|Me, Mr. L, The Hubs and Baby Lady N|
Last week I hung up my full time working shoes and slipped easily into my 2 day a week working flats...and I can't express how good it feels.When we first moved to the Bay Area, it was agreed that I would be taking on the role of domestic goddess and taking charge of all things required to run this household. That included everything from caring for the little man, caring for the big man, caring for the 2 furry men (kitties), the one scaly man (fish that is still alive somehow), buying food, cooking food, doing laundry, cleaning the house; you get the idea, basically anything that was to go on under our roof was under my domain. And I was fine with that, but when my part time job opportunity came calling, I had to jump for it and get out of the house for a measly 2 days a week. It was perfect. Aside from only getting one day at home together as one big happy family, it was great. I made a little extra money, I got to dress like an adult, talk like an adult and use the restroom whenever I wanted without interruption. And let's not gloss over the fact that I'm actually really good at this job. But then my boss went on maternity leave and I was asked to increase my hours from 16 to 32 and I accepted. It was only for a few months and I was getting a raise, so I went for it. But man, what a sacrifice.
I know I sound like a complete brat here because there are millions of other moms who work more than 32 hours a week and rarely get to see their families for more than a few hours at a time. Shoot, I was that woman when Mr. L was a baby and I know how hard that can be. But just like any other situation in life, having me double my working hours when my family had already become accustomed to having a live-in domestic goddess was an adjustment. And one that we never really adjusted to.
I'm not sure The Hubs ever really realized that I was working more than my original 16 hours. Obviously, he knew that I was working more, but I never really received relief from all of those responsibilities that were under my domain when I wasn't working as much. Pair that along with the fact that the raise that I received didn't pan out to be that much more money once taxes and childcare and house cleaning were thrown in and things got really un-fun really fast. Add on top of all of that the fact that I have also been pregnant for the entire time I've been working full time and you do not have any happy campers in this home. I always used to wonder if it was harder to be a working Mom or a Stay At Home Mom and considering I'd done both, I thought I had my answer, but after these past few months, I can tell you straight up, it doesn't matter if you are working out of the home or working in the home, if you are PREGNANT and doing either of those jobs, holy crap you are exhausted and should receive an award just for getting your bloated butt out of bed each day.
It's weird to think this next thought, and bare in mind that this is something I never ever EVER thought I would be thinking or feeling, but that first Monday when I knew I didn't have to work 4 days that week felt really good. Like really really good. Like "this is where I belong" good. I still have ambitions in life that take me outside of the home, some entail running my own wedding coordinating business, some entail writing a novel or a children's book (or both! Oh my!) but sometimes, I honestly feel like I could be completely and totally satisfied making my kids and my home my job (Did you hear that? That was the sound of my independent woman of a mother hitting the floor because she just passed out). And feeling this way isn't some sort of "Oh yes, now I can relax and have play dates all day and lounge around eating bon-bons" because let me tell you, this whole SAHM thing is a ton of work. And it's thankless work and its work that I won't know I've done a good job at until my children are grown and living their own life as responsible, well adjusted individuals who are making society a better place than when they entered it. That's a long time to wait to get some feedback on your work, but I'm willing to wait for it. Because whatever I'm doing, it feels right. I like being there for my kid(s). I like being the one that teaches them about what a compromise is (we had that talk today...yes he's 2.5 but I'll be damned if he's going to walk through this life thinking he gets what he wants cuz he wants it), and how to use his words over his hands. I like that I get to experience some of Mr. L's firsts, and that I get to be told I'm his best friend. I feel blessed to be out of the position where I had to work outside of the home because that was unbearable. And sure, I wish this job came with more "Thank You's" and more pats on the back, but as long as I can feel in my heart that this is where I need to be, the only Thank You I need comes from a teeny tiny voice that thanks me when I fill his sippy cup up with milk at dinner time.