As I unlocked the door to my office yesterday morning, I heard my cell phone ring. My heart sank as I looked at my phone. The daycare was already calling me.
When I answered the call, they said my baby had a rash and they wanted me to be aware of it. I hadn’t seen it that morning, so it was uncertain how he got it. “Please keep an eye on it and let me know if it gets worse,” I said with stressful hesitation. “Of course, we will let you know.”
Fifteen minutes later, my cell phone rang again. The daycare called to tell me the rash was spreading. I felt hot tears well up in my eyes. My sick time was nearly gone, thanks to the amount of it I had to use during my unpaid maternity leave. I told them I’d call my husband and also call the pediatrician to request a same day appointment.
Thankfully, my husband could pick him up and take him to the pediatrician office. I tried to focus on my work and stared at my phone constantly as only a worried mother can.
My husband called an hour later to let me know he had a viral rash and it would get better on its own within a week.
I was relieved, sad….and angry.
Generally speaking, working moms tend to face serious work life balance issues in the United States.
I know that some companies are exceptional and offer paid maternity leave, but due to the fact it is not federal law, companies are not required to care enough to make maternity leave at least a little bit easier on new mothers with some form of paid leave. And so….many of them don’t.
When I went home yesterday, my husband and I went about our routine of feeding our son, bathing him, having dinner, then getting him ready for bed. As I rocked him to sleep, I cried and he slept soundly on my shoulder.
I felt helpless. I felt terrible. I hated feeling like I couldn’t be there for him when he needed me. Yesterday was the first time he went to the pediatrician without me. It was also the first time I experienced what I can only describe as working mom traumatic anxiety.
I had an anxiety attack that kept me awake long after I should have gone to bed.
Hopefully, one day soon….I’ll figure out a way to balance it all. I’ll figure out how to feel like a good mom, even when I can’t be there for every doctor visit or boo boo.
Are you a working mom? If you are having a hard time like so many of us do….please share in the comments.
It truly does take a village to not only raise a child, but to significantly raise the standard of health and support for working mothers.
Please join the conversation.
None of us can do this alone. ❤️