Work It


     I’ve been having a serious tug of war going on in my head lately — to work or not to work, that is the question.  Since my kids will soon be in school full day, I am really tossing around the idea of going back to work part-time.  I really want to have something for ME, where I not only make money but also feel mentally stimulated.  I know that many women might have a thing or two to say about me CHOOSING to go back to work. However, I don’t think anybody can decide what’s best for someone else. Motherhood involves enough guilt as it is without other mothers trying to instill yet even more guilt over a very difficult decision.          

     Naturally, there are a plethora of challenging factors involved with this idea of mine, but the main problem is that I don’t really know exactly what it is that I want to do.  Before kids, I used to be a junior high teacher.  While I loved what I did, I became severely burnt out toward the end of that six year period of time. Let me tell ya, there were a hell of a lot of hormones in that classroom, what with puberty and all.  I realize that the hours would certainly be ideal for my kids’ school schedules, but I don’t think I really want to work with kids when I’m away from my own kids.  I’m afraid that would lead to kid overload for me.  Quite frankly, I’d rather be with adults.  

     So, I’ve been trying to figure out what my current skills are so that I can try to revamp my resume.  I can do laundry like a pro, cook a mean grilled cheese, make a dirty little ass sparkly clean, drive an ear-piercing carpool without wrecking the car, read a Dr. Seuss book like nobody’s business, and give the best bedtime smooches and hugs in the house.  And while I know my KIDS would say those things make me a highly valuable candidate, I’m not quite sure how marketable they will make me in any type of BUSINESS world.

     Then, there’s the whole issue of childcare.  I feel extremely fortunate and grateful to have had the opportunity to stay home with my kids up until this point.  I’ve been able to share every poop, every booger and every puke with them.  But if I work outside the home, there’s a possibility of an overlap between my work schedule and when they get out of school.  As much as I dream about someone else wiping their butts and mopping up barf, I really don’t want to miss out on all the important things in their lightning speed little lives.  I’m struggling with wanting the best of both worlds, which I am fully aware is flat-out IMPOSSIBLE!  

     So, I know that I am not the only mother who has battled with this dilemma.  How do you come to terms with wanting both a career AND motherhood?  How do you find a balance between the two?  Is it possible to feel fulfilled when you take on two completely different roles at once?


8 Responses

  1. Nothing is really permanent. Why don’t you temp for awhile & see if you like it? Or just get a job & if you hate it….quit.

    Personally, I’m quite lazy & really don’t want someone else telling me what to do…but I am making my own crafts & selling them so I get that sense of accomplishment w/o having to wear a uniform (or pantyhose…ick!).

    So what I’m trying to say is…don’t stress so much over the decision. Try it on– if you like it & if it fits for your family & your own peace-of-mind, then go for it! You are the best judge of what is right for you.

    • Thanks for the advice — you are right — I am stressing myself so much over just the decision part of it. I hate quitting something if I’ve started it — I beat myself up about it. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, which is definitely one of my downfalls. Temping is a good idea if I’m serious about completely switching gears from teaching. I do just need to go for it, somehow, someway. I’ve never been a big fan of the anticipation leading up to some big change — I completely freak myself out & my stomach gets all in knots. I feel like I’m standing on the high dive about to jump (and I’m NOT a fan of the high dive!!)

  2. Give up the idea of finding the PERFECT balance – it doesn’t exist. Some days are great and some…………………… I’m a big proponent of the idea of being able to make anything work if you want it to work. I think you have to figure out what you want. Don’t listen to anyone else. 🙂

    • I know that perfect balance doesn’t exist — sure would be nice if it did, but I think the word “perfect” in and of itself is just a big sham! I really think you, especially, do an AWESOME job of balancing the two — I know it’s not always easy and is stressful many times, but you are someone I look up to for your juggling skills (I really mean that!) I’m just in a frustrated spot right now because I don’t know what I want to do for sure & don’t know how to get there when I finally figure it out. Ugh!

  3. If you want to bounce any ideas off me – I’m all ears! Please let me know if I can help.

  4. Another thing to remember, childcare is non-exisistent if a kid gets sick. If you work part-time, being able to take a sick day at the last minute is tough to do.

    I would try to find work you can do from home. That way if you have a sick kid, school holiday, etc. you are not left in a bind of finding someone to take the kids or taking a day off.

    • This of course coming from the mom who went back to work full-time after 8-10 weeks of maternity leave. And the work I was doing at the time was actually about 50-60 hours a week.

      • Wouldn’t life just be so much easier if we lived in a perfect world??!! LOL! 🙂

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