Saturday, July 30

Forever isn't enough...

I don't type much, so my mind is like a runaway train... feel free to skip. :)

I'm a stay-at-home-mom by summer and a working-mom by school year. It's something I knew would be a reality when we started having kids. We had two choices back in 2006 when we decided to start trying- we could wait a long time to make sure I could exclusively stay home, or we could get pregnant and know I would have to work. I wasn't willing to wait, so we took the dive and 2.5 years later welcomed the boys.

Admittedly I always hoped something magical would change and I could stay home... we'd win the lottery or get a free house or Johnny would realize that cable & Red Sox tickets & health insurance & well, food, were luxuries we could live with out. (That didn't happen, babies like to eat & we love True Blood)

So, 6 weeks after the boys were born, I went back to teaching my 3rd year of K & two months later I headed home for 5 months of leave with Colby. 2 months after returning back to work I was at home again on Summer vacation & then a half a year after the start of my 4th year I was put on bedrest and rode out 12 weeks at home (again). And now it's summer & I'm back to taking on the "at home" role. Basically I'm my school district's worst nightmare.

Anyways, I waiver between how I feel about my roles. First, I'll complain that SAHM's call themselves "Full Time Mothers" as if those of us who work aren't Full Time Moms. But I digress (and I totally tried to find Blair's post on this, but I can't & I'm a little lazy).

Anyways, on a good day I'm okay to be working & taking care of the kiddos. My mom worked and I always admired her for it. We were technically latch-key kids, but I didn't feel neglected because of it. Both my parents were there 100% for everything- baseball, soccer, dance, gymnastics (because, yes, they still managed to find the time to let all 4 of us do whatever activities we wanted although they both worked full time jobs themselves). Because of that, and because of how I felt about my mom, I'm sometimes proud of what I'm doing. In the end I'd like to think that Colby, Sydney & Zoe will admire me for everything I'm doing on my quest to be Super Mom. When I was working I managed to work, take 3 grad classes, get dinner on the table (most nights), give Colby his bath, tuck him into bed with stories, and still be somewhat functioning. (And usually our floors were swept a few times a week) Oh, and I was pregnant with twins at the time. And there's the fact that I really love teaching.

Other days I'm so overwhelmed with jealousy that I can't stay home when all I want is to be with my kids. Instead it seems a little off that I'm at school with 25 other kids while mine are being cared for by a nanny, or day care provider, or even grandparents. I feel like it should be me. Are they any worse for the wear? Probably not, but I still have pangs of jealousy that I'm not there. I wish I were one of the moms who worked that is completely at peace with her decision (or need) to work, but I'm not quite there yet...

So the point of all this? I am getting a little tired of the line "You're with them all day." when I try to object to being told that I should leave the girls for a night with someone else or that I should send Colby to his grandparents for the day. Yes, I understand that it's good for the kiddos to see their grandparents, but I don't think that seeing them for a whole day or weekend at the expense of not being with me is really worth it. (Or rather, it's not worth it to me, but maybe someone can prove it is developmentally worth it.)

No matter if I'm with these kids forever, every day until the end of time, forever isn't enough.


juliane2004 said...

Here's Blair's post :)

svallely said...

I haven't gone back to work yet... but I feel like I could have written this post. Everyone is so anxious to give BJ and I the "night off"... I had 82 days of the "night off" and I am going back to work in a few weeks... I don't want a minute off!

Stace said...

See, that's why I keep you around Stacy. You are me and I am you. :)

Leah said...

Beautiful post!!!

I am SO tired of stay at home moms saying they are full time moms. Excuse me. But I'm a full time mom too. I'm also a full time member of corporate America. I would love to stay home with my kiddos, but like you, that would have meant delaying our famiy planning for a few years, and I'm so glad I didn't cause conceiving wasn't so easy for us.

And you are so right. . . forever is simply not enough.

iamstacey said...

OMG, going back to work was so hard. I cried so much, and my mom keeps my baby at my house! She couldn't be more spoiled and adored. But I feel like every minute I'm away from her I'm failing as a mom. And she's growing so fast, I don't want to miss a second! I'd stay at home in a hearbeat if we could afford it, and I'd love it. Not because it's easier, but because it's my heart's desire.

Shinejil said...

The tensions between work and motherhood are extremely painful, no matter how you slice your life. I work from home, which means lots of stress and torn attention. But it's seriously better than so many alternatives. But I'd love to work outside the home... but I'd hate to spend so much time away from my guy.

Congrats on your twins! So exciting. I'm thrilled that all went well. Colby is such a cutie!

PJ said...

They are so, so cute!!! I am so excited for you!

AND so thinking you need more help after reading your vent!

And I love this post, I completely and wholeheartedly GET it. During the school year I longed for the weekends to be with my girls. But I also really, really LOVE teaching. Well, I love the KIDS, not the politics, and a lot of the time not really the adults. Did you see Matt Damon's YouTube defending teaching?

Anyway... one of my many miscarriages I remember crying hysterically and telling my mom that all I wanted in life was to be a good teacher and a good mom. Period. I can't imagine just doing one, although I completely hear you on the pangs.

Also, I just heard that some research said that what's important for the kids in the long run is that they have happy parents.

Also, also, I am totally loving True Blood this season and am on Sookie Stackhouse book #10. Guilty pleasure.

Wishing you lots of rest my friend.