I can only speak from experience.
I find myself completely divided between being mom and being employee.
I enjoy my work. I throw myself into each task with all my heart. I love everything I’m learning. I’m proud of what I’m producing. I’m excited about the future. When I am working, I don’t want to stop. I don’t want to do anything else but be in the moment and work.
I enjoy staying home with my kids. I lose myself in moments of picking flowers and spinning round and round and chasing my daughter and drawing chalk figures on the driveway. I love every nuance of my daughters’ personalities. I’m proud to be their mom. I’m excited about their developments. When I am with my daughters, I don’t want to stop. I don’t want to do anything else but be in the moment and stay with them.
I do realize that not everyone has to answer the question, “Do I stay home with the kids?” For most people, the answer is obvious: “You can’t.” You must work to pay for your basic needs. To be quite honest, we are very nearly in that boat too. We can barely survive on one income alone. We “make do,” but it’s hard. So for now, I work — sometimes full time, sometimes part time, depending on the month. But in reality, we should probably both be working full time. (Although with the cost of daycare, “Is it really worth it?” becomes the next question — and most of the time, the answer is, “No.”)
I find it confusing to juggle the mom-persona and work-persona. I know I’m not two different people; I know I never stop being a mom. But there are conflicting desires inside me. On the one hand, I would love to work full time doing a job I am passionate about. On the other hand, I don’t want to miss the younger years and have to answer the question, “What if I had just stayed home?” later in life.
Yesterday I was telling this to someone and she offered some great advice. For now, things are good. “Maybe there’s something else you’ll be working towards each day — maybe it won’t be exactly like this forever, but it’s sort of working right now..”
Yeah. I guess whatever it is that we’re doing — it’s sort of working right now.
I tend to get lost in the, “What ifs” of life and miss out on the “nows.” So I have to embrace the now.
For now, I do get both: working and babies. Maybe in a year or two, that might not be the case.
But for now, it’s sort of working.
If you’re a working mom, I’d love to hear from you. I just want to hear your story. Do you wrestle with this inner conflict as well?