By Krista, Contributor
This post originally appeared on Not Mommy of the Year, May 2011
Dear Chessa and Cole,
For the first time in eight weeks (Cole for the first time in your life) I left you all day long. From 7:45 in the morning until 5:15 this afternoon, I turned your care and well being over to your Nauni and I went to work. It was crushing for me. There were tears in my eyes as I walked out the door, eternally grateful that when you, Chessa, started to protest about Daddy and I leaving at the same time, it was your father who stayed behind for a few minutes. I think if I had seen you cry as I closed the door, I would have bolted back inside and back into my sweat pants.
The eight weeks I spent with both of you together was nothing short of wonderful. It was hard at times and exhausting every single day. And there were some days I wanted nothing more than a hot cup of tea and mindless time in front of the television. But being with you, getting to know you better, having more time for cuddling in our pjs, eating cookies and making wonderful memories out of ordinary moments was a gift that I will always remember.
For better or worse, I am a working momma. You’ll hear me say many times in your life that I work to keep a roof over our heads, Pampers on your bottoms and food on the table. And I do. But I also hope that you’ll appreciate and understand that I work for more than that. I work because I like it. I work because I’m good at it. I work because I think it’s good for me.
And I think it’s good for you too. Because if I feel like I am at my best as a person, I can be the best momma to the both of you. I also happen to think that it’s good for you to spend time with people other than me all the time. Like your grandparents, your father, the occasional friend of the family and eventually, a daycare or preschool.
Chessa, I hope that you will see me as a woman who works damn hard to get what she wants. Someone who doesn’t take no for an answer very easily and someone who works best under pressure. Someone who doesn’t let being a woman stop her from wanting, trying and succeeding. Someone who has learned to hold her own in a boardroom. Someone who doesn’t feel guilty about a new pair of shoes or spending a little too much on cute outfits for her babies because she worked to earn every penny she paid for them. And I hope that you understand that you can do that too. Whether you choose to or not is completely up to you. But I want you to know that you can. Your options are endless.
I know that the three or four hours I get with you each day are not enough. I won’t kiss every boo-boo, feed you every meal, laugh at every silly thing you do or wipe away every tear. But, I promise I will be at every baseball game you play and every recital in which you sing. When you’re sick I will stay home and cuddle with you on the couch. Chessa, I will let your daddy interrogate your first boyfriend and Cole, I will side eye the first girl that wins your heart. When you have a bad day, I will blow off my meetings and bring you ice cream.
When you need me, I will be there for you.
When I’m not with you, I’m thinking of you.
Your pictures cover my walls. Your faces smile back at me. They calm me when the frustration of the job peaks. They make my eyes fill with tears when I’m missing you a little too much. They remind me of what it is that really matters.
You. Both of you.
And doing the best that I can for you by spending forty hours a week in an offic