When I had my first daughter, she became the center of my world. I quickly let go of any angst I had about going on maternity leave and entrusting someone else to teach my students as Abigail became my whole universe. As she got older, though, I found myself internally struggling with how my time was split. I knew I was a better mom and person because I worked as it fulfilled me in ways my child couldn’t, yet I found myself bouncing back and forth between missing her and also needing time and space for myself. I thought I wasn’t mom enough if I wasn’t 100 percent there for her with my time when I wasn’t working.
As I’ve learned to resolve those guilty emotions and know that I don’t need to be by her side 100 percent of the time, especially since we’ve added a baby sister to the mix. And as I’ve spent nearly four months at home on my second stint of maternity leave, I once again began grappling with this concept of being there for each of my children. Truth be told, I just couldn’t do it. And as my youngest is approaching 4 months old next month, I still know that I can’t.