In The Quiet Moments

It’s early in the morning, the sun is just starting to rise. I’m the only one awake, I can hear my husband’s gentle snoring and my son’s deep breaths. I get up to check on my daughter and get ready for work… before I leave I memorize my children’s sleeping faces. They are so quiet, so peaceful, so beautiful.

I get into the car on my way to work and the wave starts to sweep over me. I’m not home enough, this life is not enough, time is not enough. The car is quiet, so I turn up the music to drown out my thoughts. Every kilometer I drive further away from my sleeping kids my heart breaks a little bit more.

As always, my day is so busy that I barely get a chance to look at my phone – meetings, problem-solving, negotiating, costings, fabrics, colours, trims, sketching, silhouettes, sales reports and deadlines take over my day.

I should have been home an hour ago.

I get home to a house full of laughter and chaos – they light up when they see me and my heart breaks a little bit more. Just in time for parent rush hour – cooking, bathing and story-time.

It is in the quiet moments after, when my daughter rests her head against my shoulder and whispers “mommy I missed you”… when I look down at her beautiful, perfect face with her long eyelashes. Her long legs resting over mine… she feels so small, so fragile.

It is in the quiet moments when I rock my son to sleep, when I hold his tiny little feet in my hands, when I notice how small his hands are compared to mine, when I realize that one day he will be big and strong – but for now he is so small, so innocent.  When he buries his face into my chest and clutches on to me for dear life…

It is impossible to not fall in love a hundred times over with your sleeping child. It is in the quiet moments when my husband – my strong, funny, handsome and loving husband – lies next to me, fast asleep – exhausted from a long day of work and doing everything I couldn’t do because I worked late again… it is in these quiet moments that I recite my sorries in my head.  

I’m sorry that I have to work.  

I’m sorry that I left without saying goodbye, because you were all sleeping.  

I’m sorry that I’m not there in the morning to ask what you dreamed about because I’m at work dreaming about being with you.  

I am sorry that the house is a mess, because I’m too tired to clean it up.  

I’m sorry your clothes are sometimes wrinkled, because I didn’t have time to iron them.  

I’m sorry that I sometimes put you to bed early, because I’m exhausted.  

I’m sorry that when you are sick, my first thoughts are fear of taking a day off. That I’m not always the one who stays at home with you.  

I’m sorry that I am not always the one to take you to the doctor.   I’m sorry that I spend more time with my co-workers than with you.  

I’m sorry that when your daddy or nanna says “mommy will be home soon,” you have no idea how badly I want to be there with you now.  

I’m sorry that I’m not the one to drop you off at school in the morning, to tell you to have a nice day and that I love you.  

I’m sorry that when you fall, I’m not always the one to pick you up.   I’m sorry that I’m snappy, because I am frustrated from dealing with difficult people all day.  

I’m sorry that I have to fake my excitement on weekends, because all I want to do is sleep.  

I’m sorry that I can’t play pretend with you right now, because reality is just too real.  

I’m sorry I missed your first steps.  

I’m so, unbelievably sorry.  

It is in these quiet moments that my heart feels heavy…

I’m not home enough, this life is not enough, time is not enough.

29 thoughts on “In The Quiet Moments

  1. Paula says:

    So beautiful Maz… Brings back all those guilty mommy feelings we all succumb to. I always find comfort in the following: “Behind every great kid is a mom who thinks she’s messing up” xxx

  2. Ursula says:

    I so feel, what you are saying. Strangely although I am home more and don’t go to work, there is still guilt. All you can do is your best.

  3. Natasha n says:

    This is so beautiful Maz. I have tears in my eyes right now. Respect to all the full time working mommas. It can’t be easy. And yes Paula, it is damn difficult being a mom, no matter what, we always feel like we are messing up. I was a SAHM and still felt like I was messing up big time… Last year I was an exhausted, depressed and pregnant stay-at-home-and-look-after-my 3,5 yo-and-1,5yo-and clean the house- mom. I had no time to myself and I was always depressed and kids fighting and working on my nerves. Now I have my 2 little girls in day care while I spend my days working part time out of the house and at home…working towards being a wahm only….but I still feel the guilt of not being the one who makes my kiddos nap, changes their nappies and feeds them lunch…

    • Maz says:

      Sjoe – pregnant with two toddlers around the house must have been mental! I’ve been thinking more and more of rather pursuing a WAHM career. Thank you for your tears and kind words

      • Natasha n says:

        Lol it was more than mental!! Yes i think a WAHM career is a wonderful middle course between the 2. I am sure you would rock at being a freelance designer!!

