I’m a stay-at-home mom, but sometimes I want more. Does that make me a bad person? I’ve been thinking about myself a lot lately, and what I truly want out of life as far as personal success and fulfillment. Yes, being a mother is the biggest blessing that I have ever had, and it’s the single most important thing that I will ever do in my life. For some, that is enough, but for me, I would still like to achieve more success career-wise. I’ve always been a dreamer and goal-setter, but it is hard to find a good balance of caring for children while still keeping a piece of yourself for you, and that balance is different for everyone.
Since becoming a mom, I’ve made lots of sacrifices. I’m not complaining about them at all. I’d make the same decisions and sacrifices all over again, i.e. putting my career on hold and staying home, breastfeeding, waking up very early in the morning everyday, rarely going out on dates with my husband, etc. But at what point do I start thinking about my needs and wants again? It’s been a tough question to answer.
Corbin and Lynley are almost two. They’re thriving and full of energy. We’ve done a great job with them. I’ve done a great job with them. (we should not be afraid to pat ourselves on the back!) I’ve dedicated every part of my being to them to make sure they exceed all expectations for preemies born at 31 weeks. They’re walking miracles. We have a lot of fun together playing and learning, but there have also been some not-so-fun moments lately. In particular the toddler tantrums, hitting and kicking. These behaviors really wear me down, and I don’t want to be a yelling mom. I have to admit that I have raised my voice a bit more than I ever thought I would. I always want to give my kids my best, but it’s so completely frustrating sometimes that I have to give myself a time out! I’ve found myself lately wanting to spend time away from Lynley and Corbin. And then I feel bad for that. I’ve found myself thinking more and more about returning to work outside the home. And then I feel bad for that. We’re financially fortunate in that I do not have to work, but sometimes I wish that working or not wasn’t my personal decision. And then I feel bad about that. It’s a never-ending cycle that I think all moms go through. So what’s the solution?
|When babies are sick, they sleep with Mama.|
For our family, the solution right now is to hire help. We’ve had a wonderful nanny coming a few times a week to teach Tot School with the babies, and it’s been so helpful for all of us. I hear much less tantrum-throwing <funny how not being around mom or dad will do that. They’re learning a lot, and being around someone else is giving them better social skills and less anxiety about being apart from me. She also brings her two-year-old son when she comes, so it’s a win-win for him too- to be around two kids his age that he otherwise would not get interaction with.
So you might be thinking, what do I do with the “free” time? Trust me, it’s not free time! I spend the three hours that she is here catching up on laundry or other housework. I’ve also decided to use this time to focus on myself. I am currently enrolled in the masters degree in Strategic Public Relations program at George Washington University. I am four weeks into my first course, and I could not have kept my ‘A’ without having our nanny’s help. Aside from those two “jobs,” I also do freelance writing for a number of clients. I don’t get paid a ton of money, but I like the fact that I am able to keep up my writing skills and network with reputable organizations. Oh, and there’s keeping up with this blog too, and all of the social media promotion, sponsorship outreach, product reviews, etc.!
I have a lot of jobs. I like my jobs. But sometimes, I really miss working in journalism and PR- the rush that comes with meeting tight deadlines, breaking news and hot-button issues. I shouldn’t be ashamed that I miss a part of my former self. For many, many years, I lived and breathed my career, so it’s as much a part of me as being Corbin and Lynley’s mom is.
|Family swim day!|
Nothing will change anytime soon, but it’s nice to know that my children would be okay if I did decide that I wanted to return to my career full time. I can see that they would still learn just as much from someone else who shows them the same love, attention and kindness. I feel blessed to be able to witness this first-hand. I hope that other working moms out there can see it too with their children. The choice to work or not work, when it’s truly a choice, not necessity, should NOT make us feel guilty. After all, we are just doing the best that we can.
Have you ever experienced these feelings? How do you handle the decision to work or stay home? Please share with me in the comments.