Hats off to the working moms! It’s a lot harder than I expected. I thought that I wanted to return to my career after a two-year maternity break, but I’m learning more each day that I’m not quite ready.
I am in a unique position. I have been blessed with the choice to either work or stay home with my twins. For the past two years, I have chosen to stay home, but recently I have been feeling a pull toward returning to work. After a few interviews for some great jobs, things just weren’t panning out. I wasn’t being offered the jobs I applied for, but rather different jobs within those organizations. I guess that’s a good thing- they liked me, but felt I didn’t have enough experience in some areas, yet still wanted to hire me. But I knew that I wouldn’t be happy settling for a job that I didn’t 100 percent love, so I chose to pass.
And while I continued to job search for the right fit, I went back to work at my previous office, before taking maternity leave, to help with a special project. It’s temporary, and I can work from home when I have the time or I can go into the office. I’ve done both. And let me tell you, that week that our days were get up, go straight to preschool/work, leave work, go to straight to pick up kids, make dinner, put kids to bed… was the HARDEST week of my life. All of that on top of also continuing my online grad school work at GWU. I have learned real quick that I just am not ready for a full-time job outside of our home.
And I am glad that I learned this now because the perfect job opportunity did come along last week. It took about a month and half to find the right fit, and I was this close to returning to work. However, I had to take a step back and really consider what I wanted. I know my limits, and I feared that I would get a few months into the job and realize that I wanted to be back at home, and then feel trapped. I am lucky that the person who was doing the hiring is someone I have built a rapport with. In fact, in the future there may be room for me on the team. I’m grateful for that.
Surprisingly, I am not upset about my decision to keep my career on hold. I feel relieved. I have constantly wondered if I wanted to go back to work or not, and what it would be like. How would the babies do in child care, would I miss them, would I be able to handle working away from home physically and emotionally, etc. I have all of those answers now. I don’t feel comfortable with them in full-time child care. I would feel a bit overwhelmed working full-time and commuting 45 minutes each way, and I would definitely miss our laid back days with friends.
Do I still feel the way I felt a couple of months ago: like I need something for myself? Yes, absolutely. I think this feeling is natural when women become wives, and especially mothers. So little of our time is focused on our own interests. There just aren’t enough hours in the day or enough energy left to do any of our own hobbies- except my favorite hobby of napping!! So we often feel drained and our minds wonder if the grass is greener on the other side.
I think for me personally, I am more comfortable at home right now. In a perfect world, I could find a part-time job that I love and still be able to enjoy enough time with the twins and their friends. But, it’s not a perfect world! In the meantime, I am signed up for some volunteering opportunities, and I will continue my grad school work. I may pick up some freelance writing that can be done from home, but my career in public relations will have to wait a bit longer.
Have you ever struggled with the decision to go back to work or to stop working at stay at home? Please share your experiences in the comments.