When the tragedy of 9/11 hit, It had just been two weeks since my maternity leave had ended and I had gone back to work. I remember how hard it was to leave my little baby boy behind that morning and head to the newsroom.
When I went to sleep that night, I cried for the mothers and fathers who were killed in the tragedies of the day and didn't come home to their babies. I said a prayer for those babies, asking for them to live a happy life and always feel loved, even if they would grow up without ever knowing their mom or dad.
Today, my baby is 11 years old and he just started middle school. There have been days when balancing work and motherhood has been challenging. Their have been days when a work conflict has prevented me from picking my son up at the bus stop or making it to a soccer game. When that has happened, I have felt guilty.
Whether we love or hate our jobs, most working mothers feel guilt at times. Typically, we're fending off guilt about whether we're spending enough time with our kids, whether day care is screwing them up, whether they're the only kid whose mom forget to pack lunch...
But today, on the anniversary of that horrible day 11 years ago, I'm reminded that even if I miss a special event at my son's school or dinner with my family once in a while, I'm there most of the time. I'm a presence in my children's lives. I'm sure that those babies I prayed for would do anything to have their mom (or dad) who died that day around as much as I'm there for my kids.
I've read the stories of 9/11 children and this is the what one them said about his dad: "We honor him by living the life he’d have wanted for us."
To all the working parents out there, doing their best to juggle work and family, I say give yourself a break. If you're guiding your children in the right direction and seeing them living the life you want for them, you have a lot to be thankful for today.