I was blindsided.
It was Family Day, or Yom Hamishpacha, as it’s called in Hebrew. The day that somehow ended up replacing Mother’s Day here in Israel. My youngest was so proud of the card she had made for my husband and me. She had colored pictures of balloons, and had written all the words on her own.
I smiled as I read lines of “To my dear family, all the things I want you fulfill,” and, “I love my siblings and I’m happy to be with you.”
The sucker punch came at the end.
“I want to wish for health for all the sick people in the world so that my mom can stay home with me.”
Ouch. A heartfelt painful dagger to the heart. I was caught off guard. She had never said anything to me about not wanting me to work.
I work part-time, only three days a week. I’m a nurse in outpatient oncology. I do important work, fulfilling work. I work because my salary makes a difference in our finances. I work because if I don’t work, it’s that much harder to get back into it when you do want to work.
And yes, there are days when I wish I didn’t have to work. There are also many days when I’m glad I do work. Yet like every working mother, I’m constantly tormented by the demands of both worlds and with the impossibility of finding balance. I think the emotional and mental balance is even harder to find than the physical, task-related balance.
And then, when I think I’ve found that precarious balance, I get hit by innocent words, words pleading for more love and attention than I’ve been giving.
All I can do is accept what is, and try harder. Try harder to be true to my needs and to give those I love what they need.
The question is how.
This is a post original to World Moms Blog. Photo credit to the author.