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My maternity leave is up shortly. I'll be leaving my little baby girl and her 2 year old sister again. DH says that me staying home is an impossibility with our finances. The problem is, we live in an expensive area - we both grew up around here, our parents and siblings and friends are here - and so we stay though neither of us make enough $$. He is gone most of the week with his consulting job, and so it is just me, racing to catch a train, paying the sitter extra when I'm late yet again, losing my sanity trying to put my baby to bed when she's cranky and tired but misses me and wants to stay up...and now it will be TWO babies like that. Add to the fact that my own mom stayed home to raise me and my sis, and constantly asks why I can't do that for them, why can't DH find a better paying job, etc, etc. I feel like a horrible mom when she says that. These past two months on leave has been so wonderful being around my girls and I know it will crush my toddler when I go back to being MIA mommy due to my job and its long hours. And my house will go back to having a million things I need to do - cleaning, organizing, whatever - and can't because every second is scheduled between work and my girls. And weekends are over so fast and I end up missing their entire babyhood. There is nothing I can do. Unless we move out of this area to a cheaper part of the country, and even that is more heartache, starting from scratch again at 32 years old?! I've dreamed my whole life of having a full and joyous family - nuclear and extended - and at this point, the family I spend the most time with are the people who walk the same stretch of office carpet as me. And I see other aquaintances and friends who stay home, who enjoy their children and other mommies and their lives, and I am bitter and jealous and resentful that we can't just have a little more money in our lives so that I could be like them. I go to these Mommy groups in my area while on maternity leave so that I can feel like I'm part of the club, but its hopeless. The minute they find out I'm just on leave, I'm not included, because I'm not one of them. The closest mommy friends I have are the ones who also work, have to eat breakfast and dinner on mass transit, missing their children like I do. And my husband is bitter and angry too, because he travels and works and travels and works and our time together at home is mainly just running after our toddler and soothing our newborn, and never any time for each other. My rich friend always asks why don't we just take a date night, go out... okay, that costs more money that we don't have, and to be honest, there is a guilt factor of not being with the kiddies because we spend so little time with them during the week. I know everyone says that money can't buy happiness, but seriously, that's from someone who clearly had enough to be happy enough. I feel bad about venting all this because I know on the whole I am blessed - two healthy and wonderful children, a husband who works hard, and our extended families who take joy in having us around. But I'm really depressed, and I feel like a hamster on a wheel, and I know it will be like this forever.
I can't say that I know how you feel, but I wanted to respond to you and give you a little support. My step-sister-in-law (Say that 10 times fast...) is going through pretty much the same situation you are and I wished there was something I could do for her too. I know money issues can be a big pain... espeically when it forces you to leave your babies. But remember this... you ARE NOT a bad mother, you are doing everything you can for your little girls, even going to work. I don't know where you live, but I know that here we live in a pretty expensive area too... but we also live closer to a big city. I know that if you even just move an hour away it gets a lot cheaper. Is it the same where you live? Where you can move just a tad further away, where it wouldn't be impossible to get together with your family pretty often? Like if you live in the city... could you maybe move a little further out in the country... or whatever? I know that's what my DH's Aunt and Uncle did. But I also can totally understand if that's not the case. Moving is a pretty big decision. Also know that... this won't last forever. Life if full of peaks and valley's and you're experiencing a valley. You never know when a new opportunity will be right around the corner! I know that's so hard to think about when you're feeling like this... (we've gone through some pretty hard times financially) and things do turn around. Just remember that you're right... you are blessed... and do feel like you shouldn't be able to rant or be sad about the situation you're in. We all do at some time or another!
I can so sympathize with you. I work full time too...the weekends go by so quickly! but you aren't a bad mommy! Just make sure that your girls are happy where they are when you are not there and at the end of the day that is all that matters.
For you and DH...make a date for a night after the girls have gone to bed...turn off the phone, rent a movie, pop some popcorn...have a late dinner. This way you get quality time without spending much $ and you don't have to leave the kids or pay a sitter.