An Open Letter To My Child Who Hates That I’m a Working Mom

woman working from home

I love you all so much; all four of you. I love you, eldest, for being so mature and intelligent and so well-behaved and helpful. I love you, consummate middle child, for being such a force of nature; such a big personality and such a strong leader. And babies, you darling little twins that shocked me into oblivion and changed our lives so much, you two could not be any sweeter if I’d been able to choose your personalities myself. Don’t get me wrong; you all drive me and daddy completely crazy on a regular basis, but we do love you. And that’s why I want to talk to you about the fact that I’m a working mom.

We know you don’t like it. I know that every morning when you wake up and daddy is already gone that it bothers you. I know that every single day when you’re home and you want me to play with you, I can’t always do it. I know that I am so fortunate to be able to work from home and spend my time with you, but I miss you, too. I miss moments in which I’m working hard to meet a deadline or get things done so that I can take time off tomorrow to be with you. I miss not being able to spend every single moment of my day with you.

Okay, that’s kind of an un-truth. I don’t want to spend every single waking moment of my day with you. I want you to become self-sufficient little people who can entertain yourselves and use your imaginations and your creativity. I want you to know that my job is not to entertain you and make your life fun. You have to look to yourself for that. I’m sorry that you hate that we work, but we do it for a very, very good reason, little ones.

We work because we want to give you more. We want to give you so much that I’m not sure I even have the ability to put into words what we want to give you, but I’ll try. We work to give you the following:

  1. A good example of success
  2. Food
  3. The ability to travel
  4. The ability to live a stress-free life
  5. The ability to have a home to call your own
  6. To teach you responsibility
  7. To allow you to play sports and join clubs
  8. Because mommy has so much gray hair and getting it colored every 4 weeks is very expensive, kids

We also work because we have to. We like nice things. We like freedom. Mommy likes really expensive shoes. But more importantly, we work because we want to. Daddy loves what he does, and he wants to take care of us. Mommy works because this is my dream career – I’m doing exactly what I want to do from exactly where I want to do it. We also enjoy things like paying the mortgage so that you four can grow up in a beautiful community in a beautiful home with space and your own bedrooms and bathrooms. We like to be able to afford large vehicles that can transport us all to and from your games and your practices, to your schools and so that we can have things like leather seats you can’t destroy when you spill things and DVD players so that you are quiet.

We like to have insurance. We like to have a retirement plan. We like to have groceries. We like to go to the store and not worry that our impromptu seafood dinner decision just cost $200. We like a lot of things. We like to travel. We like to take you guys to Disney; we like to afford those annual passes because we like to see you smile when magic happens right in front of your eyes. We want to send you all to college someday. We want to help pay for your weddings – to people we approve of and love, so Mr. Man, you’re going to be single forever because there isn’t a girl in this world who will ever be better than me, kiddo. Sorry.

Littles; mommy and daddy work because we want to give you the world and we want to set a good example. I want you, my three beautiful girls, to see that women can do anything. I want you to see that I can look good, get you to school on time, keep a clean house, try to cook and still work full-time from home at the same time. I want you to see that I can do it all and that even when I fail, I keep going. I want you to see that you can do whatever you want. I want you to see that you can live your dream, because I’m doing it every single day. It might be perfectly imperfect, but I love it.

My sweet son – my one and only boy – I want you to see me working because I want you to grow up wanting a strong, independent woman who can care for herself and wants to be with you but doesn’t need you. I want you to know that women are really cool. I want to work because I want that disposable income that allows us to buy season tickets to take you to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium to watch our Gators play every weekend in the fall. I want you to all play the sports you love, and one day when you are all old enough to participate in Pop Warner, mommy and daddy will have to pay $1500 for you to all play for three months – at the same time.

We work because we want to provide you with the kind of life that’s going to cause you to look back fondly remembering all the good times. Life and happiness are not about the material things in life, but they are nice. We want you to come home to our home with your kids and spouses one day (you cannot live with us; you have to go) and sit on the back patio watching the game with us, remembering the days you and daddy sat out there to get away from the girls, or those evenings when it was cold and we sat outside around the fire pit and roasted marshmallows.

We want you to come home and remember standing in front of our beautifully decorated front door for Christmas photos. We want you to remember that 15-foot Christmas tree I insisted on every single year when you stand in the front room and remember tearing into the presents you listed for months before Christmas arrived. We want you to wash your hands in the guest bath and remember that time Mr. Elf wrote a silly letter to you on the mirror.

We work because you deserve to see a good example of what having it all looks like, and so that we can give you what you deserve and need and what you want.

Oh, who am I kidding?

We work because you little darlings bring home an over-priced fundraiser every single week and we have to work to afford that.

Photo by Getty Images


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