midday picnics and cannon balls in the neighborhood pool and “mommy” sounding like love throughout my home. But then there is work. Work doing something I love, something that is part of my definition and my DNA; work that helps pay for all these wonderful memory filled moments and vacations and classes. It’s a chicken and egg situation if ever there was one.

parenting, mom, work, life, balance, summer

I LOVE what I do. I am blessed to get to be paid to write but every time I have to tell my daughter that we will paint our nails…LATER. I feel like the biggest dick on the planet. It’s like a knife to my heart when she walks away defeated because she knows that “later” probably means “never”. I hate that I do that to her. I hate that my older daughter doesn’t even bother to ask any more. That breaks my heart. But what do you do? You stop and paint nails. You get up earlier and stay up later, which explains how we spent 2 hours at the pool today but I’m writing this at 1 am.

I want a little bit of everything. I don’t want it all but I want a little bit of everything and I want my daughters to know that the world stops for them, if they need me because nothing is more important. But how do you maintain professionalism when you keep telling clients that your children come first and their company always comes second. It’s true and they may respect it and you for your family value but as an employee, your children are a liability and you feel undependable.

It’s a little bit of everything. People never want to hear a work-at-home mother complain because it’s like complaining about first world problems. To outsiders looking in, it’s complaining about having it all and I agree. It sounds crazy. I know I am lucky to be able to spend my days loving on these two.

parenting, mom, work, life, balance, summer

I agree, it is the best of both worlds but it’s also the worst because if you are a stay-at-home mom, you get to stay home but you start to feel a little stir-crazy without any outside contact. You feel a little bit unfulfilled, unappreciated and wasted.

When you leave to go to work outside of the home, you feel terrible missing the milestones and you make a huge sacrifice to be able to provide the things that our children need like food and shelter and clothes.  But when you leave the house, you see that look of defeat or disappointment once when you walk out the door.

When you work at home, you see that look of defeat or disappointment on your child’s face every single time you have to put them off to do work. You hear it in their voice. You want to crawl in a hole and die when you hear them crying and you have a hard deadline. It’s the worst feeling that I’ve ever felt. I’ve been a SAHM mom and a Work-outside-of-the-home and now, for the past few years a work-at-home and it all brings with it unimaginable guilt.

You have to make a choice. We always choose our children in the big moments but what about the small insignificant ones, like the nails that yearn to be painted soft baby pink , or the hide and seeker who hides for 20 minutes unnoticed or the one booboo that she figured it wasn’t even worth the disappointment to ask you to kiss?

parenting, mom, work, life, balance, summer

These are the moments. These are the moments that our legacy of motherhood are made. So, I’ve decided today that for the remainder of the summer, I will no longer be online on Mondays and Fridays because I will be enjoying undistracted moments with my children.


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Jess 2014/07/15 - 11:09 am

Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhh. And I’ll just go sit and cry in my corner of my office here at work. Because I realize it’s only 9 more summers. And because I miss them. And because your right. And because ughhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Deborah Cruz 2014/07/15 - 9:34 pm

@Jess, Right? It hits like a mack truck sometimes. It stinks. It goes too fast. Before we know it, there will be quincineras and proms and weddings. P.S. I am totally enlisting you to help me plan my girls quincineras because I never got one and they both want one. Deal? P.S. we want to check out Austin, Texas. It sounds awesome:) Plus, you know, you are there.

Anna Roberts 2014/07/21 - 9:40 am

I totally get what you’re saying. My own mother and father struggle as my sister and I grow up. There is also a level of child guilt for me though. College was a difficult adjustment for us all, but I still have the summers at home, even if I work. Yet, as I get older and come closer to graduating from college, I know that I will eventually move away and it tears me up inside to think of leaving my family, but I know that is something we all need to eventually do.

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