Friday, March 13, 2009

motherhood is freakin' hard

I took this picture of my son in early December, one month after he started daycare. I like to think of it as the still-healthy-picture.

A week later, he ended up in the hospital for a week with pneumonia. A month later, he got a raging ear infection that required two weeks of antibiotics. A few weeks after that, in February, we were back in the hospital with pneumonia, part 2. Two days ago he took his last dose of antibiotic for his latest ear infection and today, we had to get him to the pediatrician's office to get steroids for the hives he got after developing an allergy to the antibiotic. He's been sick so often that my hands start to shake whenever the phone in my classroom rings because I'm afraid that it's the daycare calling to tell me he's sick - again.

There are days when I really question being a working mom. I love my job - it's a huge part of who I am. I went to college for four years, got a Master's in chemistry and followed that up with a Master's in Education. I shouldn't want to give it all up, should I? And I don't - not really. But I won't lie and say that there aren't days when I wish I could quit and stay home with my kids and bake cookies all day.

I know I'll get through this. My older son went through the same thing when he started daycare - we had a hellish year of weekly (yes, weekly) pediatrician's visits for ear infections, fevers and asthma while his immune system took a beating. Now he's never sick - ever. And he's a sweet, smart, well-adjusted little boy who's doing great in school and has a lot of friends.

I'm a teacher - I know that stay-at-home motherhood is not a magic bullet for raising a well-adjusted child. I also know that my mom worked and my brother and I turned out just fine. Most of my friends work and their kids are great, too. So why do I still feel so guilty sometimes? Is it just a normal condition of motherhood? That feeling that, as a mom, you should be able to make everything perfect for your kids?

So, does anyone out there have any of their own tales of motherhood woes? It's always nice to know that you're not the only one.

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