Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Moral Dilemma: A Heart to Heart

I pack K2’s lunch box with a heavy heart. He still does not look 100% recovered from the flu and my mind is wracked with guilt. He comes up to me with a smiling face and says – Mama, I feel much better now. I stand at the door and wave him Good Bye! I quickly wrap up things at home and get on with work. When I get to work, my mind is consumed for the next 4 hours with spreadsheets and business proposals. I think about my son briefly at lunch time, hoping that he has finished the lunch box I packed for him today (K1 commented that he would eat it if it was his lunch box: Tuna Sandwich, a handful of nuts & prunes, Sweet Potato and Beets Chips, fresh grapes (purple, green and flame) and half an organic cookie).

I skip lunch and keep working till about 2.00 PM which is when the rumblings in the tummy make this Winnie search for a pot of honey…hunger assuaged it is back to spreadsheets and calls for the rest of the day. You ask me where is the Moral Dilemma: Well here it is…there are times when I am at work when I wish I were with my Young Un’ and there are times when I am with my Young Un’ when I would rather be at work staring at my computer or problem solving…does that make me a negligent employee or mom…I guess this is a question thousands of working mothers beat themselves up with…the thought that they are not 100% present and frankly overcompensate...

The past 2 weeks just whizzed by…a travelling husband (along with other parameters) made the first week whiz by followed by a Birthday party on Saturday of my close friend’s daughter and then yet another B’day party on Sunday…last Monday saw K1 sporting a 102 fever, rushing between dropping K2 off to pre-school, getting to work, getting off work, preparing some dinner for K1 and K2, and picking K2 up from pre-school saw a tired me make my way to the airport for a flight. I got back home on Wednesday night and took Thursday off …Friday saw the little tyke fight the same flu his father had…thus began the tiring weekend…I love my K2 and spending time with him, but there are times when my mind wants to shut down and rest and not answer incessant questions – why did you give me brown rice? Why is the sky blue? Why is Jinx (our cocker spaniel) black? Are you getting angry now? ; as much as I love spending the 45 minutes every meal time to make sure my son has a balanced meal (of sorts); or giving him a bath and wiping his rear, listening to his whines and pouts and occasional tantrums; his trying to wriggle out of nap time and the constant repeats of “Green Eggs and Ham” both on TV and book reads to him in the night…sometimes this “working mom” needs a break (and she really feels guilty for feeling this way). However, if I had to buckle down and choose between – working full time OR stay home with K2 I would pick the latter any time…I am glad that I don’t have to make that choice. I am even more glad that despite insane work hours, changes &commutes, travel & tendonitis and a growing baby the balance has been kept (albeit sometimes by the skin of the teeth)…and this sense of guilt, this dilemma of enjoying my work when K2 is sick will pass…I am reminded of my mother's choice to give us 100% of her time...I applaud it and then wonder if there are times when she regrets it...I share with you a picture from two and a half decades ago of a mother and a daughter where I am sure the mother went through the same thought process that her daughter is going through now...

BTW, isn’t Wednesday wonderful…still two days of work and lots to accomplish but the growing sense of anticipation for the weekend to come? We ordered K2’s B’day cake…my little guy is turning 4 and he requested a Kung Fu Panda cake (a change from the Madagascar request a month back). We are hoping this weekend is a quiet time with long walks, more animal sightings, some good food and lots of close time with family and friends.

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