The Grass Isn’t Always Greener!

It’s been about a year and a half since I became a part time stay-at-home mom. At first glance, I really thought it would be the perfect solution, and if you really think about it, it should be the perfect solution. I thought it would mean that I could still spend time with my kids while keeping one foot in my career! While I wouldn’t be making as much money, I would be able to save money by cleaning my own house (I had been having someone come twice a month to help me with that when I worked full time) and not sending Anya to daycare every day, plus I would have time to do more couponing and cut our spending in other ways.

I’m well aware that that all sounds wonderful and it paints a really nice picture of what things should look like. And honestly, it worked out fairly well for awhile. When I just had one child to worry about and when Felix was young enough that I could count on him to sleep often, I had time to do other things around the house and still hang out with Anya. Now that I have two little rugrats and Felix is up and running (literally!), all that has changed, and this is the current reality:

Work Days

Basically, I work a full two days a week (Tuesday and Thursday) and then another partial day but I work that day while the kids are home with me (this is usually Wednesday), so you can only imagine how well that goes! There are other random things that I do here and there but that’s my typical schedule that is mostly the same every week. Maybe it’s the way that I have my week set up, but it’s so hard to go from being “mommy” to working to being “mommy” AND working, working, and then being “mommy” again. It’s like I’m always switching gears.

Another issue is that since I only have childcare certain days of the week, I’m trying to cram as much as possible in my work days, which usually means no lunch break and that I have to pump breastmilk as I’m driving. (Don’t worry, I have a hands-free set-up!) I usually end each work day feeling like I didn’t get everything finished that needed to be finished and I start the next day stressed out because I feel behind. My work days are super long and since I own my own business, I am typically answering emails and returning phone calls on my days “off” (otherwise known as being home with my kids).

Mommy Days

And let’s talk a little about the days I am home with the kids. Can I say how much I hate cleaning my house with two small children at my heels? Things take twice as long as they should (this includes all meals, cleaning, going to the bathroom, or just about anything else you might need to do in a day) so I end up feeling like I spend all the time I do have at home with them trying to get housework done, prep for meals, and get all the couponing together. To be honest, I’m kind of over it. And there are definitely no leisurely lunches or fun lunch dates with friends, unless you count dragging two little ones along who actually enjoy making huge messes everywhere they go. There is very little time to myself and when I do get a little bit of time, I usually spend it trying to clean up the messes they make or doing laundry or dishes. I also feel like it’s a constant struggle to find some adult interaction in my day.

Since we have been back from Europe, I have done pretty much no couponing and the cleaning was becoming too much to keep up with. I ended up finding someone to clean our house once or twice a month and have decided that it is worth the money if we have it so that the kids and I can actually do fun things when we are home together. Since that happened a couple weeks ago, I feel much more at peace with just hanging out with the kids instead of trying to get everything done, but I am still struggling with (at times) feeling like I shouldn’t spend the money.

So I guess my point is that any way you look at it, being a mom is hard work. There is so much animosity between moms who work, moms who stay at home, and moms who do a little bit of both, and it’s all for no reason because there are hard things about motherhood all around. I used to think that doing the part time thing was the perfect scenario, but there really is no perfect scenario. I love that I get to be home with the kids (especially now that I have worked out the cleaning issue!) and still work, but it’s definitely not a piece of cake. Some days I wish I didn’t work at all, and some days I wish I worked full time, but I know that neither one of those options would be any easier than what I’m currently doing. It would just be hard in different ways. That being said, it’s a good thing my little ones are so sweet (most of the time, anyway!), because that makes it worth all the effort!

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7 comments

  1. Heather says:

    I have a maid once a week and she is totally worth it!
    I think the secret to work life balance is appreciating what you have in the moment. It isn’t easy, sometimes I wish i had more money coming in, but God provides for my needs so I’m thankful.
    Heather recently posted…Why Baby Equipment Needs to be Sterilised – PLUS Win a Soother SteriliserMy Profile

  2. Oh I can so relate to your dilemma! Its never a perfect scenario when you’re balancing work and kids. I pulled on somehow, traveling between cities at times coz my job would keep me out of town. But now my son is a teenager and all those years of struggling has paid off. He has turned out to be an affectionate yet independent child. And I have not lost out on my career either.I’m sure all will be good for you too in a matter of few years xx
    Loved reading this pos! Dropping in from UBC.
    Vinodini Iyer recently posted…L for LIFEMy Profile

    • Rachel says:

      Things definitely work out somehow…it just isn’t always to see when you are in the middle of it all! Thanks for stopping by:)

  3. Sarah says:

    I hear ya, sista! I feel like I am constantly running a marathon and the days I am home with the kiddos fly by in the blink of an eye. Half the time all the fun things I have planned do with them get swept under the rug (sometimes literally), and I’m left at the bottom of a huge pile of laundry, drowning in angry client’s emails, and ignoring important calls on my phone until I can quiet the little ones. Getting a cleaning lady sounds like a good idea! I think I’m just too cheap to do it. Moving to a bigger house has definitely taken some getting used to as far as cleaning goes, but so far, I have been able to keep up with it (but I’m pretty sure I’ve lost my mind in the process). You are absolutely right, being a mommy IS hard work! But you’re doing an amazing job! I’m thankful to have such great mommas like you and Holly in my life! Girls night SOON!

    • Rachel says:

      I am too cheap to pay for housecleaning, too, and I remember that same adjustment period when we moved into our current house. Going from a 1200 square foot home to 2400 something square feet meant so much more cleaning. And I feel like each time we have a baby, less and less gets cleaned. If I didn’t work from home, I may not notice it as much, but I am home A LOT because of it so all the clutter and mess really bothers me. We do have a little extra each month and are still able to save a substantial amount for our savings and our travel fund (haha!) and I’ve decided that if the house being clean is that important to me (and it is – I’ve tried to get over it but I think it’s time to accept that about myself!), then it’s worth a little bit of money to have someone else do that. Life is too short to waste all my free time cleaning or worrying about when I will clean, which is normally what ends up happening.

      And yes – girls night soon!

  4. Holly says:

    I see what you mean :-) I understand where you’re coming from but for me, something needs to change because I’m to the point again where I just want to block all moms that don’t work outside of the home from my life. What that is, I don’t know yet but I have been trying to figure it out!

    PS – Anya looks so thrilled haha!
    Holly recently posted…Summer Bucket List: Family WalkMy Profile

    • Rachel says:

      I totally understand! I’m just saying that it’s not necessarily fun all the time and it’s definitely not any easier. I know it sounds weird, but when I started staying home part time, I found I had even less time to myself than when I was working full time. It is just much harder to go back and forth between the two “jobs” than I thought it would be, so I always end up feeling like I’m being pulled in all different directions.

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