A Letter To My Sons from a Working Mom: I Would If I Could

!!! would if I could

I knew I would head back to work after my maternity leave long before pregnancy hormones had really kicked in, or I could act upon any fleeting thoughts to “up and quit.” Even before my twin boys came into this world, it had started: working mom guilt. As younger generations wait longer to complete advanced degrees, purchase dream homes, get married, and then have their babies; more women are finding themselves a position similar to mine. I have earned a career that is very much a part of who I am, and when faced with raising my babies, I want the perfect balance to keep me whole.

Don’t get me wrong; to those who might say, “Why don’t you just quit and stay home?” I wish it were that easy.

I am part of a two-parent working home; two parents who work to save for for their future because it is necessary. To reflect on the many emotions that flutter in my mind about being a working mom, I have written a letter to my sons–a therapy I have been doing since they were born.

[hr]Dearest boys,

I thinkme and the boys of our first BIG day. The day you, your dad, and I left our little house in the early morning to venture to workplaces and then drop you off at daycare. I reflect upon how everything went smoothly to get us where we needed to go after days of preparation; yet everything seemed to be wrong when I sat in my office. What was this empty feeling? Even though I was happy with your daycare and knew you were being looked after with love, why did I still feel lost? How I wish maternity leave had just been a tad longer for all of us. Just one or two more months. You should know, as much as being a stay-at-home mom was not in the cards for me, even if it were one less workday a week; I would if I could.

Your first year was a ping-pong match between the thoughts in my head–what if today is the day I miss out on one of THE firsts? What if the one hour longer I need to stay at work is the one hour he needs me most? What if, what if…empowering thoughts come and go, but daydreams of a play session instead of working late to meet another office deadline loom. If only our days were longer; I would if I could.

Some days are good days, some days we just push through the cycle–get dressed, go out, come back, go to bed, repeat. We’re champions of schedules, and boy do we all soak in the times we get to just be. Just cuddle. Just play. Juworking on myselfst live

Fellow working mamas tell me their children who are veterans of the working-parent routine are none-the-wiser to the happy chaos of their lives, yet I still worry about it. We all do. Your dad and I are building our future and working for you, yet I want it all.  I’d like to somehow duplicate myself at the workplace and just be; I would if I could. Know this. Know that if given the chance to do so, in a heartbeat, I would if I could.




  1. 11 years ago I chose to move to a place 10 hours away, where the work is more plentiful and profitable. But to live closer to you and the rest of my family, where I can more fully experience the joys and sorrows of life… I would if I could. You’re the best, Nicole!

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