There are many things that are difficult for me about being a working mom. I’m sure it all stems from the fact that I grew up with an incredible stay at home mom and I always thought that my own kids would benefit from that same experience. I am, however, fortunate to have a job that offers me a lot of flexibility and I am able to be there for my kiddos more often than most. The thing that really gets to me is that this isn’t really a choice anymore. Way back in the day, there were some fine ladies that did the right thing in standing up for women’s rights and all…but who knew it would lead to this constant struggle between the biological pull to be there to raise our kids, and the need to provide a suitable income to be able to provide for them in an entirely different manner? One that was historically the responsibility of the male. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super appreciative of the fight that led to women being able to read, get an education, vote and provide a solid contribution to the work force. I just only wish that society would have stopped the evolution of this monster at the point of “choosing” to fill that role and being “obligated” to fill that role. We are in this vicious cycle now. Graduate high school, go to college, get a job…this leads to marriages later in life, kids later in life and then you are stuck. You have this dual income. This way of life. Now, as a woman, you are faced with some incredibly difficult feelings, and choices.
After I had my son, I was presented with some pretty fierce biological instincts. I had an awful time going back to work, even if I did have this flexible schedule, yada, yada, yada…
Two years later, I still have a hard time going to work. As I type this, I’m at home for an approximate 36 hour weekend stint that is sitting in the middle of a two week training session in Phoenix. Technically, I’m not even supposed to be home, but I worked it out so that I had (reluctant) permission from the training department of my company. Everyone else is still in Arizona, away from their families, drumming up things to keep them busy for the next 24 hours. I fly back tomorrow afternoon…and I’m dreading it. Some moms would take this as an opportunity to rest and get away from their kids. Not me, I hate it. I hate being away. I hate leaving my house and kids to someone else to take care of. I hate the additional responsibility of my job…even though my job is actually a really good job. I just (hang onto your hats) want to be able to concentrate all of my energy on raising my kids, cooking and cleaning.
I know, there are people out there gasping and clutching their chests. My mentality is simply that my kids are only this young, and home all of the time, for such a short period of time. I want to at least be able to be here for them 110% for their first 5 years. Then they go to school for 8 hours a day and things start to change again. It’s just not fair in my eyes. Who are these strangers that are robbing me of this time with my children? What were they thinking? Why is it that this goes against every fiber of my being, yet I still have to force myself out there for the good of a different kind of “providing for my children”? I am torn between society’s (and my husband’s) way of thinking, and my own biological instincts. I deal with this battle inside of myself every single day. It sucks.
In addition to the internal struggle that I have between my job and my belief that I should be the only one taking care of my children at this point in the game, we have the issue of time. On so many levels.
Not enough hours in the day to keep the house as clean as I would like to. Not enough time to devote to my husband.
Yea, this ends up being a big one in a lot of households I believe. Here is how it works out for me…
For the amount of hours I spend working and away from my kids, I try to dedicate the hours that I am not working solely to them. I feel guilty and I want to make up for it. I want to change every diaper, give every bath, read every book, tie every shoe, brush every tooth, cook every meal…you get the gist. This does not leave a whole lot of energy for my house or my husband. I think that in the days in which stay at home moms were more of the norm, there was a “need” to have adult time with your spouse. You needed it for sanity. You wanted it for sanity. It was natural. Now women spend so much time away from “old fashioned” responsibilities, the time crunch (hang on, have to go put the laundry in the dryer…I’m serious) has left us with a shortage of hours and energy to appropriately divide our time and/or do what we would like to do. So while I’m home for 36ish hours, I’m blogging about my internal struggle, folding sheets, doing 2 loads of laundry…and my husband is upstairs watching a hockey game that he recorded earlier so that we could all go out for a family dinner while I’m home.
This is not right.
And don’t even get me started on how my boss told me that it would be a “bad career move” if I tried to reschedule this training…which just happened to lie directly in the path of our family vacation to my parents’ house to celebrate my Bubba’s 2nd birthday. Yep, it’s only his 2nd birthday and his mom is missing it. I’m just glad that he doesn’t know that it’s his birthday. If that were the case, I may have gotten fired for not showing up in Phoenix because I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I disappointed my child for a job. This year, we celebrate his birthday 2 days late. I hope I get over it someday. I’m already over the $1200 it cost to rebook our plane tickets to later in the month…urg. (well, maybe not). I guess that’s all material for another post…