Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Working Mom

I'm a working mom. I have been fortunate to cut back my hours since having Blanche to 30 hours per week. I stay home every Wednesday and every other Friday. My job is flexible enough that I can adjust the days I work as needed. On top of the flexibility, the pay isn't bad either.

And yet, I'm not happy. I don't feel challenged in my work and feel like I'm missing out on my kids. I had considered writing a post about this when I ran across a friend who posted on the exact same topic. It made me feel better that I'm not the only working mom who feels this way.

I'm not saying being a stay at home mom is easy. It's not. And there are many days I am grateful for the reprieve that a job allows. But I feel torn. Just this morning, this was the thought process/conversation that was going on inside my head.

"That job at the state looks interesting. It's in an area that I'd like and it would be a step up professionally.
But I'd have to work full time and the state does 4 10s. Can I really get two kids up and out the door by 6:30 am? Plus it would be a longer commute.
I think I could do that.
Who am I kidding? I can barely get out the door by 8am; I am perpetually late.
Maybe I could hire a nanny. If we had a nanny that came to our house, I wouldn't have to worry about waking up the kids at all. I would just have to get myself up, which is a million times more manageable. Plus, I'd be making more so we could afford a nanny.
(Working the hours in my head) That would mean four days a week I would leave before my kids get up and get home just in time for bedtime. The whole point in cutting back my hours was to spend more time at home, with the kids. I'm able to do that now.
Maybe I should just stay at my job long enough for us to get completely out of debt then stay home. I could stay home for a few years, then go back.
How am I going to stay involved while I'm at home. I need to keep my skills up so I can actually get hired when I go back. How long should I stay home? Can we even afford for me to stay home?
I enjoy working. I like feeling like I'm contributing. I like proving that example to my girls, that moms can be productive members of society while still being a mom.
Maybe I should apply for that job at the state."

Round and round it goes. On paper, I have a great job. Pays well, flexible hours, but I'm not fulfilled professionally by it. If I changed jobs, I would have to go back to full time work, or take a pay cut. There just aren't many well paid part time jobs out there. Working full time means less time with the kids. It makes me wonder how many other women are this plight, or if they have figured out something I don't yet see. It wears me out just thinking about it.


Jenny said...

Ok, so we need to do a lunch date and talk! I saw you had commented on my post and I am so glad I'm not the only who feels this same way! Really, I was feeling so lonely because I don't know many other moms struggling with these same thoughts. They are either stay at home moms or super professionals who work full time. Not this in-between sort of stage I feel I'm in. Urgh. Why couldn't we have just married billionaires :)

And not to make it harder on you, but the state will go back to (Mon-Fri) 5-8's in September.

Jessica G. said...

I do not envy your dilemma! I hope you find the right answer for your family.

Kris said...

Ah, Jess. The woes of a working mom. I have such conflicted feelings about working, as well. While they are not identical to the specific issues you addressed, the sentiment can be so similar. It is so difficult to feel torn or conflicted. Working is hard; mothering is hard. I know that the good Lord gave me a brain for a reason; the challenge is figuring out where the best place is to use it!

PS- I miss you.

Kelli Hawkes said...

I hear you! I argue these thought in my head everyday on my way to work. I do currently have a nanny, but I am not happy with what I have gotten and I feel it is more expensive than I expected. I will be switching them to an in home daycare at the end of the month. Full time is not ideal, but it has to work for me now. Someday I hope to be able to cut back. Good luck with your decisions. It is hard!

Mary said...

One of the main advantages of the career field I've chosen is the opportunity to work full time, which is only 3 days a week. I'm SO much happier since I decided on a nanny, vs waking the boys up at butt crack of dawn! Yes, she takes half my pay, but she also cooks & cleans ;o)
Take a look at SitterCity.com, that's where I found my nanny, just see who's looking for a job.
I've always known I would work, even if it was just part time, and I'm lucky to have a supportive husband that motivates me to find whatever is going to make me happy.
Good luck girlie!!