9.10.2007

Working Mommy Mid-Life Crisis

I recently had a very busy weekend. (not this past one, but the one before that) Rather than being busy around the house, though, I was busy outside of the house.

  • I rode my bike for the first time in over five years.
  • I walked along with the kids on their bikes to a nearby park and sat on a bench reading as they played.
  • Time was spent (ok, this part was inside the house) with each girl clown in her room sorting through all their clothes to see what could be given away and what to keep.
  • We attended a celebration at the school Sunday afternoon, before I took the girls shopping for school clothes and a trip to the grocery store.
  • There was even time to just hang out with Hubby.

    By Sunday night, I was exhausted and in an extreme state of denial that Monday was upon me already. It was only two days, but I could have used another week like this past weekend. It was just so... nice.

    Monday morning the girls and I dropped Buddy off at preschool before bringing them to school for their brief orientation. Buddy cried pretty hard when I dropped him off. Sweet Pea cried when it was time for her and Punkin to go back to the daycare center (for only two more days before school starts). She was fine by the time we arrived. The sun wasn't shining so much now, and skies were beginning to darken. My mood wasn't improving, either.

    We had stopped off at home after dropping Buddy off, and I had a few minutes to read a blog or two... the news wasn't good and I couldn't bring myself to check any more.

    At work, there was a note about someone at our corporate office who was leaving. I only worked with him once in a while to set up meetings, so really, it doesn't immediately effect me, the reason for his leaving did though. He's taking another job in another company that will allow him to be home with his family more.

    That's when it hit me.

    I wanna do that.

    Who cares about working for multi-million dollar companies? I want to stay home and have time to work out and clean the house thoroughly and do laundry. I want to be able to play "room mother" at my kids' school and sign up to volunteer at school functions and be there for my kids in a way I can't with a full-time job. (And yeah, I also want the full-time paycheck, oh and still having the insurance benefits would be nice, too...)

    And that is probably why I sometimes feel defensive around most stay-at-home-Moms... I want to be one of them.

    Did I just say that?

    Yeah, I think I did.

    That right there folks, is quite a revelation to me. I never thought of myself as stay-at-home-Mom material... and, really maybe I'm not. Some days though, I really feel like I could do it. I could be that Mom who bakes and does crafts and is always available for her kids and the special events in their lives (without having to check the boss' schedule to see if it would be ok to take the time off of work). I'd have time to be a more adventurous cook and make sure the kids (and I) are all on top of the paperwork from the school (and their homework and such). The house would be clean. I might be more "social" with the neighbors. I might be more relaxed with not trying to squeeze all the housework and errands into lunch-hours and weekends.

    It's not really an option for us right now, and truthfully, the grass is always greener, isn't it? There are pros and cons, gives and takes, choices to be made no matter what the decision. I do like my job most days. I do like the freedom it gives me to be "just Kelli" in between the "Mom gig".

    Heh. Balance. It's a tricky thing to manage. I just might get the hang of it before the kids are off to college. Maybe.
  • 12 comments:

    Laura said...

    I've been on both sides of the fence, working mom, stay at home mom, mom in school, mommy lunatic, etc. etc. etc. And you're right, the grass IS always greener on the other side.

    Maybe it's time to redefine what you want to do, or look at some other careers, or work part-time for awhile? What about job sharing options?

    Whatever you decide to do, don't blame yourself or regret the choices you've made up till now. You've done the best you could for your family and that was important.

    By the way, I don't know any stay at home mom's with super clean homes. Seems like most of them are always on the run and look pretty damn frazzled at the end of the day! ;)

    Anonymous said...

    Hey kel,
    Just wanted you to know I still read your blog .... but like you say, life has just taken over and it is full-time chaos here in sunny Australia.
    We even had your Pres out here last week!
    Bring on the job sharing idea. I have worked it out now so I do some work from home and some in the office which is great but I still don't have the flexibility to wake up in the morning and say."No way I am going in there today!"
    It's up, shower, washing, lunch-making, breakfast, dropping off Ry, work, picking up Ry, sport or music training for Ry and then making dinner, putting Ry to bed and then collapsing myself.
    Note not much "me" time there!
    Love
    T

    Susie said...

    I admire your sorting through this, and putting it out here. I know I was not cut out to be a full-time SAHM. But part-time work has been a great solution here. Not too much guilt in either direction -- at least not because of my schedule. Keep your eyes and ears and heart open; sometimes there are possibilities just around the corner that we wouldn't have imagined were coming up. xxx

    Lynn said...

    You might be surprised about the insurance situation, Kelli. My sister and her husband have their health insurance through the husband's job. It's not really saving them much. I had to go out and buy a private policy for us because of self-employment. I don't pay much more than they do and both families have the primary insured as over forty and both families have three kids. I think they're being taken for a ride. The employer isn't really 'giving' them anything. Buying it privately means passing a physical, but you could always get a commitment before making a decision. Just a little somethin' to chew on. :-)

    WILLIAM said...

    Where high wire performers need to balance they hold onto a pole. (I think your hubs may like that)

    wordgirl said...

    You've never seemed defensive to me...if that helps. I've always ridden the fence in that I've worked part time (writing from home) for most of the years I've been at home. I'd like to say that it kept me sane, but what it does is give other "at homers" the idea that I don't work and other "full time career people" a similar notion because I...you know...work from home. I confess that I resented the implication by others that I did nothing more all day than shuttle kids around, bake cookies and do laundry. Keep in mind, Kelli, that you and I worry similarly about what it is we're doing with our lives. Men suffer no such worries. If they work all day, no one cares. If they stay home or do ANYTHING with the kids...they're a hero. Only women beat themselves up for what we do (or don't do). You and I both have to give ourselves a break.

    Nilbo said...

    The reason the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence is that they use a better brand of manure.

    I've been a house-husband, a work-at-home, and a career type, and each comes with an upside and a downside.

    I will say that the very worst possible reason to choose ANY option is for the money. Ultimately, spending time with people you love trumps spending money. Once you spend money, it's gone. But if you spend time, it multiplies in value.

    But you know what's the best possible reason to choose one option over another? Giving the people you love access to the best, the happiest, the healthiest YOU.

    Brudder doug said...

    Nilbo packs it in a pretty neat package Sis.

    My suggestion -- make your choices without feeling guilt and go for the best you can get out of life.

    Oh, The Joys said...

    I work for myself doing contract work from home. The good news is that I have more balance. The bad news is that I don't always feel really excited about the work on my plate.

    Circus Kelli said...

    Laura - Mommy Lunatic, now there's a job I can do!

    Anony-T - Girl! Send me an email once in a while, wouldya?!

    Susie - "Keep your eyes and ears and heart open" - I'll work on that, love.

    Lynn - Thanks for that. I'll certainly keep it in mind.

    William - How much did Hubby pay you to say that?

    Wordgirl - We do need a break! Where should we go? :)

    Nilbo - Well said. Thank you.

    Brudder Doug - An awfully good suggestion, there. I'll work on that.

    OTJ - I don't always feel real excited about the work on my plate either. ;)

    The Kept Woman said...

    Always greener indeed.

    I know that defensive-jealousy thing. Mine is with another topic but it's a mighty powerful feeling that whacks you in the gut when you face it.

    eclectic said...

    **raises hand** Me too, me too!!

    I don't know the answer, so I just keep getting up in the morning and filling up my time until I go back to bed. Someday, I'm told, I'll look back at this stage of life and miss it. Well, I can't prove otherwise, so maybe it's true.

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