Saturday, November 30, 2013

Its ok to say it...I just did

Being a stay at home mom, or a working mother is typically a decision that many struggle with.  Some don't have an option, but for those who do, it can take a toll.  Many years ago when I decided to be a stay at home mom, I had just had my son.  I couldn't imagine leaving him everyday to go to work.  The thought of it ate me up.  Even leaving him alone for a date night was torture, but isn't it always like that with your first baby?

After a few months it became clear that I was going to need to get a job for us to survive.  My husband and I were young and just weren't cutting it on a single salary.  I learned to deal with being a working mother and cherished my days off to spend with my son.  Over the past 8 years I have gone back and forth between working and staying at home with my now 3 children.  That being said I have to say that I think I prefer to work.

I know how that might sound, but the truth is, there are a lot of women out there who actually prefer to work versus being home all day.  At the moment I am only working a few days a week, but that is fine by me.  While it isn't the ideal choice for everyone, for me working makes me feel like I am important, like I actually have a life.  Don't get me wrong, I love my children to death, but I found that when I am strictly a stay at home mom I lose a piece of myself.  I have hardly any adult interaction or conversation (aside from my husband and phone calls) and I feel like I have only one identity, mom.

Getting dressed up, putting on makeup, and doing my hair for work makes me happy and I look forward to going (most nights).  I opted to work the graveyard shift so I can essentially do both.  I can have time to myself, make some money, talk to other adults, and then come home and be mom.  Even though I am tired, when I get home I appreciate being a mother much more, mostly because I got the chance to MISS my children.  When I am a stay at home mom things start to get to me quickly.  The whining, crying, I need this, I need that, whatever it may be.  Some moms relish in that and enjoy it, but I am not one of them.  I need a chance to be me and have time to myself.  I don't think it is uncommon for moms to feel like they have lost their identity, and at some point whether they admit it or not they all feel it, even if it is just for a second.  There were many days where I would be sitting on the couch watching some cartoon for the umpteenth time and wonder "what am I doing?" "how did I get so frumpy and predictable?"  I stared realizing that my days were EXACTLY the same.  Everything I was doing everyday was like clockwork, and it was destroying me.

When I was younger I was so unpredictable.  I went with the flow, and pretty much did what I wanted when I wanted.  I remembered times when my biggest worry was having to deal with a hangover at work, and now here I was a boring mom, in sweats, never even putting an effort into my appearance anymore.  I started to feel bad for my husband, he would come home to a stressed out, 5pm pajama wearing wife who was more excited he was home so she could get a break, than excited to actually SEE him.  Every night when the kids would go to bed I started to feel alive.  I had the weight of three children lifted off of my shoulders and could actually relax and  I should clarify that there is not really anything boring about being a stay at home mom, its hard work and nonstop.  Just when you think you have them all occupied and try to sit down it all goes up in flames.  I'm not lying when I say that being a stay at home mom is THE hardest job that exists, and maybe people like me aren't cut out for it, and I'm OK with saying that.  If I am a horrible mother for saying I enjoy being away from my kids to work then so be it, start throwing stones at me.  This isn't the 50's and we don't have to be afraid to say that some of us feel a little unfulfilled as stay at home moms.

If being a stay at home mom completes you and you are in love with it then that is awesome, but if you are someone more like me who also enjoys working don't feel bad about it.  It is nothing to be ashamed of, and you are not any lesser of a mother, and it also doesn't mean that you love your children any less.  In order for you to be a good loving mother you have to take care of yourself first, and make sure YOU are happy, and if getting a job to get away for a bit makes you happier then so be it.  


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