Going back to work can be so hard to do!
This weekend I took my 5-year-old daughter to a birthday party at one of those places where children can play with abandon, a gym of sorts for children. One of the moms there made a comment about how comfortable and secure my daughter seemed there, following all the instructions of the person in charge. I told her it was because she had started taking classes there since she was 11 months and could barely walk. Therefore, my daughter knows the place like the back of her hand.
For more than two consecutive years, I would take her not only to that gym for children at least once a week, but also to a music class which she used to love more than anything else in the world. I used to also take her to the park, the library, the zoo, the children's museum and the swimming pool on a regular basis. And that's because for the first 2 ½ years of her life, I stayed at home with her pretty much doing nothing more than being her mom.
And, when I did go back to work, it was only part time while she was in preschool, so I still always had time to do things with her.
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Sadly, this was not the case with my son, who's now almost 2 ½ years old. When he was born, I decided not to return to the part-time job I had and so I got to spend the first few months being at home with him too. But when he turned 8 months, I had to back to work and this time around it was a full time job.
I hired a nanny so that he could at least stay at home, but during that first year of me back at work, my poor boy didn't know about the children's gym, or music lessons and, I'm embarrassed to say, he hasn't set foot in the children's museum just yet. When I remember all the things I got to do with my daughter that I haven't been able to do with my son, I feel really bad.
When I said this to the mom who made the comment about how comfortable my daughter felt at the children's gym, she told me not to worry about it because either way my son wouldn't even remember. But the truth is that the sadness I feel is not so much for him but for myself because I really enjoyed all those moments that I dedicated to my daughter when she was a little girl.
I really wish I'd been able to spend just a little bit more time with my son when he was a baby! I feel like I've already missed out on so much!
How much time did you take off work to raise your children? Were things different every time you had a child?
Image via E. Yoshio/flickr