Thoughts of a Working Mom

Kayla, my two year old daughter who owns my heart

One of my good friends is a stay-at-home mom, one of the few that I know. Sometimes I look at her life and say, “man she is lucky!” Who wouldn’t want to stay at home with the kids and not have to go to work? To not have a boss, but be the boss?  Not only that, but I envy her ability to spend time with her children. I sometimes work long hours, and my commute one way is 45 minutes. I am gone usually from 7:30am until 6:00pm every day, and that is on a normal day. Now I shouldn’t complain too much because my job is cushy and I do have opportunities to work from home every now and then, but still. If I could, I would totally take not having a boss.

Sometimes I will admit that working so much makes me feel guilty. I feel like I am missing out on things that are meaningful. It was like when my daughter first called me mom, which just happened a few days ago. I had always been Mommy. It hit me like a truck, oh my gosh she’s growing up! It was a horrible, sickening feeling that left me near weepy. Where have I been? What have I been doing that I somehow missed this sudden growth? She is only two, not even two and a half yet and she called me mom. Given it was just one time, but that one time made my happy, albeit naive, bubble that she would always remain mommy’s little girl forever pop like a balloon.

This feeling then turned into a vicious, angry, jealous green monster towards my fiancé who gets to spend these precious moments with her. I may have momentarily let that jealousy get the best of me as I shot ill-concealed looks of fury in his general direction, a look so intense even his usually-broken-angry-female-radar was able to pick it up easily. He spent the next 30 minutes keeping as far away from me as he pondered what he could have possibly forgotten to raise my ire. If I hadn’t been so emotionally distraught, I probably would have laughed.

Once again, my thoughts go back to my friend who stays at home with her two daughters, teaching them about the world. The image that blooms into my mind is like some glorified suburbia show from our parents era where everyone got along; images of me cooking dinner with my perfectly behaved daughter, or even the two of us sitting outside in the sun counting the clouds. I swear it was like a slideshow of those T.V. commercials of the perfect families where a child spills something, and mom runs over with a handy paper towel that soaks it all up in one swoop. That last image was the one that broke the angry staring contest with my fiancé. With that last image, I remembered something very important. Those T.V. commercials, those images of how perfect life would be as a stay-at-home-mom are fake.

Now before you get all angry, please note I am not saying that being a stay-at-home-mom is not perfect, because it could be for someone. Many many people enjoy being a stay at home parent, and I truly applaud them for that. It is nowhere near as easy as it looks, and anyone who chooses to do it earns an awesome sticker in my book. I personally know that I could not do it, at least I wouldn’t choose to.

Some of you may think that makes me a bad parent, choosing to work instead of staying home with my daughter. Be that as it may, it is true. I am the type of person that is always striving for more. Not necessarily in others, but in myself. I thrive on setting goals, and completing them to the best of my ability. I take immense pride in my work and in my achievements that I actually begin feeling very uneasy when I am not at work. In fact, I had such an awful pregnancy, I was on bed rest for the latter end of it. During that time, and for four months after she was born I was out of work. I went crazy. I felt so down about myself, and feeling that I wasn’t contributing to our family that it actually made me a little depressed. It was not that I was unhappy to be with my daughter, for I loved every moment of It, and yes that includes the midnight feedings. However I am the type of person that needs to work. I need to be doing something.

Would I lower my hours? Definitely, however that is not exactly an option with my current profession and with the fiancé out of work the financial responsibility falls to me. I would love to take a part time role, or better yet a work from home role, but those jobs are few and far in between.

Even now as my work picks up and my schedule becomes hectic, I know that I like my job, I like my life, and I like what I am doing with it. Just because I am not there as much as a stay-at-home-parent does not make me any less of a parent as I sometimes feel. I am supporting my family, and giving them a wonderful life. I may not know as many of the songs from toddler tunes as a stay-at-home-parent, but I will sing them with my daughter anyways. What makes you a good parent isn’t based on the number of hours, but based on the life you give them, emotionally especially. My daughter knows her mommy loves her, and knows her mommy will devote her time to her when she is home, and that’s what matters to me.

So to all you working parents out there, I applaud you.

Less is More: A Thought on Fashion

Less is more, or is it?

Less is More: A Thought on Fashion

Yesterday, I spent the day at Nahant Beach, and let me tell you it was a beautiful day.  The beach is one of my favorites simply for the fact that it only costs $3.00 to park, and because it is never overly crowded.  Without the draw of a boardwalk, the numbers remain to a manageable level.  I stepped out, rocking my slimming black one-piece with a bit of confidence, despite being of larger stature.  As I relaxed in my euphoric glow of sunbathing, I noticed something that to me see

med a little startling.  If possible the tiny slips of material known as bikinis had shrunken.  Now I will admit I was an avid bikini clad young adult until I got a little thicker, but my bikinis and these bikinis are miles apart.

I have always been the more conservative type, generally staying away from showing too much midriff or too much cleavage.  Even before I had my daughter, I had always dressed in clothing that did not reveal too much.  It had nothing to do with my body type, because I had been thin in my younger years.  It was merely something I simply did.  I most certainly did not dress in tarps to cover my body, and I still managed to earn a few disapproving glances from the much older generation, yet I always stayed firmly behind that line marked conservative.  This was simply my choice, and I had no ill thoughts toward some of my more risqué friends.  However what I thought was risqué back then, is starting to look more conservative today.

Now, in fear of sounding like an old woman, I have to ask is less truly more?  I know when it comes to makeup, it is a common statement that less make up is better, but what about clothing?  I suppose I was always brought up on the quip “Leave a little to the imagination.”  That statement, it would seem, is a fading belief.  It is not that I have something against revealing clothing, in fact It does not faze me too much, to a point.  After that line, that point, I find it somewhat off-putting.

The reason for these thoughts came in the form of two teenage girls, probably in the mid years of high school.  They were wearing string bikinis, however these are not the string bikini’s I remember.  The bottoms seemed to be somewhere between a regular bikini cut, and a thong. The tiny triangle top seemed to cover a mere 10% of the breast, and that is estimating high; really high.

Am I aging myself by voicing these thoughts?  I know our grandparents always chastised us for our audacious fashion sense, but isn’t there a line at some point?  Twenty years from now will we all be walking around naked?

Perhaps my point seems a little moot considering this was at a beach.  Bathing suits have always been a little more revealing.  Still, I cannot help but wonder if there really is a line to be crossed.  I know we roll our eyes are our parents and grandparents tsking as we walk around without nylons, but is this something different?  Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that we should all be walking around in below-the-knee skirts and shirts that go to the top of the collarbone, but the opposite extreme seems just as inappropriate, especially on young adults.  Or on kids for that matter! String bikinis for toddlers?  Really?  I won’t even get started on that topic.

Back to my original question; Is less truly more?  Is there a happy medium between too much and too little?  I know more conservative things are starting to come “back in fashion” however they don’t seem to be catching on in the younger crowd.  Does it make me old fashioned to not desire to see the curves of a teenager’s behind because her daisy dukes do not cover the entire cheek?   What do you think?