Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thoughts on ending one career...and starting a "new" one...

I've got one more week where I'm a "working mom" before I embark on being a Stay at home mom. The "titles" have always rubbed me a bit because really, aren't we all just moms? That moment a baby is placed in your arms and you are entrusted to care for a child (whether it be through child birth, adoption, fostering, whatever!) you are a MOM. You care for someone else more then yourself. I hate the mommy-wars of sahm vs working because for most people a lot of it is out of their control. It teasr us apart and what we all REALLY want is the very best for our children and for them to know they they are loved unconditionally and forever. So why the justifications and the accusing?

I've been a working mom for 5 years. I've gotten the "I don't know how you do it, I could never leave my child." The truth for me was it wasn't a choice for  MY family. I did it because I had to. I didn't do it all. I failed many times over both as a mom and an employee. I got the looks at work for having to leave early or come in late for a sick child or caregiver. I got it for missing the Christmas or end of year party, for forgetting it was stuffed animal day, or sending in the wrong  x, y or z  to school. 

I know staying at home isn't easy, because after all...I am still a mom every night at dinner, bath, and bedtime. I am with my kids all day long on the weekends. I know there are days of endless diaper changes, wiping noses, playing soccer and candyland on top of cleaning house, cooking dinner and playing chauffer. I still kiss the non-existent boo boos for legs that can't walk at the end of the night and cries for missing stuffed animal that they haven't missed all day....and the morning cries that thankfully happened much less as time went on of "why do you have to go to work again"??

Being a working mom isn't easy either. I don't go to work and "at least get a break and adult interaction". Sure, I'm thankful I've gotten to work with some really great people over the last 9 years. They allowed me to work a modified schedule for the last 4 years in an industry where that's pretty much unheard of. They've picked up my slack and gone through 3 maternity leaves with me. They've consoled me on the days when there was a crying boy on my way out the door in the morning. I wake up early to work out or get to work early so I won't have to miss MORE time with them. I sit in two hours of traffic a day. I get home, tired of dealing with other people and their come home and be with little hands and feet and hearts that just want to have ALL my attention. I often just want to come home and sit...but really that's never been an option because someone wants milk not apple juice, a bubbly bath, and one more story  at bed time.

I find myself sitting here thinking, what now?  Will I be a good stay at home mom? Will I fall into different criticism now because my kids eat too many fruit snacks and not enough fruit? Days where we still may eat McDonald's or a lunchable instead of a well balanced meal  when I should have time to make one? I don't know. But I do know, that regardless of my career, my boys will be just as much loved as they were today as they will be in two weeks.

Ill be honest, I'm lonely at times now. I have a great, no...wonderful, group of women that I call my best friends but unfortunately time does not permit me to do more with than email at most on some days as far as interaction goes. We dont have neighbors we get to hang out with every weekend and i get to see some of my girls just once a month for book club and on sundays at church. I pray that as time goes on and I come into my new role...that I am able to cultivate some new friendships and strengthen some others. I do have a slight fear of still not fitting in with the stay at home moms and now the working moms too. 

Being a mom is the hardest and best thing I have ever done. I am beyond blessed to be called "mommy" by 3 amazing precocious little men. I thank God every day for that. I know the time is right for my family to take this leap of faith to lose income and gain time. I'm ready to not be tied to the blackberry and checking emails. And I vow to do my best to not judge one woman's situation over mine.   

Not sure where all this is really going, just thoughts on what the new me will be.  I am excited and scared and ready! I know that even though this is what I have wanted for years, there will be tears next Friday as I say good bye....not just to good friends but to the end of an era of sorts. There will be hard days to come being at home all day with the boys and little to no breaks in sight. 

So with one week to go...I say YAY to all moms for simply doing the best we all can do, whether in your business attire or yoga pants! God entrusted us all with the greatest job ever and I am thankful that I was called to do it.

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