10.30.2008

Broken Promise Number X

Dear Thalia and Sage,

I know you cry when I leave for work in the morning these days. I know that an hour in the morning and then (if I'm lucky) a half hour at night isn't enough time. I know that I promised you that tomorrow I would take the day off of work to get you dressed in your costumes and take you to the class Halloween party.

Sometimes things don't work out as we plan. Sometimes I don't have all the control I wish I did. Sometimes I can't say no even when I really really want to.

I'm so very sorry.

I'm trying to remember my mother's advice, to ask myself, "Will this all matter in five years?" I'd like to say it doesn't.

But I keep thinking of the memories I'll miss, the photos I won't take, the tears I'm going to face when I explain, once again, I'm sorry but I have to go to work. Some of them will even be my own.

Forgive me. Forgive me for still being at work tonight at 10:42. Forgive me for all subsequent nights that I'll still be at work at 10:42. This won't be the last. That's just how things go.

I'll still be home for trick or treating. I'll even let you stay up extra late and eat more candy then you should. That's what moms do when they are feeling guilty.

I love you both, more than you know.

Mommy


52 Comments:

Anonymous corina.fiore said...

Although I haven't been there in awhile, I know what those late nights are like. Or being home and not being engaged because there is too much work to do. I remember that feeling. I remember my daughter's reaction. I feel for you, and hope soon that work lets up. (((HUGS)))

10/30/08, 10:55 PM  
Anonymous Johnathan said...

They know. Don't doubt that. Better times ahead soon, I'm sure.

10/30/08, 10:56 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I ache to have more to say than– I get this. Just love them. And forgive yourself, sweet mama.

10/30/08, 10:56 PM  
Blogger Mom on the Rise said...

As the daughter of a mom who worked 2 full-time jobs, I know what it is like. However, if this helps, know that while I missed my mom, the times that we spent together were and are some of the best times that I had in my childhood. I don't remember her working late nights too much. I do remember making caramel apples, drinking root beer floats and watching the Wizard of Oz. Don't fret; your children will be OK.

10/30/08, 10:57 PM  
Blogger Haley-O said...

Oh, that's hard. I'm sorry. And, I'm sure your children understand. I hope the workload gets lighter soon and that you can take a day off and play hooky with them. Hugs....

10/30/08, 10:57 PM  
Blogger Dani said...

My heart aches for you. It really is okay, trust me. They'll remember more of what happens when you ARE there.

10/30/08, 11:02 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Believe me, they'll understand. As a daughter who was raised by a single mother who missed 75% of my school events due to work, I can tell you for certain that they'll understand.

Growing up I learned that it isn't about quantity, it's about quality. And I'm sure the quality is there in spades. There will be tears, but they'll be pushed aside by memories of the happy times together.

10/30/08, 11:11 PM  
Anonymous apathy lounge said...

At least Nate's there with them. Later on, there will be days where you're there and he's at work. That's okay too. It's when both are gone that the wheels fall off. Cut yourself some slack.

10/30/08, 11:11 PM  
Anonymous Karen (miscmum) said...

{{HUGS}}

10/30/08, 11:15 PM  
Anonymous Redneck Mommy said...

I've got nothing Liz. I remember this pain all too well.

Just know that the love you shower those girls with means the world to them.

Trust me.

10/30/08, 11:21 PM  
Blogger erin said...

Oh, Liz...I've been there. I'm so sorry. I know how crappy it feels and how it takes mommy months to let it go, when the kids will have long forgotten.

10/30/08, 11:25 PM  
Blogger Backpacking Dad said...

Shit.

10/30/08, 11:31 PM  
Blogger scarbie doll said...

Oh dude, I so get it. I'm burning the midnight oil right now in hopes that I won't miss the school thing tomorrow, but let's face it -- I'm going to miss the school thing tomorrow regardless. I wish the world was different. I wish I was different. Bah!

But somehow it's going to be OK. I keep reminding myself, this is a first world problem. We could be doing this in a war zone. Hang in there.

10/30/08, 11:33 PM  
Blogger Chara said...

I only managed to work three weeks after Monkey was born. I cried on the whole 1 mile drive there- every day. It's a hard, crappy choice.

10/30/08, 11:42 PM  
Anonymous cocosmalls said...

i am with you mama, working late now so i can try and make the halloween parade and possibly not have to work most of the weekend. all i can say is it sucks balls but you are not the only mommy there.

10/31/08, 12:15 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

We all just do the best we can. That has to be enough.

