What do you hang your hat on?

Tomorrow we are hosting a 2nd birthday party for our daughter. For so many reasons, I love having a 2 year old. She is very communicative, she is tons of fun and a joker, her personality is in full blossom right now and she’ll be excited about her own party.

At the same time, I find myself thinking that I just can’t believe she’s already 2. Like how is it possible? She was born at 8:13am and on the day of her actual birthday, will I ever not stop at that time and just feel myself back in that moment – the arrival of her into this world? I mean – I am just stunned silent when I think about how much has changed in the past two years and how quickly it’s all happened. How did it fly by so fast?

Meanwhile, over in the other corner of my brain, I’ve noticed that I have been very emotional lately about working full-time. Ever since I returned to work from maternity leave, I’ve made my peace with the fact that some days are just harder than others. Sometimes it takes every ounce of strength that I have to get  my foot in the car and turn the engine on and leave. Admittedly, there are other days when I am very grateful to come to work and just have a break but for whatever reason, lately it’s just been  more difficult.

On days when it’s particularly hard, I get by on the fact that I still don’t yet have a choice, financially, to not work and my job provides the income and health benefits that my family needs, so I keep plugging away. But I feel like we all need something to hang our hat on, so I hang my hat on the knowledge that this won’t always be the case. That within the next few years, I will have a choice financially, of which I am very grateful, and know that I will then make a decision.

But see – what I’m wondering is this – I’ve been back to work full-time for 21 months, I came back when my daughter was 13 weeks old. So why, 21 months into this routine, am I having such trouble lately?

Well, it hit me like a ton of bricks finally this morning. Because I just cannot believe that she’s 2. I cannot believe how much she has changed and grown and I am wrapped up in how much of that I might have missed by being at work.

Yes, yes, I know that there are people who believe that it is so good for children, especially girls, to see their mom get dressed up and go to work every day. It sets an example.

And yes, I know that my time with her is precious and I am completely devoted to her when I am home and she is well-adjusted and happy and confident in her place in the world and how important she is to me and my husband. I get all that.

But it still doesn’t change the fact that 5 days a week, for too many hours a day, I am not with her and all of a sudden she is 2 and if it happened so fast already, she’ll be 4 in a blink of an eye – and is work really that important?

So at the end of the day, I continue to struggle with getting in the car and going off to work and suspect that this feeling probably never goes away. So I hang my hat on knowing that nothing is permanent, that I have no idea what I’ll be doing in another 2 years.

And while I’m hanging my hat on this future reality, I find myself wondering what other moms hang their hat on?

Whether you work full-time, part time or are a stay-at-home mom, it seems to me that the reality of parenthood is that there is always something – there is always something that is challenging us, keeping us up at night, or tugging at our heart strings – and we have to hang our hat on something knowing that in the end – it will be fine – otherwise how do you get through a day? So, what do you hang your hat on?

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