I have no doubt that the right decision for me was to be a working mom. I believe staying at home or working is intensely personal decision for a woman. And that's for those of us that actually have a choice, because for some women the choice to work or not is made for them by their family's financial situation. Some woman can't afford to stay home, others can't afford to work. For those lucky mom's who get to make a choice for themselves, it's not always easy. Staying home is an enormous concession and a lot of work. You can easily be cut off from all adult contact and feel your brain reverting back to childhood, since you spend most, if not all of your time, with your kids. It can also be terribly depressing. You work all day long caring for the kids, cooking, cleaning, running errands and at the end of the day the house is still a mess, the kids still need more caring for, you're exhausted and know that tomorrow will bring more of the same. Perhaps not all moms feel this way about staying at home, but at the end of the six weeks I stayed home with each kid, I was joyous about heading back to the office. I'd have put my head in the oven long ago if I hadn't.
Of all the theories and reasons I've heard that goes into a woman's decision to work or stay home, the one that has stayed with me and made the most sense to me is this explanation that Polly told me she had read. Women who had a happy childhood try to recreate that for their kids, those who had an unhappy one try to create a different one for their kids. So if your mom stayed home and you had a happy childhood, you're going to want to stay home. If your mom worked and you had a happy childhood, you're going to work. And so on and so forth.
But that's neither here nor there today. I brought my kids to the dentist today and they both have cavities and plaque and I'm feeling terribly guilty. Like if I stayed home more, wasn't so tired at night, I'd be more vigilant that they were brushing and brushing well. Yeah, I know, I'm probably being neurotic. LT has a cavity in between his two front teeth. They tell me his teeth are too tightly packed together for his age and I need to start flossing him. Anyone out there tried to floss a three-year-old? I'm a bit terrified. Anyway, I'm going to buy some new tooth brushes, probably electric, and some flossers and Act Fluoride rinse, and hopefully all will be well with the world again. I had done electric with Trouble before but was warned it might be too big for his mouth. Well, that was years ago and I think we're giving it another whirl. The reality probably is that my husband and I both have cavity prone teeth and our kids are likely screwed regardless. So I'm trying to reason my guilt away. But it's irrational and it just won't listen.