I have a lot of respect for working mothers of small children. I say this because I am one, and I know how tough it is firsthand. :-) I have the luxury of being employed by my husband’s business, which had given me so much more latitude than most working mothers ever have. Still, I’ve recently decided to quit working outside the home.
(On a side note, I think it’s important to stress the “outside the home” part, since what we parents do at home is tougher and more tiring than most “outside” jobs, as well as frequently thankless.)
Juggling home, family, toddler and spouse has been a nightmare. I’ve been tense all day, stressed at night and slowly falling apart. My husband wants to be supportive, but he’s just as tired and stressed as I am. For the past week whirlwind weeks, we’ve only seen our toddler in the morning before running off to work, and in the late afternoon when we get back. There’s barely enough time to make dinner and give her a bath before putting her to sleep. I miss her, I really do. I even had the babysitter start a small journal to fill us in on meals, new things she does, etc., because I realized just how much we were missing out on. After slogging through it all and several mini-breakdowns, I came to a conclusion.
This is not how I want to raise my child or take care of my family.
After discussing it together over the past few weeks, sometimes in arguments, sometimes while just quietly cuddling, we’ve come to the conclusion that the best thing for the family right now is for me return to the work at home and work on my abandoned writing career. For once, I’m actually looking forward to it. It’s not like when my daughter was three months old, and how trapped at home with her I felt. Now, she’s almost two, and the thought of getting the house organized, taking her to (more) playdates and outings sounds fun and encouraging. Not to mention the second child dear hubby and I were putting off because of our mad work schedules…
I know it won’t be a literal walk in the park, but at least this time I’m going into it with my eyes open. I know now that I’ll need to carve out some “me” time in advance: time to knit, write or go out for evening drinks with girlfriends. I know I’ll have to keep myself just as on-task at home as I have with my previous “outside” job.
Most importantly, I know I need to reach out to other women online and locally to form a better SAHM/WAHM support network, women who have gone through the same and have stories and jokes to get me through it. :-) How do you feel about your current role as a working mother, either inside or outside of the home? If you’re in the same boat, or even the same ocean, I’d love to hear from you.