10/31/08, 12:23 AM  
Blogger Mr Lady said...

God damn it, woman, this breaks my heart. And makes me feel really fucking lucky. I will quit my bitching RIGHT NOW.

Hugs to you. You are brave, doing what you have to for your family. Don't you forget it. You're showing them what a woman can do. YOU ARE SETTING A FINE EXAMPLE.

Hugs to you all.

10/31/08, 1:35 AM  
Blogger Lady M said...

Hang in there. You'll get lots of hugs from the girls when you're home and that's what they'll remember and cherish.

10/31/08, 3:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the 70's we told our daughters that they could have it all. And they can. Just not at the same time.

As a grandmother, with my grandchildren, I am now trying to make up for the time I couldn't spend with my two children. And so it goes.

10/31/08, 5:58 AM  
Blogger Amy@UWM said...

That totally sucks -- not just for them but for you. Those are moments no mommy wants to miss.

Those that pointed out that your husband will be there are right and have a great point. If it were your husband missing the evening, would it have been a big deal? Sure, he would have felt bad, but I bet not half as bad as you do. Doesn't really seem right or fair does it?

10/31/08, 7:15 AM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

I worry about the broken promises too. I get tired of spreading myself way, way too thin and I wonder about how my kids will feel when I'm too tired to spend quality time with them in the evenings.

But then I visit with my awesome 20-year-old cousin, who wants nothing more than to follow in her pharmacist mom's footsteps and be a working mom someday. And then I know that my girls will be just fine, just like my cousin.

Hang in there, Liz.

10/31/08, 8:57 AM  
Anonymous MetroDad said...

Amazing how much guilt comes with parenting, isn't it? Worry not, Liz. In the long run, the kids are lucky to have such a wonderfully amazing mom like you. You'll all be better for it.

10/31/08, 9:23 AM  
Blogger ewe are here said...

They know how much you love them, they do.

I'm sorry it's so hard right now.

10/31/08, 9:26 AM  
Blogger Ali said...

oh, how i'm way too familiar with this. i feel your pain. and your guilt. hugs.

10/31/08, 9:31 AM  
Blogger bethtrue said...

.... I'm sorry. I know it doesn't help to say that - you're going to feel how you're going to feel. I know because it happens to me too, and I feel it too. Hang in there. Better times ahead.

Beth (mommy to a busy 5-yr old)

10/31/08, 9:34 AM  
Blogger Feeder of the Hungry Beans said...

Aw, you're making good memories with them and have a great relationship with them. The late nights suck more for you than for them. Or, that's what my husband and I tell each other as we trade off late nights on our respective work. I think we're right. (I'm impressed, though: I can barely function at 10:42 p.m., much less write brilliant, campaign-winning ad copy!)

10/31/08, 9:49 AM  
Anonymous workingmom said...

My heart is broken in a million pieces for you. I've been there, I'm there now sometimes, and I understand.

10/31/08, 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Motherhood Uncensored said...

I concur with MetroDad. I think sometimes it hurts way worse for us than it does for them.

And that's what they have ponies and lots of candy for. Horses and 100 Grands heal all wounds.

Or at least mine.

10/31/08, 10:33 AM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

I've got tears for you too. But, those girls are so lucky to have you as a mom. I truly mean that. There may be times you can't see them as much as you (or they'd) like, but they are thriving, shining, happy, smart wonderful children. And, you are a huge reason for that.

10/31/08, 11:25 AM  
Blogger Georgia said...

I'm the daughter of a mom who worked long hours. It sucked and I missed her, but I never questioned her love for me. I knew that it was a necessity. It made our "private time" so much more special.

10/31/08, 11:43 AM  
Blogger Trenches of Mommyhood said...

Ooof. Right in the gut. I sooo know how you feel.

10/31/08, 12:03 PM  
Blogger Mandajuice said...

This post made me cry. I remember that feeling of leaving the house. It never gets any easier.

My dad used to spend weeks at a time in Japan. WEEKS. I doubt he ever cried that he missed us (he left my mom home with FOUR of us) and I still think of him as being an excellent father. Supporting your family is not a frivolous endeavor. It's important.

I'm sad for YOU, not your girls. They'll be fine!

10/31/08, 12:24 PM  
OpenID meandmom said...

I'm just echoing everyone else's sentiments here. It is the pits to be a working mom sometimes. It is also a great victory to know that you are showing your girls how to take care of themselves in this world.

It only means that those moments of mommy time count even more so we need to make them extra meaningful.

