Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Life of a Working Mom.

Sweet Elise is now 9 months old, and for 6 of those months, I have worked.
 I'm not gonna lie, it's hard.
I have seen a few other working mom blogs out there and reading their stories, tips, tricks etc. helps me. 
A lot. 
So, I thought I would share.

When I got pregnant there was never any question that I would go back to work. The Hubs and I always said I will work until baby number 2 and then stay home for a while. I have a great job, with a great company, and my hours are pretty flexible, not to mention the extra money is awesome for savings and "fun" spending! 
Then this sweet little face came into our lives. 
 And our entire worlds changed.
And I was home with her for 12 amazing weeks.
The thought of going back got worse and worse....and closer and closer. 
Those last two weeks were torture! I would cry just thinking about leaving her. 
As a matter of fact, I got her orientation packet in the mail from her school that talked about all they do in the classroom. One portion said something about toys for the babies who can sit up.....I burst into tears. The thought of me not being there for when she sat up for the first time. Or when she held her bottle. Or when she rolled over. Or when she crawled. I was going to miss it all! 
I called The Hubs and my mom somewhat frantic....they were both so supportive. 
Mom said somehow babies know they have to do it at home the first time...they just do (which is so true!).
The Hubs told me to stay home. He said we would make it work. He didn't like the idea of us both being gone all day either. 
This was good and bad. I was so glad he felt the same way, but that brought on all new thoughts...
Could I stay home? Should I stay home? Would I regret it? Would I burn a bridge with this company that has been so good to me? Would I be walking away from all the hard work I had put in the past 2 years? Is it the right choice for our future?

We are planners. We plan for everything. And part of the plan, me making money while I could to help support our future. 
So what happens when that changes? The thought of that scared me. 
I felt I was being selfish both ways. 
If I stayed home I was being selfish because I wanted to stay home with her instead of making money to support our future.
If I went back I was being selfish for wanting to make money over time with my daughter. 

As I said, I tortured myself the last two weeks. Many sleepless nights, many tears, and LOTS and LOTS of extra kisses/snuggles with Lisey. 
After much debate, we decided I would go back and see how it goes. 
The Hubs said, if at any minute you hate it or can't do it anymore...just say the word. There was something so reassuring to know that I had "an out" if I need it. I couldn't have asked for anything more perfect from my husband. 
It is exactly the 100% support I needed. 
(honey, if I don't tell you enough...thank you, thank you, thank you!)

I started back on a Wednesday, which was huge. It help make the change a little less abrupt.
 It was surprising how nice the first couple weeks were. I got to see all my work peeps, real adults, most that didn’t have kids….I could have conversations that didn’t involve feedings and diaper changes. I even went to happy hour.
It was nice. 
I was so busy that first month or two back, I didn't have time to think of anything else. I was having huge months (I'm in sales) and still having time to be home and cook dinner and spend time with my family. 
Then the holidays came and broke it all up. 
I was home a lot, gotta loves sales jobs during the holidays. 
I was still very happy.

Then January came. 
And my baby was growing like crazy. Changing by the minute! It was getting harder to leave her, especially after being home with her for 2 weeks.
Business started slowing down...which means working harder and longer hours. 
Which means stress. 
Which means not so happy Momma.
I started thinking....is this still working?

And honestly, it's now April...and I am still asking myself that question. 

There are days when I am having a bad one and I just want to throw in the towel and stay in bed with Elise and cuddle all. day. long. 
Then there are days where I get a big deal I didn't think I was gonna get and I know that I just added extra monies to our new house fund! And I am ecstatic and I am proud of myself.

Being a working mom is no joke....
It is long days and short nights.
 Running errands on your lunch break.
Staying up late to finish laundry or goodies for school the next day. 
Cleaning 3 times a day....when you are only home and awake in it for about 5 hours a day! Can someone please explain this to me?!
Constantly feeling like someone everyone is getting the short end of the stick....hubs, baby, work, family, friends. 
Extra stress...and less sleep.
Trying to be flexible all while having a strict schedule.
Feeling jealous of those moms that are at home with their little one...or at the park enjoying the weather with picnics and swings.

And even with all that....for right now, it is working for us.
Who knows, maybe I will decide a month from now it doesn't work......maybe I will turn a corner and work after baby number 2. 
We just have to take it day by day. 

