Bedtime stories

Some days the only time I have to spend with N is during his bedtime ritual.  It’s odd that the beginning of our day is the end of his.  We have a dinner, where some overcooked pasta, diced veggies, or broken meatballs end up stuffed in his cheeks, a sippy cup is tossed off the tray and repetitively retrieved, and I manage to pretend enjoying whatever it was I ate between all the exercise this mealtime dance offers me.  We then go upstairs for bathing, playing, slathering with Aquaphor, wrestling into pajamas, and reading a story with a bottle of milk.  While B and  I often share many of these duties, they are all precious to me.  They are the way I say, “I may have been gone all day, but I’m here now and I love you.”

As we read together, I think about the message that each book conveys and how these stories will shape the man he becomes.  Ok so sometimes we are just looking at pictures of shapes or farm animals, because he is 1 after all.  But today I spent a long time looking online for children’s books about working moms and was dismayed to find a very small selection.  A friend gave me one about a mom’s high heel shoes and while this one acknowledges that the mom leaves for work, looking stylishly uncomfortable, it doesn’t address any of the other issues around separation.  It doesn’t explain who will fill mom’s shoes while she’s gone and what that does to the structure of your day or why a mom might choose to work and how that makes each family member feel.  A friend said that N wouldn’t need a book about that because it’s all he’ll know, which is true since I went back to work when he was 6 weeks old, but I don’t think I’ll get off that easy!  Given that I have a lot of questions about this decision myself, I can only imagine that my little guy will too.

I’m still crafting my answers to all those questions, but the bedtime story I tell myself is that my working will teach him ambition, dedication, passion, sacrifice, pride, equality, happiness, and honor, because that’s what it has taught me.

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  1. You have always had a working mother and it shaped you into the wonderful, well-rounded person you are today. My own mom was a stay at home mother and I believe I grew up watching a very inteligent woman wish she could do more and feel unhappy, That effects the children as well. A working mom is a very positive thing for a child to see, Especially a mom who works in your line of work….helping children. There is no working mother who does not feel conflicted at times, but you will raise a wonderful young man. Just look at your brother!

  2. You’re totally right! You really hit the nail on the head with this for us working mamas! All Hail Bedtime!! Such a well thought out & written take on the topic too 🙂

  3. What great thoughts on the topic. I’d like to think that not only you, but a lot of your son’s friends will have moms that work so explaining it to him might not be so hard. They have books about every topic under the sun, I’m pretty surprised they don’t have one about this!

    1. There are a number of books on the topic, but they aren’t very good!

      Thanks for coming by to read my blog. Hope you keep reading.

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