My daughter exhausts me. She pushes me to my limits, tests my patience, and her whining can be maddening.

But I find myself wishing the weekdays away until Friday comes and I never want the weekends to end. Instead of trudging out to my car and going to work each morning, I just want to snuggle up with my daughter in her cozy room under the glow of Christmas lights that hang on her wall in the place of a nightlight. When I get out of work, I can’t wait to see her and listen to her chatter about her day. Even though the crush of rush hour grocery shopping, figuring out dinner, taking the dog out, and unpacking bags creates chaos and stress, there’s nothing I look forward to more than getting home with my Bean.

I feel like I can’t relate to status updates and comments from other moms who can’t wait for the winter holidays to be over, or are exhausted by snow days and look forward to going back to work. I’ll admit, the incessant requests for me to play tiny Legos, Shopkins, or be a guest at a stuffed animal’s birthday party can be tiresome, but I just love being around her.

This is not to say that people who look forward to getting back to work don’t love their kids as much as I do, and this is totally not an attempt to trash anyone. I don’t hate my job and my daughter has loved daycare, and now school.

It just feels sometimes like I wasn’t listening to my heart when I went back to work. And I just really hate admitting this to anyone. Especially myself.

My daughter will be five this year, and I’m completely fascinated with her. She’s growing up too so quickly and becoming such a little person. I love spending time with her and getting to know her. And as kooky as it sounds, sometimes I cry just looking at her. I’m so afraid that I’m not paying attention, that I’m too distracted, too busy with everything else: work, cleaning the house, doing laundry, running errands.

Maybe it’s because I only have one child that I worry about vacations ending too quickly or don’t necessarily pine for adult conversation during what may seem like a long spring break. And I can only imagine that having more than one kid at a time in the house really ups the ante when you’re snowed in! Or maybe it’s just that between my commute and work day I feel like I’m never home.

But oh, man — the guilt is heavy over here. And it has me questioning some of my choices.

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