As I sit here staring at my fancy night vision monitor, watching my baby boy sleep two hours after I arrived home (on his belly - failure #1, and an hour earlier than he should be - failure #2), the only thing that comes to mind as exhaustion takes over is this: being a working mom blows. Hard. Like a porn star.
Sure, sure. I am a strong, empowered woman who is taking care of her family. Hear me roar! I keep telling myself I appreciate my adult life and time away. I keep telling myself. But hear me cry as I pull out of the driveway, leaving this perfect little specimen I brought into the world just 90 days (90 days!) ago, behind. The guilt is overwhelming.
As a child, I had to make sure all of my stuffed animals had a friend before I went to bed each night. You know, so they wouldn't get lonely. I might have done this with Oliver's too. So...you can only imagine what I'm going through with a ridonculously adorable baby boy that stares back at me with my own eyes (when his head isn't turned to the left - failure #3). He needs a Mommy by nature, and I'm not there (failure #4).
I want to work. And I have to work. As much as I enjoy what I do most days, I don't feel that I'm doing the right thing. I'm certainly not the first mom to go back to work. Women do it every day, and under much more difficult circumstances than mine. And I'm sure I should be grateful to those who fought for our equality in the workplace, but right about now I'm wishing the only option I had was what color apron to wear while I cook dinner.
My entire adult life my career has defined me. Ask anyone who Courtney is and I guarantee the first thing out of their mouth is related to my success in the workplace. Or that I'm an intimidating bitch, take your pick, they are one in the same in this world. What might surprise you is that I don't see myself this way. At all. I'm proud of what I've accomplished, but the truth is it came relatively easy to me. I'm driven, dedicated and want to make a difference, but it's what I've been doing until what I'm really supposed to be doing comes along, and I just happen to be really good at it.
Now, motherhood? That, my friends, is a whole different story. It's the hardest fucking thing I've ever done, and I work my ass off only to be what I would consider average. God how I hate that word. Every single day I feel like a failure. Is he eating enough, what am I doing that's preventing him from sleeping, am I using the right baby products, is his head the right shape? And there's no backspace button on my kid, people! I realize this is the ultimate challenge, one I so desperately want to be good at, and you got it, the one I want to define me. Didn't see that coming.
Conundrum. So, I want to work despite feeling guilty and need to work but don't want it to define me because now I'm a marginal mommy who wants to be a super mommy but can't because I work.
Got it? Neither do I.