Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wondering What My Balance Is

I work full time. Most of the time I love it, other times I dream of being a stay at home mom. Then there are times like last week when I was stuck in the house for a week with the G-man because he picked up hand/foot/mouth disease. And I realize, I may not quite be wired for the full time staying home thing. I have never been so excited to go back to work as I was this past Tuesday when we were past the contagious phase. But then by Wednesday afternoon when Grayson learned to climb out of his pack n play at my mom's house (she watches him 1 day a week) and wouldn't nap, I just wanted to not have to worry about work and put G and his needs first. I wonder if there is any way to feel like I'm doing the 100% total right thing for me and our growing family.

I do have a dream situation with my job. I have full time child care on site...with people I trust. I can go visit him whenever I want. I get to eat lunch with him every day. And, the price point is way affordable compared to full-time child care centers. When Sawyer arrives, he will be in this child care as well. I guess you could say it's really the best of both worlds. But there are still days where I feel like I only get 30 minutes of quality time with G. We get up, and bond a little in the morning before things get busy and we have to get out the door. I drop him off for the morning, pick him up at noon and have lunch with him, drop him back off for the afternoon, then pick him up when work is over. Once we get home, I cook dinner - not much attention being able to be given to him during this time. We eat as a family, then daddy does bath time and he goes to bed. There are nights I wonder if I cuddled him enough, loved him enough, played with him enough. If I gave him my best at all - or if that went to a million different other tasks instead.

Not complaining here. Just pondering. And wondering how I will feel once Sawyer arrives and my love, time and affection and spread even more thin. I'm familiar with mommy guilt and sure don't like living there. I guess I'm just wondering what my perfect balance is. Do I keep working full time? Cut to part time? Bite the bullet and take a sabbatical for a year or two? (Choice C here is quite unrealistic financially). I guess I won't really know what's best for our family until S arrives in July. But for now, I'm wondering.

Less than 10 weeks to go! Well...hopefully more like 8. I'm ready. And then again I'm not. :-)


Katie said...

As you know, I do stay at home, and I often worry so much about other things. I worry if I am projecting a good image to my son and daughter of what women CAN do. I made the choice to stay home, but it's not for everyone, and I want to make sure they know that they have more options. I worry if I will even be able to FIND a good job when I am ready to go back. And some days, I worry that I will lose my ever loving mind if I have to read "Goodnight Moon" one more time! :)

I will say this, though, don't judge being a SAHM on staying home with a sick kiddo! Will and I are stuck home right now and it is NOT fun. It wasn't so bad for a day or two while he was feeling really sick, but now he is feeling better, but still dripping snot and I don't want to expose others, so I feel trapped. When we can go out and have fun, the days go by much faster. I told M that I guess I am not much of a stay at HOME SAHM - LOL!

Anyway, I think there are good parts to both paths. I think Mommy Guilt is a universal b!tch that gets all of us, no matter what choices we make. We always wonder about the "path not taken" and worry about the choices we have made and will make and how they will affect our kids.

If I had a good situation like yours, with onsite daycare, I would have at least tried going back to work. Unfortunately, my job required lots of travel and late nights, and I would have been all over the state on any given day. I pretty much NEVER would have seen Will M - F (and many Sundays when I was traveling), so it just didn't make sense.

In any case, hugs to you. This mommy thing is tough, and it's so hard to know what the right decisions are. . . I know when I see a working mom kicking @ss and taking names like you are (and getting to take their kids on amazing vacations that we can't afford right now), I think, "Gee, maybe I should have gone back." It never ends! :)

Katie said...

The above comment was so long that I wanted to leave a separate one for the sleep stuff.

I read the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth and LOVED it. So, I would recommend that book, as it really explains the science behind sleep patterns (but in an easy to understand way) and has a variety of methods to handle problems that come up (there is no YOU MUST DO IT THIS WAY OR ELSE to this book).

But also, THIS website talks about sleep regressions and what you can (and mostly can't) do about them.

These were my two mainstays. Hope it helps!

jill said...

I think you'll know a lot more about what you want to (and can) do once you have him. I was totally fine working with one kid and miserable working once I had Abe. And you know I trusted who was watching him with all my heart!! :) When I was teaching, I felt like there were too many days when I gave my kids my leftovers. As for the financial, I didn't think we'd be able to make it work but we have. Less $ spent on lunches out, Starbucks, and of course childcare. We spend much less now than we did when I was working but our lives are very happy... for us a lot of this just comes down to budgeting and knowing where our money is going. But this is only what was right for ME and my family. What's right for YOU could be totally different. Don't second guess your decisions - mommy guilt stinks and you are an amazing mom!

Tava Tea said...

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In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!