I’m sitting on my couch, with the baby monitor next to me, listening to the raspy, wheezing breaths of my (almost) 10 month old daughter as she sleeps. She has an upper respiratory infection, fever, and an ear infection. This week, being a working mom has been harder than normal.
The fever hit Sunday night. 101.2. We slept in 20 minute increments all night long with a very clingy baby between us. (Sometimes we still bed share, it works for us, don’t judge.:)) Anyways, due to the lack of sleep and her high fever I decided to call my principal Monday morning and let her know that I would be staying home with my sick one. Sophie and I spent all day on the couch, crying. She cried because she didn’t feel good and was exhausted. I cried because she didn’t feel good and I was exhausted.
The fever persisted but, I had to go to work Tuesday. No one tells you, when you’re pregnant how awful “Mommy guilt” is. It’s a real thing. Sophie is almost 10 months old so, my crying spells have gotten fewer and farther in between but, Tuesday, I cried on the way to work. I just wanted to stay curled up with my sick baby and help her feel better. However, that is not my path. I am a working mom. We are very much a two-income family right now. I am fine with that! I love my job and my students but, I also love being at home with my daughter.
So today, I wake up to get ready for work and she still had fever and was starting to sound raspy and wheezy. I told my husband at that instant that he was going to have to take her to the doctor because I had to be at work (more mom guilt). All day long I’ve felt the guilt. My brain says, “I should be home with her. I should be taking her to the doctor. What if Jonathan (husband) doesn’t give the doctor all of the details? What if it’s something serious?”…Seriously, mom guilt. It’s the worst and it’s 100% self-inflicted.
In reality, my child is SO lucky and SO loved. Yes, I’d prefer to be home with her and meet all of her needs myself but, I don’t have to. I have a wonderful husband who will drop everything to care for our daughter. His amazing mom watches Sophie daily and takes such good care of her. His dad is his boss and lets him have a flexible schedule when things like a sick baby happen. My mom and sister have also dropped everything and driven an hour to come watch Sophie or be with her if we needed them to. We have friends and family that pray for all three of us.
I. Am. Not. Alone. Here. I don’t have to feel guilty. She is taken care of all day, every day, by people that love her (and me) unconditionally. I know that. My brain knows that.
One day, that will sink in and the guilt I feel for leaving her will subside. As I sit here and listen to her pitiful, raspy breathing, I just can’t say today is that day.