Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Being Real

If I am going to be real I need to admit that being a Stay-At-Home Mom is not all that it is cracked up to be. At least not for me. I love Minnow and I love spending time with him, but I miss teaching. I miss my students. I miss so much about working.

I am bored. I am really bored. If I am bored, Minnow must be bored. I am not going to feel bad that I don't enjoy staying at home all day with my son. I should rephrase that, as we don't stay home all day--we do go out. I want more for Minnow. I know he is happy hanging out with me and playing blocks and learning our colors, etc. But how he lights up when he gets to interact with kids.

I have spent the majority of my life working and a good part at working really hard to become a teacher and to be a good teacher. Maybe I would feel differently if I didn't absolutely love my career. That is it in a nutshell. I have a career that I love and it has never been a job for me.

I would go back to work tomorrow if I could. I would be happier and because of that my son would be happier. But this is hard, as it goes against what I believe in. I think it is really important for a parent to stay home. I have to admit that I am not sure why I think this. Kids turn out just fine all of the time with parents that work. I don't know where I picked up this holier than thou attitude that if one parent isn't staying home than you don't really have the best interest of your child in mind. That is so not true.

I can still work and care for my child. I am so conflicted because I don't want to seem that all I care about is what is right for me. But, I am going to go insane if I don't go back to work. I am not going to go back to work this year...at least not until maybe January. I only want to work/teach part time. I have school. Maybe I could consider school full-time. I wonder how quickly I could finish my doctoral degree if I went full time. So many questions. How will I balance work and school? I think it is important for me to understand that I don't think I could balance teaching high school full time, going to grad school, and taking care of my young family. But I can teach community college and do school and take care of my family.

I am taking the first steps next week. I am looking to put Minnow in pre-pre-school a couple of mornings or so a week. This will get Minnow out of the house and socializing--which he really loves--and it will give me time to do school work and not have to take away from family time.

There is so much to consider. To add to it all, my doctoral application is being reviewed--with a fine-toothed academic comb. I am nervous now, just wait until I have to prep for my panel interview. I get an upset stomach just thinking about it--wait that just might be the 2 Klondike ice cream bars I just ate.


Anonymous said...

I'm a first time stay at home mom too. I admit too that it's harder than I imagined. Some parents need to work for financial reasons, some don't... My hubby and I can't afford both of us working at $10 an hour and paying for daycare... It is what it is, and I think it's hard whether we work in the home or out, no judgement. Our lives are changed forever by our children.

Sometimes it feels like my struggles are a matter of surrender to "what is, in this moment," instead of running (I'm a great runner!!!). A runner from sitting still, from "the ordinary." I've always sought the extraordinary.

I guess what I'm working on is just trying to stay in the present... that's all we got! And give myself permission to not be a super mom! I'm just trying to let it unfold, that's just my experience, my life circumstances...

sarah said...

When Supergirl was about 15 months old I was SO SO ready to go back to work, but only part-time. And I was So happy I did. Of course we had the great fortune of Michael being home, so I didn't have the worries of daycare. This time around I am just as conflicted. Honestly, a part of me is already ready to go back :), but...things are a little crazy at work so it looks like I may be quitting ;) I'm taking one class now and one next semester and going back full-time (school hours) next fall. nice compromise I think...

Anonymous said...

Did you watch Oprah yesterday, too?! It was a repeat, but I didn't have a kid home yet the first time it was on. If you didn't and this was just a coincidence, it was about the SAHM v. Working Mom debate. The women attacked one another for their decisions, either way. It was kinda sad. Can't we all just get along?!

That said, I went back to work the day after we came home from Ethiopia. Not because I wanted to, per se, but because I own the company and I didn't have an option. If I wasn't working, nothing was getting done. Bryan had paid adoption leave through his company, so he took that. By Thursday of the first week he looked at me, dirty because he hadn't showered in days, looking completely exhausted and said, "Danielle, I don't have any idea what f(&^ing day it is." Staying home with a kid is HARD. The boredom was killing him, too.

From May through August I took my own form of "Adoption Leave." I work from home, so I hired a nanny, and worked half days. She watched Amelie in the AM, I watched her (while she worked in my office) in the afternoon. It was the only way I could spend oodles of time with the babe, and it worked well. Amelie is now in daycare full time and that's nice for me. I get more work done when she's not in the other room, and when I pick her up, I can be "ON" until she goes to sleep. We had a grand old time "swimming" in a bathtub full of bubbles and playing with the dogs last night...if I'd spent the entire day with her I never would have had the energy to do that. She went to bed early, happy and content. I got tons of work done, ran errands and worked out before picking her up.

She also loves to be around the other kids and I too felt bad when we'd be in public and she'd lunge at other children because she was just with adults all day.

Do what works for you, babe. That's what will make your kid turn out right.


Malia'sMama said...

I absolutely love being home with my baby girl, and am dreading going to back to work, even though it's 6 months away! :) I have an idea,k? Since we're both teachers, YOU take my post for me, and I will stay home and watch both Minnow and Mal! :)