I never quite know how to process remarks people make about how unfortunate it is that, now that I must go back to work, Grace and I are missing precious time together. For one thing, they are absolutely right (although some of our time together wasn't all that precious). Also, I don't imagine anyone is being intentionally judgmental or superior, even if the majority of comments come from people without kids or by fathers whose wives have had the luxury (!) of being stay at home moms. But it's happening more often, and I'd be more comfortable if I had a mental procedure in place to keep me from wasting too much energy on it. So I ask you, do I file it under:
a) meaningless conversation filler;
b) well-intentioned sympathy;
c) a whiff of criticism I could live without; or
d) SOMEONE DANCING ON EVERY FUCKING BUTTON I HAVE ABOUT BEING A HORRIBLE MOTHER?
My defensiveness around the issue is unoriginal and not terribly flattering, I know. I could go on about how committed I was to spending as much time with her as possible, how the divorce was unavoidable, how I have to help provide food and shelter first and foremost, but you know what? Just now, as I was typing this and realizing what a universal struggle this is for working moms everywhere, I decided it's not worth the time. So I think I'll just let it go. Yup, it's gone, for now anyway.