I made the leap to quit my job three months after Little Man was born. It was a huge decision for us.
From the moment my son was born, I couldn’t get enough of being his mommy. I had always known there would be a good chance I’d want to be home with him after he was born. I mean, if I could have opted to quit my job for my dog when we got her, I probably would have. I know, that sounds over the top, but I just mean I really like to take care of my family. I LOVE for that to be my primary responsibility.
In yesterday’s post, I directed you to some of the posts I’ve written in the past in case you felt you wanted to dig deeper into my emotional roller coaster with my SAHM decision. It’s really ok if you didn’t feel so inclined. I probably wouldn’t go clicking around on all those links on someone else’s blog, if I’m being honest with myself.
So here’s the summary version:
I had a work from home, full-time data migration (IT) analyst job when Little Man was born. I took my six weeks of leave and then opted to take on a new role when I went back because I was excited about the opportunity, even though it was a promotion in title and work load alone (ie: no more $). I ended up quitting so soon because I was overwhelmed. I went back for a few months when LM was about a year, but the commute was too long and I had a part-time, work-from-home offer with a software company I used to work for. That, unfortunately, ended up falling through when the product I was going to be working with didn’t really sell. We decided it hadn’t worked out for a reason and we wanted to try for another baby, so I’d just put the career decisions on hold until after the second was born.
And here we are. I really would have been better off taking more time off to begin with and then returning to my former role for a few months before jumping into something new, but you know that saying about hindsight. And really, who knows what would have happened if I had done it all differently. When I stop and think about how I was feeling at the time, there were so many factors I conveniently forget when I think about working from home again.
For instance, I still had to put Little Man in daycare because working from home still requires dedicated concentration time and babies and, especially, toddlers still need to be watched when they aren’t sleeping. Especially my little monkey. Seriously, I turn my head to turn off the TV or turn on the radio and he’s got his hand and half his arm all the way in my coffee mug or he’s literally drinking from the dog’s bowl. Uh huh! That’s really happened TWICE! Then there are those less frequent times when I decide to clean (I’m definitely not winning any awards in the housekeeping department) and he wants to “help” me, by steeling the broom spreading the dog hair I just swept into a corner, throughout the room again, while I’m in the closet retrieving the dust pan. I really think we need to budget in a housekeeper at some point and maybe cut out something else, but that’s not the point.
Another work from home issue: it was hard enough to get out of the house pre-baby, nonetheless post. I felt like I had zero social life. I remember telling Hubby, if I was going to work, I needed to find something outside of the home, so while LM was in daycare, I’d at least be out of the house. That issue was really only the case for LM’s first six months or so, before I got him on a nap schedule, but I could still see having issues with playdates in that sort of situation.
The thing is, when I think about going back to work, I always come back to what I said earlier about loving to take care of my family. There are so many rewards to being here with LM, full-time, without the distractions of deadlines. But there’s that part of me who worked really hard to establish a career who’s always feeling like there’s something missing. And when I think about the kind of person I used to be when I was balancing more, I remember a motivated and happy person who had more confidence because of all the responsibilities.
I think I probably will go back to work a few months after Littlest One is born. Whether my blog design business turns into a part-time or full-time gig or I go back to my former career. I just think having a career is a part of me I’m not willing to let go of. I do think whatever I end up doing will have to be flexible and I think I would go with a (hopefully part-time) nanny or sitter rather than a daycare for future childcare needs.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, things aren’t black and white. I’ve always known that, but I think since LM was born, I’ve forced myself to see all things parenting that way; either I stay home to be super housewife or I go back to work and do my best to balance everything which automatically meant sacrificing too much mommy time. I don’t think that’s true anymore. I now think I can find the right situation for our family. I really do. My career in IT was something I really enjoyed and was good at and I’m going to go back to it. I know that will mean some sacrifices because that’s life, but I don’t think I’ll have to sacrifice everything.
Thank you to all the working moms out there who have helped me to see this.