If only I had the opportunity to be a stay at home mom…. to have the time to spend with my children the way that my mom did.  What I wouldn’t give to have the opportunity to teach them, read to them, do projects with them, and just be there for them any time of day, all day, everyday – especially on days when they aren’t feeling well.  What I wouldn’t give to have the time to do the laundry, straighten up the house, and get a hot meal on the table more frequently than I do now.  In today’s world of financial constraints and increasing monetary demands, where often both parents have to work just to stay afloat, the opportunity to stay at home is a rarity for many.  This is not to say that it cannot be done, because I know that there are those who are able to make it work.  However the large majority of us, despite living within our means, are unable to do so.

My husband and I both work extremely hard for all that we have.  We have our little indulgences but that aside, we live within our means.  We both work full time and we work shift work, which means not only do we miss out on time with our kids, but when it’s our days to work, we miss out on their school functions, class trips, soccer games, gynmastic practices, and music concerts.  We also miss out on weekend and holiday events depending on where they land on the calendar.  We are challenged with what to do when kids are sick or work schedules need to be changed due to the precision at which we need to operate to keep everything running smoothly.  Finding time to be with our kids on the days we work is difficult and fleeting as our hours are long and it’s often late by the time we get home.  This adds an extra challenging element as somewhere in the mix help with homework is needed and school lunches need to be made.  Meeting the needs of our children is often tempered in exhaustion and limited time.  And daycare, while not the ideal, is a necessity due to the hours we keep.

As a mom, the laundry gets done in the late night hours or on those days that I am off in between scheduled shifts.  I play catch up with the house work and try to cram in all those “household” chores and appointments either in the early morning hours before work, later hours after my shift, or on my days off.  Food shopping is done on the fly and meals are prepped when time allows.  It’s far from the ideal but it’s what must be done to meet the status quo.  I would love it the situation were different but unfortunately it is not.

So for working moms (and dads) all over, the sacrifices we make for our families doesn’t go unrecognized or go unappreciated.  We do the best we can for our families every moment of everyday.  And while we might not have the time to spend with our children and each other in the way we desire, while we would love to have more time for the things we are missing,  just know that we would change things in a heartbeat if we could.