There are days I thank my lucky stars I’m a working mom.

Like those days when my kids wake up on the wrong side of the bed and I hand them over to grandma and say “good luck” as I dash back to my car, running late for my first meeting.

But then that same day, I may get a text from grandma with my daughter’s face full of spaghetti and I think about all those sweet moments I’m missing and my heart breaks a little.

This is the life of a working mom.

It’s up and down, a constant emotional roller coaster.

I ride the high of being able to talk to an adult every single day, a luxury many stay at home moms don’t have. I can also eat lunch at my own pace and finish it before it even cools off. That never happens at home. And then there’s all the wonderful things I can do alone, uninterrupted. Like pee. Or make a phone call. Or just sit in silence. It can be blissful.

But I feel the emotional pulls of the low points.

Like coming home after work and realizing I only have a couple of hours to spend with the kids before they go to bed. Or hearing about a ‘first’ that happened while I was at work. Those moments can be crushing.

And then jealousy creeps in.

Many of my good friends stay at home with their kids and they often have play dates with one another which builds such a wonderful community. And not being able to attend any of these playdates gives me FOMO, for real. And I know as soon as our kids all start school that the playing field evens back out, but in the interim it’s tough. I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to stay home full time.

But I love that I’m showing my kids that females can play an equally important role in the home as well as at work. And I know I’m a much better mom after I’ve had a chance to miss them a little bit. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that crap, right? But I know it’s true.

I’m focused on spending quality time with my kids when I get home from work.

I squeeze in a ton of love in those few hours. If the weather is nice, we are outside from the second we hit the door til it’s time for dinner. I know all too soon that toddlers become big kids that get busy with their own lives and the opportunity to just spend time with them all together at once will end.

Have I had doubts about my decision? Absolutely. The first probably came the day my boss called me while I was out on maternity leave with my first to tell me that the eight weeks of leave I thought I had was actually only a little over six weeks due to my lack of tenure. I barely got off the phone before bursting in to tears.

But that’s really a side effect of our country’s ridiculously sub-par paid leave policy. I was in no way mentally, physically, or emotionally ready to leave my firstborn in that short of time. And the timing could not be worse. A baby starts to smile for the first time around six weeks. Up to that point you have been taking care of this fussing, smelly, hungry, non-sleeping blob without as much as a grin for a thank you. And the second they finally show you some love, you have to go back to work. It’s not a great way to start out motherhood.

But deep down, I know I’ve made the right decision for me and my family.

If I were a SAHM I would do my best, absolutely. But I wouldn’t be at my best. I’m friends with some incredible SAHMs who kick some major ass. #SAHMGoals. They thrive in that environment. They are at their best.

For me, my best is to kick some ass at work and bring that momentum home. So while my kids may not see me all day, the time they do see me I’m at 100% for them.

Andrea RhoadesAndrea Rhoades is the creator of Selfies to Selfless, a parenting blog for Millennials. She is passionate about exploring the unique challenges the newest generation of parents face. Follow her as she reveals the hopes and dreams, fears and failures of Millennial parents. Follow Selfies to Selfless on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!