Monday, July 18, 2011

working Mom to SAHM to working Mom...

When I was growing up, my dreams of motherhood came and went. I was never one of those little girls who dreamed of being a mother day in and day out. If push came to shove, yes, I saw myself with kids one day, but it wasn't all I longed for.

Does that make sense?

When I did picture myself with kids, I also pictured myself with a big time career. I could picture myself picking them up at the end of the day or imagine myself taking them with me to "Take Your Children to Work" days. I never once thought about staying home with kids all day every day.

When we got pregnant, the option to stay home was not there. It wasn't something we discussed, heck it wasn't something I even really thought about. Then I found blogging.

I still to this day have no clue if I really would have wanted to stay home so bad if I didn't read tons of SAHM blogs, or if it would have never crossed my mind but suddenly I couldn't imagine going back to work. I was devastated at the thought of leaving my child with anyone but me. Unfortunately our situation called for two incomes and there was no getting around it.

The first day I went back to work, I was a wreck. I sobbed getting ready, I sobbed on the way to the sitter's house, I sobbed in the sitter's house, and I sobbed the whole way to work. I must have called Kyndal (the sitter) four times before ten am. It was awful.

Then somewhere around noon, I realized that I wasn't worrying incessantly about BG and that I was truly enjoying being back at work. It helped that I really liked what I did, I (most of the time) liked my coworkers, and I only went back part time. I had the best of both worlds.

Of course I ran out of work every day at five and got mad if I had to work extra, but it worked. We fell into a new schedule of work, daycare, play time, that worked for us. I still had a ton of time with her, but I also got out to do what I loved to do for work.

When we moved, it worked out that I could stay at home with her for a while. I'll be honest, I absolutely loved it. I am so, so thankful for that time because I got to see her start crawling and start walking and so many other things. However, I battled a bit of depression during that time that I only partially delved into here on the blog.

I blamed it on S.A.D. but it was much more. I loved being with her all day, but I missed adult interaction something fierce. Perhaps it would have been much better had we known some people here, but it just got so lonely. I found myself aching for five o' clock for Mr. P to come home and talk to me.

Please do not get me wrong, I loved every single second of being with her and I can never thank my husband enough for working so hard to give me that opportunity. Those days are days I'll never get back and being with her the majority of her first year was the best thing ever.

The older she got, the more I started thinking about getting her involved in classes and other activities. She is so active that I constantly worried that just being around me wasn't enough for her. That and other factors made me really reconsider finding an outside job.

I have been looking for something part time since we moved up here with absolutely no luck. I took that as a sign that being with her was what was right for our family at the time. This past time when I started looking, I got a call the next day.

Timing much?

I was a wreck after I found out I got the job. I'm talking inconsolable. Now that I know how much BG does in a day, I couldn't imagine anyone else getting those moments with her. I honestly still can't. The first few days, I seriously thought about throwing in the towel. Mr. P and I had a deal; if I couldn't handle it, then I could quit. Simple as that. We would make it work.

After about two days, I realized that I had a spring in my step I hadn't had in a while. The whole social interaction thing? I need it. Getting out for me, makes me a better person and in turn a better Mom.

I've kind of been absent from the blog and Twitter world and I just realized why. I was using them (especially Twitter) as my only source of adult interaction during the day. I craved it so bad that my phone was always in sight. Always. Sometimes BG would be put on hold as I caught up on tweets and blogs and such because that was the only social interaction I was getting.

Now when it's me and her, it's just me and her. I am all about her since my time is now divided. It's making me a better Mom.

I'm only working part time. At this stage in the game, full time just won't work. That's way too much time away from my little one. In a way, I have the best of both worlds as my friend Megan has said. I get to get out and get my adult interaction in, but I also get most of my time with BG. It's a perfect mix.

If the opportunity arises would I ever go back to SAHM?

Maybe. Probably.

Having the first year (most of it) was awesome to me. Beyond that? I don't know....

I'm just one of those people who needs the outside interaction. I need the structure. Heck, I admit it; I need the validation. Getting out gives me a better schedule and makes me more organized. I no longer feel at the end of the day "what the heck did I do all day?". Perhaps it would be different if I knew more people to set up play dates and such with. Again, a big I don't know.

