I am not a SAHM. I am a Working Mom. There, now you know it all.
Based on your bias, you’ve now figured out that I care more about my career than about my children, or that I’m a go-getter who hasn’t let her home situation stand in the way of her success, or that I struggle to get by and cry every morning when I’m driving away from my babies.
The simple fact is that I have always had to work, and I now that I have kids, I still have to work, like I always have, to keep the lights on. Having kids hasn’t changed that. What has changed is what part of my non-work time I owe to other people.
It used to be I could work my crazy job, pulling crazy hours, and then chill out for a while before it got busy again. The only person I owed a personal life was me, and I’m not that fond of me anyway. I mean, we get along, I guess.
Now I have personal life logistics that I never had before. I owe the kids a mother, every day. More than that, I owe them a relationship with their mother that they can depend on. A 15-hour day might be okay every once in a while, but they will be better served by overall stability.
My mother said “I know you think they need you.” Yes, that is what I think.
So I’ll fight the rush-hour traffic so I can put them to bed, instead of working late and waiting for the traffic to pass. And then I’ll work after I put them to bed, instead of writing my blog or watching TV or trying to unwind.
I’ll get up a little earlier to see them in the morning, instead of sleeping to the last minute, jumping into my clothes, and running out the door.
I’ll focus most of my weekend time around them, instead of working through the weekend or relaxing. Except sometimes I’ll have to work.
I’ll negotiate with Husband to get at least one weekend morning to sleep late, to make up for where I’ve shortchanged my sleep during the week.
I’ll get in a little Me Time here and there, see friends, visit family, take vacations, and tend to myself and my marriage. The bulk of the days are, however, spoken for.
My friend told me “They say to put in the extra hours when they’re little. They need you much more as they get older.” I think children always need their parents. I wonder if the logistics get even harder.