I was asked over the weekend which is harder: being a stay-at-home mom or a working mom. And hands down I believe and feel that being a stay-at-home is much much harder. It’s harder for many reasons, one of them being that there is no guilt involved. As a working mom, even if there’s tons of work to do, you’ll still get your lunch break. There’ll be some downtime where you’ll have about an hour, sometimes even more, to check something out on the internet, to chat with colleagues, to grab some coffee, to have a ciggie, to talk on the phone. And all this, without the fear of the baby waking up, or climbing on your back or crying or whining for some reason. On Mondays I work the evening shift which means I leave home around 11 so as to be there by noon and work until 8. I won’t get home until 9 and then it’ll be time for bed soon. I will have seen my kids for about an hour. Guilt. Every day my husband drops me off at the station where I grab the train for work and on the way to the car and sometimes while inside the car, my son wants to hold my hand the whole entire time. Guilt. He’s non-verbal so he lets out little sounds when I get out of the car and looks both sad and a bit lost like he’s thinking “where is mom going?”. Guilt. It kills me. It really, truly does. And because I only have the weekends to do chores like clean the house, cook a whole meal, or iron our clothes, his grandpa comes and picks him up around 10 in the morning and we get separated again because someone has to do all house stuff and that someone is me. He doesn’t always go willingly. There’s your guilt, again. I told my husband last night that I should ask for a day off to spend some time with our son. To go pick him up from school and then take him out somewhere fun. I feel like he misses me, that he’s trying to tell me in his own way like refusing to go to bed and constantly ‘asking’ for hugs and sometimes even by his unexplained tantrums that what he’s really trying to say is that he wants to spend more time with me. I quit my job last year so that I could be there for him, and him only. And I did. I was a stay-at-home mom for a little over a year and the majority of that time I was with Panayioti. Now I’m part-time with everyone, Maria, Panayioti, my husband and even me. Sometimes I feel like a robot when I’m home. There’s stuff to do that if I let my guard down even for a minute they won’t get done and things will spin out of control. I have to change into my sweats as soon as I come home and make their beds, get their clothes out for the next day, get Panayioti’s lunch for the next day ready, read both Maria’s and Panayioti’s notes from their teachers and make them dinner. Of course, tidying up is a constant ritual of mine. And then it’s time for bed which is a whole other routine: Showers, pjs, getting them calm for bed, etc. But reading over this post, I realize just how hard being a working mom is too even without the guilt. So I guess both scenarios are hard. But if you’re happy, love your kids to bits, are in love with your spouse and tolerate your job (because I can’t truly say that I love my job) then everything is manageable. Everything.