I've bitched and moaned a lot on this blog about my challenges/struggles/guilt about working full-time and not being able to spend much time during the week with Em, but this has always come from an internal origin. No one has ever told me that I SHOULD stay home, or that me working was a disservice to Emily.... until last weekend.
Last Saturday the weather was finally decent, so Jacob was out mowing the lawn. After wandering the house with Emily for a little while, I decided to strap her into the Ergo and go outside to watch her daddy mow, and taken in some fresh air. While we were out there, one of the neighbor ladies was working in her garden. After awhile she took a break and made her way over to say hi (really, to coo at Em). I have had very little interaction with this woman before, but the one time that I did, it was not particularly pleasant, so I'm already not the biggest fan.
Anyway, she came, said hello and after poking at Emily for a couple of minutes, she said something about how we've lived next door to each other for awhile now, but that she hasn't come to say hello because she works full-time and is rarely home. I responded that Jacob and I also both worked full-time. Her response floored me. It included:
"Oh, but this little girl needs her mother more than that!"
"I raised 5 kids on a single budget."
"My kids still tell me how glad they were to have mom at home when they needed her."
WTF?? REALLY? The funny thing is, I didn't really get mad or upset about this.... mostly because I was so shocked. I almost found it humorous that this woman was so oblivious to what she was saying and the effect that it could have been having on me. I was just amazed.