Working Mom v. Stay at Home Mom v. Work at Home Mom - I get it now.

Working Mom v. Stay at Home Mom v. Work at Home Mom - 

I get it now.

Wow. Even seeing this blank screen was intimidating.

I took a break. From just writing, in general. Too much going on, too many balls in the air, and I was also, if I'm being honest, feeling a little over-exposed. I know, I know. Miss Facebook was feeling over-exposed? Yes. The blog is where I was showing EVERYTHING. Facebook sees a part of me. But writing shows all of me. And I was offending people and the "all of me" was scrutinized so I had to step away for a sec.

Now I'm back again! Ready to offend everyone! Kidding. I'm actually back to write again, maybe about some different things, my new business, but mostly about work at home mom life. I've now had time to let my thoughts organize. I need to sit with things and let them marinate before I really know how I feel about it.

So where was I? I decided to take on a big girl job. I mean it wasn't a BIG big girl job where I worked 9-5 (shudder), but I worked outside of the house, part time, during the day. Sounds easy, right?

No. Just no.

I have a new found respect for working moms and maybe this last six month working outside the home experience opened my eyes a little. See, I used to judge working moms. You're shocked, I know. In my early years as a mom, and I can say this because I've been a mom for almost 17 years now, I judged harshly. Not just working moms, all moms. Which was ironic because I was a teen mom, constantly judged. You give it and you take it, I guess.

I never wanted to be a "working mom." I wanted to be a stay at home mom ALWAYS. Yes, I'm college educated, I have a degree, I loved my college years (LOVED them), but I was never really married to the idea of something I truly and deeply wanted to be other than a mom.

I worked full time after college but when I had my two younger children life worked itself out so that I could work at home or not work at all. I shouldn't say "life worked itself out" because some of the circumstances were so tragic that working outside the house wasn't an option. But that's another story.

So I thought it was time. I got a real day job outside the home. Kids in school or at the sitter's. All would be fine. Except it wasn't. My brain couldn't function. There are only so many tabs I can keep open on my browser and I started to HATE working. I hated looking for sitters. I hated getting up and getting ready for work. I hated making dinner. I hated going grocery shopping. All of the sudden what was once so easy - meal planning and grocery shopping - became this massive, arduous chore. And toward the end of my little six month experience, which was this last December, with all the forgotten Christmas shopping and kids on break from school I had forgotten to prepare Christmas gifts for my son's teachers and therapists.

{Gasp!} I know.

I know that doesn't seem huge. I know that sounds trivial. But to me, it was a breaking point. I wasn't being the mom I wanted to be. I was a mom who prepared cake pop baskets and instagrammed and facebooked that ish everywhere. I didn't forget to thank the teachers. But it became this task that I dreaded. I dreaded Christmas shopping, I dreaded making dinner, I hadn't baked anything in months (and if you know me, you know baking makes me happy), I stopped enjoying a drink because it would just make me tired and anxious (and if you know me, you know I like my wine), I couldn't find joy in anything and I couldn't take a breath to enjoy or be present in anything. I was miserable.

Then I thought - HOW DO PARENTS EVEN WORK???

Now here's the disclaimer - I have a son with very involved special needs. Obvi, I can't just find any ol' sitter for him. I also had to make sure I was home by the time the bus rolled in, which seemed to change a lot so I had to be home for him even earlier. He also has multiple appointments and therapies, add to that a medication debacle that would make any sane person crazy for the last probably 8 months, and I just couldn't.

I'm not complaining about our life. He and his needs are not the burden here. My working outside of the home was.

Luckily, I've had a side business going since right before starting the job I just left so that made it possible to come back home. I can work from home and take my daughter to ballet and go to my son's award ceremony and take my older son to his doctor's appointments - all on our time and without having to check in or make arrangements with anyone.

I know, I probably sounds like a big ol' baby. I probably am. I am  a lot a little spoiled. I'm not really into settling. And if something isn't working, if something is sucking the ever-loving joy out of my life I'm going to seek the way to change it. I'm seeking to love my life, not just survive it.

So hats off to the working moms. I know it's hard. I KNOW that now. And not just the being everywhere all the time thing. But mentally, just getting the kids ready, out the door, to the destination, the commute to work, the long (or short) days applying your mental capacity and creativity to others, the commute home, the what to make for dinner, the bath time, the bedtime, the sickness, the sitters, the school breaks, the assemblies you can't make, and, believe me, I totally get why there's a push to get the overachiever moms to just stop. It's exhausting. Too many browser tabs. It's deflating. It can be downright joy-sucking.

To my working mom friends - I love you! You are amazing! You are doing it all with mascara and heels! To the stay at home moms - I love you! You are doing it all with mascara and yoga pants (just me?)!

Onward and upward, Momma friends! Ballet and mascara awaits!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Shauna - welcome back! I can totally relate to this post.

    I went back to work when my son was 3 months old. It broke my heart, but it had to be done for financial reasons. Luckily my in-laws lived nearby and volunteered to babysit - I knew I could trust them and that took away one huge stress factor.

    It was hard, but I did it. Now that I think back, I still would have liked to stay home longer, maybe a few years instead of only a few months. But I think my son actually was the better for it - he was a very socially oriented child, who has turned into a fine young man - very independent and easily adaptable to any situation - not a shy bone in his body.

    He's now 21 and in his second year at out local university. He chose to live at home with us and I am thrilled to still have him around. You never stop being a Momma!

    I glad you found your niche - and I'm glad you got to have the adventure of working outside the home.


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