I’d like to touch on a subject that affects a lot of mothers today. The choice or dilemma you face when balancing being a mother and being working girl. (In the sense of the workplace not like “Pretty Woman” or anything. Unless that’s your thing, no judgment.)
Like I said in my introduction I am currently playing the role of a stay at home mother. This is something I am having such a hard time adjusting with. Part of the reason is because I have this feeling like time is slipping away and I will never have the chance to live again. The other part is because I feel like I am somehow losing my coolness or importance in the world. I feel like there is so much negativity surrounding the mom who just stays home with her kids.
These days I shutter every time I hear someone ask “what do you do now?” or “what are you up to these days?”
I duck my head down and I almost mumble “oh I’m just at home taking care of my girls right now”.
I always the get the polite response, “oh that must be nice”.
I know what most of you are thinking “Another one bites the dust. She took the easy way out. She’ll never be the same again. You are no longer successful and I feel bad for you because you gave all that up for kids. What a loser.”
Of course I know that what I am doing is very important and I also know I am still way cool, but I don’t feel like it when I hop onto facebook and see all my kick-ass, and taking name friends doing just that, kicking ass in the world and taking names. I can’t help but think “hey, I used to do that, that’s what I need to be doing. I need to do that now! Why am I here? I need a drink”.
I also do love the fact that I am there every day after school to pick up my Caleyn, and I am there every morning when they both get up, and I have the time to love and cuddle with them without having to rush out the door. I remember the shame and sadness I felt when there was I time I couldn’t do those things. I feel like I am standing in between two different women fighting for my attention. At different times I am in the middle, reassuring both of them “hang in there, your time will come”. Meanwhile they are yelling and pointing, “Back off bitch! It’s my time to shine right now!” They’re both bloody and beaten with fists full off hair and I’m looking at that bottle of wine on the counter whispering “hang in there, your time will come”.
Now when faced with the decision to stay home or not I knew what I needed to choose. I knew staying home with my baby was something that would be important for my youngest one to experience, for a while at least if nothing else. I was hardly ever around my oldest when she was a baby and my schedule looked like this:
Get up at 6:30am, feed her, dress her, get her to daycare (which I worked at by the way). Then go to class from 8:00-1:30, then go to work from 2-9:00pm, go to bed and start over again.
That was how I spent my first years with her. The entire time I felt like the worst mom ever because I never saw her. If I came into work and she accidentally saw me I’d have to keep walking and pretend like I didn’t hear anything because I had work to do. I had no choice because we’d be out on the streets if I did not work my ass off. I also understood the importance of school and knew that was something I could not put off. The whole time all I wanted was a job I could have without feeling like I was neglecting my daughter.
I eventually built up a career where it was possible for me to work some and be home some. It took a few years but I got there. I had finally found balance. I loved my job and I loved having the time to be a mom to my daughter. Of course, the fact that she started school really helped because that block of time away from her was mandatory and I no longer felt guilty for dropping her off in the morning. But I found the balance I had desperately been seeking.
But then what happens after all that hard work to build a career and take all those names? I found out I am going to become a mom again. “Greeeaaaat!” I thought at first. “What am I going to do?” I had those two chicks going at it again. “She can’t give up what we’ve worked so hard for, forget it, let’s search for daycares Amy” then the other shouts back “I don’t think so, remember how that felt the first time Amy, we’re not doing that again”.
Eventually the mom in me won. I could not bear to see the hurt I’m my child’s eye’s every time I whisked off to work. I couldn’t help but remember the pain I felt deep down every time I had to walk away. So I chose where I am now. For the most part I am really glad I did. But it is not easy, and I still wish I were out there in the world making a name for myself.
I think the main problem I suffer from is the fact that I am, once again, living without any balance between the two. I am currently living one extreme, just one the other side of the spectrum. But, I cannot pick sides. I need to find a some mutual agreement between these to chicks that cannot get along. Bitches be crazy you know.
So for all of you other moms out there struggling with this conundrum, hang in there. Nothing is permanent as long as you don’t allow it to be. No matter which end if the spectrum you are on, find a way to creat some balance.
It may take a little bit of time, and a little bit of wine, but there are ways we can make it happen, and that’s why we rock.