Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: Unintentional Stay-at-home Mom

Do you ever wonder if you have made the right choice?




I struck up a conversation with another mom of two young children at the playground yesterday. As we were chatting, she mentioned that she was getting ready to go back to work next month. That, as much as she loved her children and being a mom, she still felt unfulfilled and really needed to get back to her career.

Ouch.

Some days I wonder if staying at home with the kids is the right choice for me. I love my girls, but day in and day out of constant contact with them seems to be taking its toll on me. I have written before that I am an unintentional stay-at-home Mom. I always pictured myself as a work-outside-the-home Mom, but circumstances as they are have led me here.

Sometimes I think, how green is the grass over there at the house with two working parents? Is there more stress from Mom being at work all day, or less from Mom and kids having some space from each other? Because some days, I swear my kids need a break from me as much as I need one from them.

Even as frustrating as the day-to-day minute-by-minute struggles of being a stay-at-home Mom can be, I just can't imagine leaving my kids all day long with someone else. My dream would be to be able to have some very fulfilling, low stress, part time job where I could work from Panera a couple of times a week and take a short trip every now and then. Oh wait, I have that job. It's called Blogging. Except that I'm not getting paid for it. I'll have to work on that....

Linking up with Shell from Things I Can't Say for Pour Your Heart Out.


12 comments:

Jenn said...

If it makes you feel any better, I think we ALL feel this way. I'm a working mom, and I think I have to talk myself into not quitting my job at least a few times a week.

Maybe you could do a MDO program or something?

I too dream the dream that my blog will become instantly famous, making me lots of money, and only requiring my attention for 5-10 hours a week so I can spend the rest of my time with my family. Hmmmm ...

Shell said...

I think that we all wonder if we're making the right choice. I second guess it a lot.

MsBabyPlan said...

I am not a mother yet, but in my journey towards motherhood I would like to be a stay-at-home for some time and then go back to work, but currently I am forced into a unintentional unemployment and I am freaking out.

This situation is making me consider if I will really like to be a stay at home mom once I have kids! I think this feeling will change once I am working or settled into the routine I planned to follow starting from end of January which is not happening yet :(!

That One Mom said...

I worked for the first 6 and 7 years of my kids' lives. As an only parent, I enjoyed my grown-up time in the "real world' when I went to work each day. When I was laid off 4 years ago, I panicked. I had never wanted to be a SAHM, I had no idea how to be a SAHM. My home spontaneously combusted.

After four years home with my kids - who are both in school - I am ready to get back to having a career. The career I envision doesn't look the same as it used to, though. I can't see investing 60+ hours a week outside of my home anymore. While I don't think the stress is less either way, there are definitely things happening at home with my kids that I will never be able to get back. You can always rebuild a career.

blueviolet said...

That money will be coming in for you, I just know it! When the kids are in school, you could work part time at the school too. I did that in the lunchroom and in the office, and the money wasn't bad! Plus I was still home when the kids were home. :)

Kim said...

We're lucky in Canada to have a year off with our babies. When I returned to work after my first son was born, I went back four days a week. The first month was so hard to be away from him. But then after I accepted it and realized I had that year to spend with him, I was fine. I don't think it would be the same if I had to go back to work right away. I'm on my second maternity leave right now. I'm starting to feel the panic again of leaving them. Sigh.

Penelope said...

I never doubt that I made the right choice. I get harassed all the time by others to go back to work, but my job NEVER fulfilled me, even though the pay was high. My family is where my joy is.

Liz said...

"Oh wait, I have that job" - HAHAHAHAHA!

I know what you mean, and I don't think it's all roses on either side of the situation.

But to your point, my good friend works part-time and she swears she has the best of both worlds!

KLZ said...

Hey, I've got that job too. The pay is similarly bad.

Kmama said...

I never really wondered if life would be less stressful with me staying home...I think no matter what you choose, being a mom is just stressful.

Erin said...

Erin,

I agree we all feel the same way. I know I do. Except for me, it wasn't much of a choice. I wanted to stay home, but I've also never had a "career," and the $$$ I'd make at some job (it would be Whole Foods for me, although I do love Panera!) wouldn't even be enough to cover the cost of child care. It'll be interesting to see what happens this time next year when the girls finally start kindergarten. I'll have more time to write and maybe make it into a career...

xoxoxooxx

BevKnits said...

As the mother of three, I was a working career-type person. I sent my wee lads off to daycare every day in the pursuit of my career.
After 20 years, I got laid off with the rest of the gang and found myself unemployed. My youngest was 12 by that time.
If I could go back in time and do it all over again, I would definitely have stayed home and raised my boys because at the end of the day, that's all that mattered.
C'est la vie. Hindsight is 20:20.