It’s been quite a while since I posted and that’s life; but I’m here now. What prompted me to write again? It’s been two months that I’ve been on the job in my new position as a full-time working mom outside of the home. I do not debate that stay at home moms work full-time. (I’ve been there, I agree.) However, for the sake of ease of typing, let me call myself a “working mom”.
Actually, the first month I was pretty content with the new life of working full-time outside of the home. It was thrilling to be in the work place again; everything was new, exciting, challenging, meeting new people, dressing up each day, drinking my coffee in the quiet peace of my desk and peacefully checking email…. Yeah, that first month it felt like I had been released from a cage.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and I loved being home with them full-time. I’ll get to the downsides too, but initially, it felt pretty great to be out on my own all day, to talk with other adults who were interested in my brain and my work experience, not my kids sleeping schedule or eating habits. I had me time and mental challenges every day, and then I can home excited every night to soak up my kid time. It was like a honeymoon.
And then not so much…. Slowly the energy from the exciting change wore off, I would be tired at night. I often felt like my time was pretty thinly spread out. Where it really became hard is when I started to feel the downsides of the change and my kids were too. At work, the newness was wearing off and I began to see some of the challenging aspects of my position and the agency.
And my toddler was starting to show unhappiness with my absence. At first he seemed to like having a new friend devoted to playing with him, and then that wore off and he missed mom. He has mastered enough verbally to be able to tell me that he is sad when I go to work or to tell me to “no go to work, go to park.” My baby girl is a joyful, happy-go-lucky kind of little lady, but even she began to hold on a little tighter in the mornings when it was time for me to leave for work.
So the second month was pretty damn hard. Between seeing my kids be sad, feeling worn out by the new routine and annoyed with my boss; I debated quitting every week. It’s hard-working when you know you don’t truly need the income and someone is bugging you.
Leaving in the morning can be agony. I get sad on the way to work some days. And then I get into my office building. I’m greeting people, my brain shifts gears into what I need to do today, and I settle into my desk with a mug full of yummy coffee. My coworkers are nice and funny. It feels okay to be there and I’ve moved past the sadness. I text in between projects and meetings with my child caregiver and she sends me photos so I can “see” my kids. I crank out work and knock out deadlines. I feel awesome and triumphant as a professional. Then, when it’s time to go, I pack up and log off as fast as possible. I drive intently to get home to see my kids. Immediately I hug and kiss them both, sitting on the floor in my work clothes to play toys.
It will be interesting to see where the next months take me in this journey from SAHM to WOHM.