I still remember the days I was pregnant with my kids. The excitement and expectations along the journey. But I have always also had that anxiety in the back of my mind as to what it would feel like when I had to get back to work after maternity leave. There were a lot to learn and manage when a newborn, but the guilt feeling of leaving my kids for work was with me all the time. It felt real and painful. I had to tell myself that I am building a life and future for my kids to get me going in the day. I always knew that I did not have that option and never dare to dreamed about having the luxury of staying home.
So, both of my kids went to child care. First one was never big fan of it and it was rough path the entire time until he went to elementary school. I learned from my older child experience and knew what I was looking for when younger one came along. She loved it and that was one of the best blessings. I continued to feel the guilt and hurt leaving them at child care, so I tried my best to spend as much time as possible when I am not working. One day I had a conversation with my kids asking their feeling of me being busy at work. I figured that instead of hiding this question, I wanted to have a direct conversation to understand their feelings. My son, the older child, told me that he understands and thinks I am doing the best for him and his little sister. While he said that he wishes sometimes I can have diner on the table earlier instead of going out, he is not jealous of other friends’ lives. He knew I love them and I am doing the best I can do them.
Research has found that the quality time of a working mom and stay home mom is not significantly different. There were times that working moms have best quality time with kids. When they decide to spend time with kids during weekend or off hours, they tend to make more efforts. They don’t push kids away by habit when kids need them. They cherish moments with kids because of less opportunities they take place. They plan advance with good agenda. With all the efforts that working moms made, the bond of mothers and children are very similar to the relationships between stay home moms and children.
So to all the working moms out there, no need to worry that your children will love you less. In fact, you are their role model on making lives happen. Your dedications and hardworking attitude benefit your children’s growth and independence. So long as you share your available time with your children with great focus, you will be successful at both.