When I announced to my children that I would be starting a new daytime job soon, they were immediately delighted. Until, that is, I added I wasn't leaving my current weekend job.
"So, when is your day off?" Brian asked.
I laughed, thinking how mothers never get a day off, but in this way, it really wasn't funny. I would now be working away from home seven days a week. There wouldn't be a day off for a long while, save for holidays.
Sometimes, though, we just have to do what we have to do. I hate that my children will miss me, even though it really only comes down to two hours after school each day, but it changes what they've known for years -- Mom is always waiting for them to get home from school.
Taking this second job is what I have to do to pay off medical bills and step up to the next level, so I can leave behind those jobs that keep me away from the kids, and reach career success that gives me more freedom to be with the kids.
For years, I've done all I can to make sure I'm here for my family. I've worked from home as much as possible, and then when I had to go outside my home for a job, I always made sure at least one parent was always with the kids. My oldest was the only one of my children who ever had daycare experience (for a short couple of months) because I never wanted others watching my kids grow instead of me.
We've scrimped on one income throughout most our years, but the medical bills piled up and there was absolutely no fulfillment in jobs that did not challenge or inspire me. And so now I do what I have to do to get ahead in every way possible.
I'll work two jobs for at least two months, or for as long as I feel I can, because it leads somewhere else, somewhere better.
While children don't always see the immediate benefits of a few months' worth of hard work now, they will one day understand. And this isn't forever.
Except, Mommy Guilt never goes away completely, so while they are old enough to not need me for every single thing in their lives, they are still young enough to want Mom around anytime they want me.
I'm doing what I have to, but that doesn't always make it any easier.
How do you deal with this kind of guilt, torn between what you must do and what your children long for?