Friday, March 12, 2010

For all the working parents

You need to go read this right now. It made me cry, but it re-affirmed that I am doing the right thing but continuing on with my dreams.

I know, I know y'all tell me that everytime I question if I'm being selfish by putting so much into my career. The rare times, I've wondered out loud on the blog, you've all supported me and said the right things. I know in my head this is right.

But no one in my real life (outside of does. My family - parents and sister, constantly are making cracks about monkey not getting attention and not having a good childhood. Mr.SM and I are too busy, its not fair etc.

Perhaps I should ask you guys tell me I'm doing the right thing more often, but part of me thinks if I have ask, maybe its not the right thing.

All I know is my boy is happy and I'm happy. And he's going to be OK when I'm gone for a conference....

Yep I'm going away and its going to kill him. But he will be fine. He has his daddy and they will bond....


Alyssa said...

Wow - what a touching post. I also used to play "office" or "secretary" because that's what my mom did and I was proud of her (even though I'd cry when she went to work sometimes).

SM - you're doing an amazing job with work and Monkey. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

The bean-mom said...

Even before I clicked on it, I guessed where that link would lead. I saw it earlier linked from another parenting blog.

It really struck me, too, at a time when I need it. I think all working parents struggle with this. It's rare and wonderful to get this kind of insight from the "other side."

My oldest daughter sometimes says she wants to be a "science writer," as I once was. I think our children are proud of us no matter what we do!

whyme? said...

I love that post, and I want to remind you that You ARE doing the right thing.

I'm also a working professor/mom and my daughter has been in full time daycare since she was 3 and 1/2 months old. I'm perhaps odd in that I've rarely had guilty fits about it. But I do remember one specific day when my daughter was 3ish. I picked her up at daycare, and the teacher said "oh, you have to see this" They had done artwork that day about what they wanted to be when they grew up. Several policemen, one batman, several princesses, a couple of teachers. Then my daughter "whyme's daughter wants wants to be a mom". Oh the sudden guilt. I'm standing there thinking "I'm destroying my daughter's life. She wants to grow up to be completely different from me because she wishes I would stay home with her." In the car on the way home I casually ask "So, honey, what will it be like when you are a mom?" From the back seat "Well, I'll be married and I'll have a little girl, and I'll teach students and have a lab"...

So, what you are doing right now IS being a mom. You're being the kind of mom YOU are. You're showing your son and everyone else that people are complex and can play multiple roles at once. And you're encouraging him to be a complex person who can be a dad and a husband and whatever else, and that he doesn't need to give up his dreams either.

chall at work said...

I love that story! Jsut goes to show that maybe it is "our" perception of "mom" that needs to change. Like yuo said, mom is everything of that.

SM> I'm envious of monkey, having such a good mom and dad. And the idea of being alone with dad over the time you are at the conference? Pricelss. (as to shamelessly steal from commercials)

I'm sure they'll have a blast together. (but maybe he will get spoilt a bit since he is alone with one parent only?!)

microbiologist xx said...

Great link. I was raised by a single, working Mom and as a child I don't recall really being bothered by her working or me going to day care. (I even liked day care - it was fun.) It's just the way my life was. As an adult, I have immense respect and appreciation for how difficult things must have been for her seeing how many of her peers did not have jobs or careers. In short, I am glad my mother worked and I wouldn't change it for anything.

Nat Blair said...

That was awesome. Thanks for posting it. Leaving the boy at daycare can be hard when he wants me to "play with me just a little bit Daddy" or "read just one more book Daddy."

But he also says he wants to be a "dinosaur skeleton scientist-hunter" or to "study science to make a giant robot" which makes me proud!

Anonymous said...

Although I enjoyed having my mom stay at home when I was younger, I hardly saw my father on account of the fact that he was working all the time. Coming from a "traditional"/"old world" type culture I can understand the old skool attitudes, but also, I think times have changed, and a better balance can be achieved. Men need to know who their kids are and their kids need to know their fathers, too, as more than the tired, cranky guy whose sleep can't be disturbed and who has no time to play with them.

Isis the Scientist said...

You're a stupendous mother, SM. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

ScientistMother said...

Alyssa - thanks

BeanMom - I found it through mom-101. monkey has recently started saying he want to do research, which is cool.

Whyme - thanks for your perspective. its so easy to wonder if we are really doing the best for our little ones. Welcome to the blog!

Chall - The idea is a bit scary for me. Mr.SM has not cooked or planned a meal since we've been married. It will be interesting to hear about for sure!

Nat Blair - Leaving him before heading out for the conference was hard, he knew I was leaving and didn't want me to go. Broke my heart, but it will be good for him to spend some 1 on 1 with his dad.

MicroXX - thanks darling! I want monkey to know that he can be anything he wants! I hope I make him proud

Anon - you are so right. it only benefits kids to have an involved father.

Isis - I know I shouldn't let anyone tell me otherwise, but its hard when its one's own parents being judgemental..

ScienceGirl said...

Thanks for that link, and your own posts on the matter have been good for me to see too as I am going to be a working mom in just a few short weeks and I worry about leaving the little one. I suspect it is going to be hard, and I am sure I too will need reassurance that I am doing the right thing. From your posts about Monkey, he sounds like a secure, fun little boy, which means that you are a great mom!