When Heidi Englebert had her first child, Avery, in 2001, she decided to take a one-year leave of absence from her job as a business analyst. That one-year break turned into a 10-year stint at home as Englebert raised Avery and her second daughter, Anna. As her children got older, Englebert grew restless and decided to go back to work full-time. “I was determined to get a job for my own personal well-being,” she says. “I wasn’t satisfied being at home anymore, and I was ready for that next step in my life.”
"Mommy look for diapers? Mommy no find the diapers?” My bare-bottomed two-year-old daughter repeated this soundtrack of questions as she followed me through a maze of boxes and stacks of bins. I balanced my saturated five-month-old on my hip as I peeked through bags, alternately berating myself for losing track of the diapers, and praying my sort of potty-trained toddler wouldn’t christen our new home with an accident on the carpet.
Mommy guilt. Those words have become all too familiar for many of us working moms. I have a gaggle of children - six, to be exact - and although four of them have now graduated from high school and moved on from the needy stages, for many years, I juggled a career and six very busy children’s schedules.
Having the kids home all day long throughout the summer is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is you have your kids home all day long. There is no rushing out the door to catch the school bus, there is no homework to be done and you can basically pick and choose how you want to spend your days. The curse? Somehow your home has been transformed into a total stranger right before your eyes. There are things strewn about the floor, the house always seems to be untidy and there doesn’t appear to be any structure.
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