  4. Shalane says:

    Maz, I sit here reading this post, and all I can do is feel the exact same guilt. Being a single mom, I always seem to catch my self wishing I had more time with my son. But in order to get by I have to work long hours and my poor angel has to be as creche all day. The thought of him bonding with someone else kills me. Thank you for your post. You have pulled at my heart strings and made me realise that I need to spend more time with my son.

    Thank you again for a wonderful post! x

    • Maz says:

      I take my hat off to you – I can’t imagine how difficult all of this must be for a single parent 🙁 give that boy a biiiig hug and lots of kisses tonight!

  5. Ashley says:

    This hit me right in the gut. It’s so difficult being a working mom and knowing how much you’re missing. My little one is 6 months old now, and is just starting to sit. This weekend I had her on the couch with me and I was telling her how amazing she is and how proud I am to be her mommy because she’s such a clever girl. She was smiling up at me, like she understood everything I was telling her, and I just broke, the crocodile tears flowed. My heart broke because I know that I’m going to miss so much with her. By the time I get home she is fast asleep, so there’s so much I’m missing now. I think the trick is to just make every second that you do have with them as special as it can possibly be. That’s what my hubby and I try to do, at least. We spend every moment we can with her on weekends, in the morning and if I’m lucky enough, in the evening.

  6. Joline says:

    Wow, i read this and it really hit hard. Being a working mom and having two little girls (3 years and 4 months) its really hard being the perfect parent when you are so exausted from work during the week and weekends desperately trying to do everything that you couldn’t or didn’t get to do during the week :'( Life is just such a mad rush, but we have to make time for our kids, they grow up so fast and before you know it you’ve missed so much.

    • Maz says:

      I know – it is so difficult to find a balance… And then, just as you think you got it right – the guilt hits you like wave and you have to start all over again. I used to think I had it under control, but not anymore. It has been a difficult week!

  7. Debs says:

    I can wholeheartedly agree with this all, and I’m sorry that so many of us feel like this. But please, dont forget that those two special little humans were made by you, they are the people they are, because of you. They are gentle and kind, because of you. You (and your hubby) are what makes them feel safe and loved. And that, that is enough….dont underestimate your role. xx

  8. Laura says:

    I don’t think there is ever enough time! I stay at home but there are a lot of days where I let one (or more) of the kids down.

    Its life 🙁

    There is no perfect solution!

  9. Kate Kearney says:

    This made me tear up. I feel the exact same way, every single day. Just know that you are doing the most amazing job, and I’m sure your kids tell all their friends what a rockstar mommy they have!

  10. Faziela says:

    I love this post. Truly puts into light the sacrifice a working mom has to make. Working mom guilt is real, and the fact that we already have enough reasons to say I’m sorry, isn’t helped by those who point these reasons out.

    Today I too said I’m sorry. Much love to you Maz

  11. Taylia Abrahams says:

    You really write how I feel.
    I at times have to work 7days a week and wish I could spend more time with my boys. If only we lived in a world where moms we able to be at home with their kids and dads earned a good decent living wage.
    In my situation, husband is home with the boys.
    They do attend creshe from 8-12 but afterward they with dad, when I get home, there is so much to do and time is so limited.
    I really wish it was different and I was more home, and yes, I do feel very guilty that I don’t get to be with them as much as I would like.

  12. Anthea says:

    I’ve just gone back to work too after 8 years of being there for every moment. I am missing out on so much and feel so deeply guilty. Thank you for sharing there is such comfort in knowing that other moms feel the same and also just trying their best to hold it together…

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