Today was a rough day. Let me tell you a little bit about what it’s like to be a mom and a social worker.
First, I have to be away from my baby all day. It’s so hard. I would do anything to be able to stay home with him.We are exclusively breastfeeding, and going to daycare means that he has to drink from a bottle. And boy is he stubborn! Which also means I have to pump at work. And I don’t want to complain, because I know some women would love to breastfeed but are unable. My heart goes out to you, and I’m so sorry that it didn’t work for you. I’m not complaining that I have to do it, just that I wish it were different. That I could have more time with my son to make this work. There have been so many times I have wanted to give up because I cannot always pump every 2 hours at work, then I have to worry about my supply dropping. It’s a lot of stress worrying about if I’m going to be able to continue to provide for my son.
Second, I spend the day with OTHER PEOPLES’ babies. It only makes me miss him more. I mean, how is it fair to my son that I spend my day with other babies? It’s not fair at all. And like they say, “your son will learn the value of hard work having a working mom.” I say blah to that! I go to work early, get home late, have enough time to eat dinner, get my workout in, have some floor play with Sawyer, then bath and bed. Barely 3 hours together. And the maybe 2 hours in the morning. I just want more time with him.
Third, these other babies NEED me. They’re born addicted to drugs, or born prematurely, or born into poverty. They’re born to parents who struggle with mental illness, drug addiction, bad relationships, or problems so severe that they are removed from their parents and placed with other family members or with complete strangers. They are born into such an unpredictable world when predictability is so important for their little brains. They’re born into this never-ending cycle of abuse, neglect, addiction, poverty, you name it. And here I come, the social worker of rainbows and butterflies, here to offer that small glimpse of hope to break this cycle, to offer these parents some education and teach these children skills.
Fourth, on a positive note, I know what healthy development and relationships should look like. I have learned so much from my Master’s program, trainings, and from being out in the field. I have learned tools and activities to use with children, ways to promote healthy development and relationships, and how to be a responsive, caring mother. I have seen babies and small children so far behind in their development and parents that either don’t understand how, or don’t have any interest in changing that. It’s hard.
Just a glimpse into my life as a mom and a social worker.