I am a woman and I am emotional I don't want to make a decision based on a bad day. \
After all, I have been with this company for 3 years....clearly something is working! :) 

 So for all of you working moms out there I feel your pain! And I salute you and support you for every bit of hard work you do! 
We just have to remember, it’s all for them! :)
And to share our obstacles and tips and tricks...we can help each other out!! :)  
High Five! HA!


Amy said...

I totally feel your pain. There are many days I wish I could stay home with Jackson and get stuff done around the house instead of working all day and trying to squeeze it all in in the evenings. Then there are days I welcome going to work and getting a little break. I think working part time would be the ideal situation for me, but even that would be hard for us to do right now. So I'm working full time and thankfully Jackson is able to stay home with my mom. Its still hard to leave him some mornings, but I know its whats best for us.

Karli said...

This is something that I have struggled with as well. My husband and I are expecting our first baby next month & we went back & forth for months about me working or staying home. I found a day care provider we liked, I was ready to take my 12 weeks & go back but something still just didn't feel right. I was constantly feeling torn about where I should be - home with our baby or going back to work to help support our family. We finally decided that me staying home was best for our little family, for now. I have my own business (wedding planning) which I wasn't putting my full attention on as I was still working full time out of the house. We kind of looked at this as the perfect opportunity for me to focus on our family, our house, and my business which is also my passion. It's such a hard call though. I know there will be days when I'm wishing I was back in the office & getting that "break" but I know the grass is always greener! I'm glad that you're finding what works for you & your family - so great that you know you have the option to change that in the future if you feel you need to!

Ashley Brickner said...

I can totally relate! I honestly hate leaving Waverly everyday I have to do it ... But I one it's what is best for our family and for her! But I definitely hope that changes one day!!!!

Natalie said...

Hi from a fellow working (out of the home) mom! I stayed home for the first 6 months of Jack's life, which was glorious. But I missed working outside the home. And I started a new job too with an amazing employer. I don't know what the future brings, but for now this works for us.

Danielle said...

I guess I never considered how lucky (?) I was to be the primary income source in our household--I knew I had no choice but to go back to work so I didn't have the internal battles you're waging. My husband is in school full-time (and then stays home part-time with our son) so his retail weekends-only job would put us at a gross income of probably about $6k per year--obviously not enough to survive! I so look forward to when he graduates and is [hopefully] working so I might one day get to stay home with our kid(s). Just remember that if it ever gets too tough emotionally and your job primarily provides savings/fun money, a simple lifestyle change could still let you live comfortably AND be a SAHM! You are definitely blessed in that regard.

Liz Runningmomma said...

It is so nice to read about another working mom's struggle! It has been so hard for me to leave my son at daycare and go to work. I cried every night the last 2 weeks of my maternity leave because I knew when I woke up I had one less day with my son. I've only been back to work for 2 weeks, but I only have 9 more until I get to stay home with him again for summer break!

Sarah said...

Random reader and never commenter here :) I work full time and have an almost 2 year old. He has been in daycare since 12 weeks as well. When he turned 1, I started looking at daycare in a different way. I began to think about everything he was learning (socialization, how to follow rules in a school setting, etc) and this really helped my mindset in being a working mother. He began to be able to express how much he enjoyed "school", his friends, and all of the activities they do. As he "graduated" from an infant class to a toddler class and saw what the older kids were doing, it pushed his development in walking, talking, etc. Not to say this cannot happen when a child is at home with a parent...but there are (in my opinion) huge benefits to a daycare setting. Just something to think about as your little one gets older!

Natalie and Lee said...

I feel you girl! Our plan is for me to stay home after the arrival of our 2nd... but being a teacher has such perks! It scared me to quit!!

Decisions, decisions...

Megan said...

Being a working mom SERIOUSLY is SO tough!!! I hear you on the days just wanting to stay in bed and cuddle but then the HIGH you feel at work when you have had sweet success!

I was lucky enough to enjoy this past summer at home with Liv and didn't plan to go back to work, but $$ talks! I CHERISHED those months with Liv at home but I LOVE bringing home a paycheck, contributing to our household, being a strong role model for Olivia, etc. I was SO against daycare but it has been AMAZING for her! SHe has grown SO much and I love how independent she has become and her language has multiplied!!

You are doing the best for your family! :)