So I’m at work 20 minutes early. Simon was fading fast at home and rather than have him fall asleep, then wake him up to put him in his carseat all cranky, I got him to the sitter a little early so she could have him sleep there. Once I dropped him off I realized that I too could use a nap. Driving to work I reminded myself the same thing I’ve been reminding myself for a few weeks now: you need to write a blog about being a working mom. There are so many things I have to say about it. Much more than I have time to mention here. HOWEVER– in broad strokes:
Being a working mom is hard. I don’t doubt for a MOMENT that being a stay at home mom isn’t as hard in different ways. But being a working mom makes the time that I spend with Simon…special. I want to play with him as often as I can. Sure, it infringes upon my own “free time” but I will spend an hour on the floor watching him roll from side to side because I know he’s got to go to bed soon…and then I’m off to work only 20 minutes later…ugh. My mom didn’t work. I often wonder how she didn’t lose her mind. FOUR kids. FOUR. And she was trying to keep the house clean (for the record I gave up on having a clean house on August 7th 2009).
Technically I only spend 37 hours a week at work (or that’s what I get paid for). Add another hour per day for lunch…and then the hour getting there and back (half hour each way) that’s 47 hours. Then a half hour of talk time and getting ready/dropping off at the sitter time…it all adds up to be quite a bit of time surrounding work.work.work. I’m lucky that I don’t THINK too much about work (in a negative way) outside of work. So I can easily focus on my family…but still. It’s a lot of time.
All of that being said, I went to school to have the job that I do, and I love it. It’s the most fulfilling work I’ve ever done, and I truly feel lucky every day for having the job that I do. Days go fast, I learn something new every day. The basis of my job is to provide EQUAL service to everyone, which forces me to be open, reminds me to be non judgmental (doesn’t always work) but I am constantly amazed by the mini-ah-ha moments I have each and every day. I love it.
At the same time, being in the library also exposes me to the moms that don’t work. I’m sure some of them didn’t make this choice, it’s what they have to do. It doesn’t stop me from sometimes wishing I had that option. Maybe not full time at home mom, but part time at home mom, that would be nice. I see the toddlers running around and their obviously exhausted mothers running after them. I know they have to be tired and part of them has to wish they had more time with adults. Still though, the grass is always greener on the other side.
I’m lucky to have some mornings a week with Simon, and I’m lucky that he doesn’t have to be in day care or with a sitter as much as a lot of other kids/babies do. I still get jealous of the sitters, jealous of the at home moms, and then am appreciative of the time I have at work doing GOOD work. It’s just so back and forth.
We’re not destitute. Many people live on one of our salaries. I have student loans to pay back, so it’s not an option if we wanted one of us to stay home..but even if that were the case, I know some people do it because they believe it’s the best thing for their kid…for one parent to be home. Maybe it is, I don’t know.
But I do think that I’m a better mom because I have my work-life. It’s finding the right balance and striking that chord that makes everything work out ok so far. I hope we’re doing the right thing…but for now I think we are.