So when I became pregnant with Eldon at the age of 20, I KNEW that I would be a working mom. I couldn't figure out just what the hell a stay-at-home does all day. I certainly didn't have what it takes to become addicted to soap operas and the whole having dinner hot and ready at 5:00 thing is just not my style.
No apron could tame me. I was born to be wild! I was an I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T woman, yo. I couldn't wipe asses all day...I was too busy with my real job.
|Yep, that's me before motherhood. Brown hair, front row, second from the left.|
I mean, seriously. How many times a day can you clean a house? I could make dinner and clean the house in an hour after work. What would I possibly do with the other dragging hours of the day?
Then the end of my maternity leave.
The year is 2008 and I am officially a mom. What the hell? Don't these people SLEEP?
Every time I handed him over to another person to hold him, my heart would speed up, I would freak-panic-they're-not-doing-it-right! Typical first time mom over here. There was no way in hell I was letting anybody else rock him to sleep all day while I worked. They would surely just ruin him. Besides, he liked me best. (This is no longer the case. I know because he says things like "Sorry, Mom. I just love Dad more than you.")
So, after much discussion...I never went back to work. I dabbled in part time work, but for all intents and purposes, from morning until 5:00pm, I was thrown into the world of Stay at Home Mommyhood.
I was right. I didn't have what it takes.
I have worked full time, part time, and not at all. Being a full time mom is hands down, the most challenging of them all....hands fucking down.
So how many times a day can you clean a house? I'll tell you. Once in the morning, once after breakfast, once during naptime, once after lunch, and one mad dash clean sweep before 5:00pm to avoid that "what did you do all day?" look from the husband. I have been told that some husbands can control this look or at least hide it well. Mine couldn't. In fact, his look came with the words "What did you do all day?"
Wanna know what soaps I got hooked on? Shut the hell up. That TV only comes on when I want to feel guilty about planting my kids in front of it so I can do the dishes...again.
I was happy to stay at home and motherhood is my calling, but it was there at the kitchen sink that the daydreams of peeing alone, driving to and from work, and eating lunch that consisted of more than my son's grilled cheese crusts began to consume me.
And now...five years later and starting from square one with another child, I am certain that I am best, that my family functions best, and that it's best for my kids if I work outside of the home.
This is just not me, but not for the reasons I had previously believed. This shit is HARD. Waking up to a real alarm, busting your ass just to come home and do it some more is hard too. We all work hard. Being a mom is a job without breaks...no matter what other titles you hold.
I am thankful for the forced perspective that allowed me to let go of judgement and see motherhood for all that it is. I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to grow and learn about how I mother best. The verdict is in, I mother best when I am happy. I am happiest when I bring in an income.
I have struggled with whether or not it's selfish. I have buried myself in research that suggests long term implications when a baby is separated from his/her mother, and other research that suggests the opposite. Luckily, necessity made most of the decision for me.
Now that we are past surgery and have nothing else to wait for, I am diving in. I am going to be hitting the job search hard. I can't wait for the new adventure that is waiting for us.
Lucky for us, we have been dressed for adventure for quite some time now.