I was always very, very proud of my mom for how hard she worked and how amazing she was/is at her occupation. I knew she did it for me and I will be eternally grateful for her example.

10/31/08, 1:03 PM  
Blogger the new girl said...

Oh Man.

*swallows lump in throat.*

Man.

10/31/08, 1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, what a heart-wrenching post. I was doing the same for 5 months after my 2nd and then just couldn't anymore.

We've sacrificed a lot and there are days when I would like to be working, busy, OUT OF THE HOUSE. But it seems to me it's harder than every to make a choice and to feel it's the right one.

Feel better - your girls are going to have a great time tonight and you will be warmed by their excitement.

10/31/08, 1:16 PM  
Blogger Mandy said...

no matter how many times i hear working moms express the same heartbreak, it never gets easier to hear... ((((hugs))))

10/31/08, 2:01 PM  
Blogger seph said...

you're doing a great job. i know your girls really do know you love them. and when they are working great jobs as creative, powerful, brilliant women, they will say, "i learned this from my mom." take it day-to-day. soon it will be a day to spend with them. and you will feel better.

10/31/08, 2:25 PM  
Blogger Karen Sugarpants said...

Oh I know that ache all too well. When Dylan was small, I worked really long hours. It's tough Mama...but you're doing a good job - hang in there. xoxo

10/31/08, 2:50 PM  
Anonymous Johnathan said...

Keep in mind, 10 broken promises aren't really _that_ many, Mom-CI.

10/31/08, 4:00 PM  
Blogger Tracee said...

ouch

10/31/08, 4:10 PM  
Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

Oh Liz.

They are learning so many good things from you, even when you're not there. Responsibility, dedication, perseverance, achievement. You are an amazing role model for them - something that doesn't come from just being present 24/7.

10/31/08, 4:26 PM  
Blogger GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

Dear Thalia and Sage,

Your Mother is amazing. Of course, you're OBVIOUSLY well aware of that. How could you not be?

A million girls would kill for a Mommy like yours.

Love,

Auntie Bec

10/31/08, 4:37 PM  
Anonymous lexxity said...

I know exactly how you feel. I only work part time, thankfully, but the guilt is just as real. I know though that I'm providing my son with a good life filled with love and stability. That's what really matters, so don't beat yourself up.

10/31/08, 6:13 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

The memories that will be kept will be of staying up late with you and eating the candy, and they will be WONDERFUL!

10/31/08, 10:16 PM  
Blogger Gina said...

I would like to thank you for expressing this. It really does help those of us feeling the same way. I almost feel like if I admit how guilty I feel, I am admitting defeat. We are all doing the best we can and will help our daughters through the same decisions one day. They will be blessed to have choices, just like we are.

11/1/08, 2:51 AM  
Blogger Tracey said...

Aw, honey... I'm so sorry your situation has crappy hours. But your girls KNOW they are loved. And that's all that matters.

11/1/08, 7:39 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

I'm sorry that you're feeling the "mother heartache". Oddly enough I just wrote about 'Parent Guilt' on my own blog. It sucks! But trust and believe they remember those good times, way more than YOU remember walking out the door at night. And it does get better. It's the RIDE OF MOTHERHOOD.

11/1/08, 8:27 PM  
Blogger No Mother Earth said...

Oh, that's hard. For all of you.

11/1/08, 11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seriously, have you thought about going part time or something. It is the time with your kids that will matter in five years, not your job.

Maybe you can't go part time because of financial stuff, I don't know. If you can't afford to change your work, then you must know you are doing the best thing you can for your family. If you can afford to chill on your work, maybe you should think about it. Your posts really sound as though you are unhappy in your current situation, as are your children.
You can always go back full time when they get older and don't really want you around all the time anyway.

11/2/08, 6:59 PM  
Blogger carrie said...

Oh ---- honey.

Don't be so hard on yourself. They know. :)

11/2/08, 10:42 PM  
Blogger Cynthia Samuels said...

The feelings are real, I know, but you are a lovely mother and sometimes responsibilities make huge demands. It's not fair. Berry Brazelton used to say that kids don't suffer so much from working moms if their care is good - it's the moms who suffer. It's so hard but when there's nothing you can do about it I guess being grateful these days for a good job and health insurance is an additional thing to stick in your guilt v "that's life" basket.

11/3/08, 7:40 AM  
Blogger heartatpreschool said...

You are so not alone. Remember that.

11/6/08, 12:28 AM  

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