Monday, September 30, 2013

Deciding to be a working Mamma

How did I get here.  It's a question Working Dad and I discussed just yesterday.  How did we get to where we are?  Where I work, full time with an hour commute each way?

This isn't where I thought I would be.  A long time ago when my now husband asked me about what my plans were, I told him that I wanted to be a stay at home mom, (SAHM), the same way my mom was.  He thought I didn't have enough ambition. That I had to make something of myself, that I needed drive.  So, I got some drive.  I got my college degree and I started working full-time.

I loved my career choice.  Theatre Arts, event management- it's fantastic for me.  Specific, measureable successes, but shortlived programming.  Moving on to something else.  That's what I love- give it your all, then keep on.

Then, we got married.  Then I got pregnant.  I had my beautiful, amazing Exuberant Girl. My little piece of heaven on earth.  Who looks exactly like her father.  Who is sweet, and loving, and high energy.  Who isn't afraid of virtually anything. 

And then I went back to work.  I knew I had to go back to work for at least 30 days to keep my health insurance benefits that they paid while I was on maternity.  So, I went back.  To 'try it out'.  To give myself options.  Everyone said not to quit when I took maternity leave.  You never know, so I went back.

And then I left her at Daycare.  I found one I trusted, that seemed wonderful to me.  I did my due diligence to ensure that she was properly looked after.  And she was.  She is.  She enjoys her teachers, her environment, and all the social activities that come with it.

Initially I worked only 9am-3pm.  I dropped her off, I picked her up.  I pumped milk while I was gone from her.  I enjoyed going to work.  I enjoyed coming home and having enough time to pick her up, make dinner, and generally get things done around the house.  Then it changed.

I started working more full-time.  From 8am-4:30pm.  Still, it worked out.  I found a carpool partner. I tried to make it work.  Working Dad dropped her off, but I got to pick her up 80% of the time.  Seeing her smiling face, learning about her day.  Having some Mommy time before Dad came home.  And it worked.  I still have time to make dinner.  We enjoyed a leisurely evening all together.  It was nice.

Then she turned 1.  And when I went back to work, they told me I couldn't take a 1/2 hour lunch anymore.  That I had to work from 8am-5pm.  And that's where we are today.

I get up, I don't see her when I leave, unless something goes wrong.  Working Dad drops her off.  I get home just around 6pm, so I don't pick her up anymore.  I rush through making dinner.  I try to have time with her.  Then I fight the laundry, the dishes.  Sometimes I fight the husband.

But I'm terrified.  I'm terrified of making the wrong decision.  I've had 3 job offers for part-time work.  None of them made sense.  I'm still sitting here, going into work each day.  I haven't made a decision, but the reality is I'm a working mom.  Each day that I don't choose to quit, is a day I am choosing to work.

It's definitely not about her care.  It's not about her being in daycare, she loves it.  But there is definitely something not quite right.  I'm not a mother and a wife, though I am.  I feel like a busy ant, trying to keep the hole open while someone else is poking it with a stick.  Pretending like I'm making progress, but I'm not. 

I'm just terrified.

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