11.12.2008

The Elephant In the Playroom

Well, I havent’ been writing much lately. At least, not here.

I’m back at work.

There. I said it. I guess that makes it real.

But K, you may say, You’ve only been back at work for three days, yet you’ve only written 12 posts in the last three months. What gives? Don’t you love your internets anymore? And I’ll have to reply, Of course I love you sillies, it’s just that my countdown back to work loomed large, and I realized that it was a better gig to be with my kids than to be writing about them.

So, how do I feel about things? Well, ok, I guess. It’s complicated. For one thing, while there are many mothers who genuinely feel like they are better mothers when they are working mothers, I am not one of them. I think I am a better mother when I am still in my pajamas at 10am, making muffins with Bee while Dove is attached to my boob, the house is a mess, the cat is crying to be let out and someone just knocked at the door.

I think I am a better mother when I am home with my kids, but even if we originally had plans to reassess our situation and whether or not I could make a go at freelance and stay home, the reality is that my husband does not have a permanent job right now, and I had a perfectly good (really, quite good) one just waiting for me. Yes, Chris has been super busy with freelance work himself, and is enjoying it, but freelance doesn't give you any guarantees. Or a drug plan.

So here I am. And I’m ok. True, it took until my third day back for me to bear putting up pictures of my girls, but I think I can look at them without crying. Truth be told, there haven’t been any tears, from me or the girls. That certainly helps. It also helps that we have a great nanny, friend of Bee’s original nanny, so well known to our family. It also helps that Chris is frequently home. It also helps that I can talk to Bee about what’s happening, and Dove, not quite a year yet, weathers my coming and going with barely a nod on my way out, and nothing more dramatic than a demand to nurse on my way in.

It’s still hard. It’s hard to stop myself from promising Bee at bedtime that we’ll do something really great together the next day. It’s hard to see another woman pushing my stroller with my kids in it. It’s hard to accept that chances are, I will miss Dove’s first steps, just as I missed Bee’s. It’s hard to feel like I know my kids best when I’m away from them for so many hours of the day.

And it’s hard to look at my computer at 2pm and realize that I haven’t thought about my girls for the last two hours. And to not feel guilty about enjoying a (hot) cup of coffee while I check my email, uninterrupted. Or to feel ok about laughing at lunch, in the company of the really awesome people I’ve worked with for eight years now.

I know that life is about choices and consequences and making the most out of what you have. I know that my girls will not be worse off for having a mother that has to work outside of the home. In fact, there will be many benefits to our new family reality. It will be nice, after months of being stretched ridiculously thin financially, to be able to ease some of the pressure there. It will be nice to watch my girls flourish under the care of a loving, capable caregiver. It will be nice to reconnect with my more, ahem, professional side (stop laughing).

It’ll be nice to have the time to blog again ;)

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It's Wednesday! I'm still cooking up awesomeness over at Eat Me.

11 comments:

  1. You've got such a good outlook on this. Good for you. :)

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  2. I like what you say about not being a better mother for working. I'm not a better mother for working either. That said, I don't think I'm a worse mother either. I'm just the mother I am, for better or worse depending on the day.

    Regardless, I'm selfishly looking forward to hearing more from you.

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  3. Well said, like mamatulip said above it looks as though you have got it all thought out!

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  4. the thing about being a working mom is that you are always working two jobs, torn in two directions.
    I never managed to put up a pic of my daughter when I went back to work but I did so enjoy a hot drink and an uninterrupted break.

    I'll be looking forward to more posts!

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  5. It's so hard. I didn't have a good enough job to feel good about going back. I'm glad you enjoy yours.

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  6. It sounds so hard... I'm dreading the day I have to go back out into the world of employment...

    But you have good, dependable help for your girls and a good job with people you like. I hope I can get so lucky.

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  7. I like my job but everyday I have moments of wishing the boys were human playgrounding me into submission on our dog haired living room rug.

    And every day I get giddy as I shove me key into my front door and wait for the screaming thigh and knee hugs.

    I would love to tell you it gets easier.

    J.

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  8. And the last line made this post perfect. Absolutely perfect.

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  9. It's such a hard time. I go back on Monday, and I'm already starting to think it's not the right decision. Or is it? I just don't know. (Easing the financial pressure sure is a plus, though.)

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  10. My work is taking over the balance and I get home and the girls are already in bed. Another day that I missed out on. It makes me unbelievably sad and angry.

    It is good to have both worlds but it's hard to find a balance and avoid the guilt. I can't help but wonder if I would make the same decisions over again if I was looking back at this.

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  11. Sounds like you have a real positive attitude about this- which I can imagine must be difficult.
    Good luck though it doesn't sound like you need any.
    Good for you.

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