I used to be able to savor my days. I would wake up – leisurely – with my son and we would sit in bed and play until he fell asleep again for his morning nap. I would enjoy breakfast, watch a little television, fold clothes and when baby woke up again we would play a bit more. My days were built around his naps: doing chores and browsing the net when baby was asleep, playing and going out when baby was up. It was nice to be able to be there for him at all times, to be the one who could provide for all of his needs at any given moment.
And then, my husband found a new job.
I have to say, that although my husband’s old job allowed me to be a stay at home mom – that was really the only good thing about it. We never saw my husband because he worked all the time, and when he had a day off from work his phone was constantly ringing or being alerted with work-related texts and emails. We never got to spend full weekends together. He never got holidays off (he was working last year on July 4th), and once he even got in trouble for taking off a day to visit his mother! So, when this new opportunity came along, I was extremely happy to discover that he would not be working on weekends or evenings.
On the flip side, this new job was a financial step down from his old place of employment. By agreeing that my husband should take this job, I agreed to go back to work. That said, what I am about to say next is not being stated as a complaint – but more from a place of nostalgia.
Now that I am working, I get up earlier than anyone else and have to rush to get myself ready. Then, I have to wake up my baby and get him ready while my husband gets himself ready. We eat a hurried breakfast and all rush off to our separate locations. My baby now gets to spend his days with someone else. Someone else is there for him and provides for his needs at any given moment. Someone else plays with him in the mornings and lays him down for his morning nap. I miss those moments.
Thankfully, I get to visit with him throughout the day – but it always breaks my heart when he comes crawling after me, in tears, when it is time for me to leave. At the end of the day, everyone is tired, hungry, and a bit cranky. Instead of coming home and relaxing, I have to hurry and make dinner and do any other chores that need to be completed before putting my baby to bed. I barely get to play with my son during the week. And so the days of each week become, for me, something of a rushed blur. I hate this, because my son is growing up so fast and I don’t want to miss any of it.
Yet, I am so glad I got a chance to really soak in being a stay at home mom. There are so many other moms who go back to work when their child is six or seven weeks! I didn’t have to return until my son was seven months. I hope I will get the opportunity to stay home in the future, with any other children we may have.
On the bright side, my husband was off all weekend and for Independence Day. In the past, he would have worked the entire three days. And instead of getting home each night between 7:30 and 9, he is off at five! Every once in a while, we get to take a family walk or go to the pool in the evenings. These are things that never would have happened before, so I think the trade-off was well worth it.
It’s still so hard to believe that I am a working mom. I sorely miss my son all day long, and still haven’t really gotten used to being without him for long periods of time. But I am so grateful for my little family, and I know that this busy season of life will eventually slow down again.
Photo Source: Elisabeth Renne