By: Patricia Gonzalez
I know that things are different now. I know that things have changed.
I know that we no longer have all of the time we used to have together. That I can no longer join you for breakfast, give you your morning baths, greet you when you come home from playing with your friends at the park, or lay by your side as you fall asleep during nap time.
I know that things have changed, and I hope with all my heart that you don’t resent me for it. I hope with all of my heart that you don’t love me less…or worse, believe that I love you less.
Because that simply is not the case.
Before I married your papa, I knew that if we would ever be blessed to have children, I would decide to leave whatever job I was holding and dedicate myself completely to you. You were (and still are), the pearls of great price–my greatest treasures….and I could not imagine anybody else caring for you, but me.
And we had it great for 2 years. I was able to find work that was part time, and flexible. I met women (and employers) who understood my needs as a mother, and gave me the freedom to work from home.
I wrote my requirements while bouncing you on my lap, and learned how to type with one hand and carry you as I nursed with my other. I timed my hours of work during your naps, and did my best to finish just in time for lunch, which was also the time I knew we could spend together. And while I would continue my work after that, 5pm was a signal for me to stop. It was time to turn off “work-mode” and wear my “mama hat.”
We waited for papa to return to us together, and I cherished those evening hours–no matter how long they felt as we waited for him to arrive. Remember how we would call papa on facetime together? “How many more minutes? What time is your ETA? What does waze say?” we would ask.
And then, as soon as we would hear the doorbell ring, I would watch your round, adorable faces light up. Papa was home! Our day was complete. And then the real fun would begin.
And so why? Why mama, why would you let something so good go? Why would you leave us?
Sure, it wasn’t always as romantic as you have described. Sometimes, we would be intolerable, clingy, and unbearably kulit. Sometimes, we made work impossible for you. Sometimes, you would lose your temper and yell. And sometimes we were not always sorry. But the good always outweighed the bad right? Why would you go mama?
My dearest daughters.
What can I tell you? What can I say?
Do you understand me at all when I tell you each night that…
I work because I love you.
That I work because your papa and I want to make sure we are able to give you nothing but the best in life.
That I work, even if it hurts to leave you each morning, not because I am any special kind of mother–but because every kind of mother is asked to sacrifice in some way. And this is mine.
But you know what I have learned? That mama works not just because she needs to work. Mama works because she gets to work.
I have learned that work is not a burden to bear, but an opportunity to seize. I have found work that I love, and no matter how heavy my heart is as I sit at my desk, time flies by very quickly because I am able to lose myself in my to-dos, in my writing, in my meetings, and in my emails. Isn’t God so good and so generous? I want you to learn that too.
Do you miss us?
Every second! I have photos of you on a corkboard, which I steal glances at every every moment I can. I don’t call as often as I should because I feel sad when I hear your sweet voices. But I know I should get over that, and call you more often. Do you miss me too?
My dearest daughters, this wasn’t the plan.
I wanted to be around you all the time. I wanted to be THAT mom. That mom who organized playdates, did arts and crafts, baked cookies, and hung out around school.
But clearly, THAT wasn’t God’s plan for me, or for us.
And that’s okay. Because if there is one thing I have learned, God’s plan is always better than mine. He was right about your papa. He was right about the year I spent away after college. He was right about the timing of our wedding. He was right about every single decision I placed in his hands.
I have learned that I can trust Him, and all of His plans for my life… our lives.
And I want you to learn that too.
Patricia Gonzalez is MOMCENTER’s Editor. She has two adorable daughters–ages 1 and 2, and is married to a man who inspires her to be a better woman everyday.
Beyond her work as a writer, she also an entrepreneur and manages the PR, marketing, and social media of two of her own local clothing brands, @coralswimwearph and @pearlclothingph.
She is a woman on a mission, and believes that motherhood is not limiting, but empowering. Join her on her journey by following her on instagram at @patriciaogonzalez.