I’m going to tell you a secret, a secret probably shared by working moms all over the world: I rethink my decision at least twice everyday. Once when I’m rushing to or from dropping the girls off and at least once a day in a moment that I wish I could change.
Sometimes it’s when I get a picture of them playing in the park so happy that I wish it was me behind the camera, or when I hear my child is having a bad day and all I want is to give her a hug or when I’m having a bad day and think I could just be home playing with my girls.
I worry that some nights they get the worst of me, the tired, cranky mommy who only wants them to go to sleep so I can finally have one glass of wine. I worry that they think I enjoy long meetings and work more than playing in the backyard or reading to them. I worry that my worrying will make them and me crazy.
But sometimes I realize I must be getting something right. I had one of those great moments recently in the strangest place, about 3 1/2 hours into a five hour roadtrip. My three year old was being surprisingly good and my 6 month slept – right up to the point where she awoke screaming and stayed that way for the next 45 minutes. I tried futility to calm her, I patted her head and stroked her face, the only parts of her I could reach, I shushed until my mouth was dry I gave her every toy and binkie in my arsenal nothing worked.
I sat back dejected and then I heard her: “Sshhhh Baby please don’t cry it will be ok. Do you know I love you? And I always will.” Those were my words, how I have soothed Abigail for all three years of her life and here she was repeating them to calm her baby sister, “Oh Baby, what’s wrong, it’s not so bad, we’ll be home soon. Please stop crying I love you and want you to be happy. Where is my happy Bridget.”
In the midst of the screaming, I sat back and smiled, realizing that in this moment I had gotten something right. She hadn’t only seen the worst of me, she saw and felt the love, the calm, the comfort and now she was sharing it.