What I do know right now this works for us. This part time gig has more benefits than downfalls. BG is doing excellent at daycare (besides learning to pick her nose) and I'm actually loving what I'm doing each day. It's been good for both of us.

Who knows if that dot dot dot will lead to another SAHM gig. Guess we shall wait and see.


Anonymous said...

That's absolutely wonderful that you're enjoying the new arrangement! I am so happy to hear it!

I too, have to agree, that I am not sure the thought of being a SAHM would have crossed my mind if it were not for blogging.

KTB said...

Thank you so much for this post. My husband and I have been talking about having a child and all of these fears/worries/feelings have come over me. It's good to hear that I'm not alone in my struggles. I'm so glad that you're enjoying your schedule now.

d.a.r. said...

I'm glad you are happy with your arrangement!! I think there are so many people who are willing to make us feel guilty for our choices, but you really just have to do what is best for you. No matter what.

Personally, the thought of staying at home has never crossed my mind. My office offered 12 weeks of maternity leave and I kinda looked at them cross-eyed like "but...why? I love my job, I will be missing adult interactions, and I am going to be desperate to get out of the house on occasion!". I think part time is totally the best of both worlds :)

Etosia (e-tasha) said...

i totally agree about being on the social media outlets more often due to the lack off social interaction!

Melanee said...

you are so honest and awesome. i love your blog.

Lucy Marie said...

I am so happy for you that this arrangement is working out!

Jillian Vanover said...

I really appreciate your honesty on this subject! I'm a working mom that is in the midst of transitioning into SAHM-hood. I am trying to be conscious of the fact that it is going to be more of a transition that most people admit. I'm so glad to hear that you are balancing your need for adult interaction with spending lots of quality time with your little one!!

Kara said...

Thanks for sharing!!! I enjoyed that and I am glad you are happy.

Mrs. Confident said...

Thank you so much for this post! I'm a follower after the blog hop at Jenna's. I've been off for nine months with my son, and I go back to work in two weeks. I'm sooooo dreading it, but also thinking I'll enjoy it. I'm conflicted, and I do think that the blog land of SAHMs has made it harder for working moms in some ways. I'm glad I'm not alone.


LG said...

I thought this was a great post cause it is def hard on either side of the fence! For all of those reasons. I have dreams all the time that I am working again. It is also good that the internet us there for us SAHM to provide interaction!

Hayley said...

Great post...i think lots of woman battle with this decision. I agree i think you have the best of both happy for you...

Legallyblondemel said...

I'm so glad you've found the right compromise for your family. Think we all have a different right answer to this very difficult question.

Jenny @ Practically Perfect... said...

I think it's great that you're doing what works for YOU and for your family. Some parents are great at staying at home, but it's not for everyone. Whenever someone gets all judgmental and starts ragging on a mom because she works, it just annoys the crap out of me. If someone knows that they're happier and able to be a better parent to their child when they get the outside interaction from work, then why wouldn't you encourage that? I'm enjoying staying home with Joe {granted, we're only on week 5 here, so I haven't had much time to get bored with it!} but I'm planning to go back to the ER on a casual/PRN basis once he's around 6 months old. I know that I need to keep my skills up, and to be honest, I love working as a nurse. I love being a SAHM, too, but I think it'll be better for us if I'm able to get out of the house somewhat.

Whoo - sorry for the super long comment!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for being honest about the working vs SAHM debate. I struggled with this with my son,bawled bc I was a new mom and struggled with learning a routine and having a new baby. Bawled when I had to go back to work 9 weeks later. Bawled bc of the baby blues and was a mess looking back ha! Staying at home with him wasn't an option then, and I am finally now able to be a SAHM this time around.(Starting Sept 1st) Excited? Yes. Nervous about filling my days and making sure he gets all the skills and all the while tending to a newborn AND a two and a half year old.

BUT I feel led to do this and feel blessed to have the opportunity to this time. You are wonderful inspiration and I'm sure I will be commenting to ask just what you did when you SAHM as my new "job" as SAHM begins soon!


Jennifer said...

I don't know how I ended up on this post but it was just what I needed. I have struggled so much with going back to work or staying home. I felt like if we didn't have to have my income then it was selfish to go back to work, but I really love teaching. And I love staying home with Braylen. I also wonder if I didn't read so many SAHM blogs if I would feel the same way?
Or if after #2 I will stay home again?


Blog Widget by LinkWithin