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:
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).
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!