The idea that your own children would not call you a good mother is the nightmare every working woman dreads -- hence the guilt. But does working hard outside the home preclude being a good mother? It depends on your definition of motherhood.
I was having one of those working mom moments when you feel all conflicted and then get mad at yourself for feeling all conflicted because the men in the office certainly aren't and then you either go the rest room and cry for minute or pull yourself together and get on with your day.
What happened to the smiling, fun-loving Mom that talked of watching movies and snuggling by the fire? Why was she replaced by this snarling, stressed-out Work Mommy? As I looked at their confused, hopeful faces, I realized my so-called snow day was over.
We are bombarded with worries for ourselves, our careers, our children's futures, the state of the world. But, as parents, we are also given an incredible gift: The chance to once again experience the world by living in the moment.
I tried to hear what was wrong in between the sobs, but she only managed to get a few words out between the tears. She was gasping for air. My heart sank. I had 12 trustees waiting for me to finish a presentation on a $1 billion asset allocation strategy.
Those of us who are conscientious about doing a good job and being a good parent constantly weigh competing priorities. Every day, we make decisions about where to put our time and attention, so that both our kids and our coworkers get what they need from us.
The three most important men in my life were right here. I could hear everyone breathe as they slept, each with their own pattern of inhales and exhales. I remember thinking "this is it." This is why we work hard. This is what life means. This is what is important.
It's enough to be a working mother -- constantly inundated by the discussion of whether or not we can "have it all" -- and then to hear this awful tale that plants a seed of fear about how maybe you can't even trust the one person who, for those of us trying to do it, helps us keep it together.