Thursday, September 3, 2009

An Honest Take of the Struggles of a Working Mom

I started to unpack my craft room over this past weekend. The experience was a bittersweet one. It was like breathing in a giant breath of fresh air after being underwater as I lifted all of my little bits and baubles out of the boxes that they have been shut up in for what seemed to me like and eternity. So much of who and I am and what I love to do was secured and taped up tightly for far too long now.

I'm about 75% done with the room. Things are scattered across my desk, breathing in new air. The shelves are starting to fill and my awesome old sewing machine is even set up in its new permanent location, complete with a stash of yummy fabrics just waiting to be turned into future projects. The truth is, though, that even when I am 100% done with the room most of my little lovelies that bring me so much joy will remain packed away and unused.

My schedule, it seems, has quite literally exploded in the last few months. This new job that I'm working, combined with moving and the start of a new school year has completely taken over my life. I'm working tons of extra, mandatory hours, so my once part time job has turned into a full time job, leaving me with no time for any of the things I used to take for granted. I'm stressed and I'm unhappy.

It's not the job itself that I'm unhappy about. I mean really, I sit on my butt all day in a cubicle and what I do really matters. In a round about way I save lives with my job, and that's a really fantastic thing! The pay is great and I have all sorts of amenities. I really shouldn't complain. The schedule, however, has put an enormous road block in my otherwise perfectly straight path.

My poor craft room will in no time gather dust I'm sure. Particularly seeing as I haven't touched my supplies since I got this job at the beginning of June, with the exception of packing them away. But really that all pales in comparison to what has been affected the most, my family.

The boys and I wake up at 7:00am everyday, Mike already being long gone thanks to our opposite work schedules. It makes afternoon childcare easier, since Brayden is at school and Gage only has to be with his Great Grandmas for an hour or so, but it takes its toll on our marriage, never seeing each other. In the mornings I spend one jam packed hour with Brayden, preparing him for his day at school and then at 8:03am he gets on the bus and away he goes. I won't see him again until I get home from work at about 8:20pm, just in time to give him a kiss goodnight. Gage is a bit more lucky. I'm able to spend around 4 1/2 hours with him daily. Unfortunately though that bonding time is also flooded with the daily workings that come with maintaining a house in addition to getting myself in my business casual best to start a day at work. He also gets a hug and kiss at bedtime when I get home in the evenings, and before I know it the day is over and gone.

Somehow I thought that me going back to work bight have a positive effect on Mike and I's marriage and perhaps take some of the stress off of him when it comes to our finances. It seems to have had the opposite effect though, as I've begun to resent Mike for getting to be the one who is home with the kids, doing all of the things with them that I used to do, and that I wish I still could do. He's the one they turn to now when there's a problem, not me. My Mommas boys have become Daddy's boys, and yes, I'm not at all too proud to admit that this bothers me.

I feel very stuck.

Do I quit my new job and possibly place my family in financial hardship?
Do I suck it up and tough it out?
Am I being selfish?
Do I look for another job when I live in a small town where not only good jobs, but jobs in general are far and few between?
Do I give running my etsy shop full time another go?

If nothing else, I am honest in my quest to find what's best for my family. I just don't quite know what that is at the moment


AlyGatr said...

All I can really say is HUGS to you! I know it's hard, especially since everything going on is having such a big impact on your life. What you're describing is exactly the same things I fear whenever I consider going back to work. I worked full time when it was just Amelia and it was SO hard. I had to put my foot down about working more hours than I my normal 8 hour day. It didn't make me popular...and it caused me to leave one job, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. You can always keep an eye out for other jobs that will allow you to stick to the hours you want...while you are still working the one you have. It might be tough for a while, but at least you can find something that will make you happier.

ElegantSnobbery said...

Oh Amanda, I give you some hugs, too. I know how you feel... I'm still in the 'trying to give my Etsy shop a full time go' phase... but now that we are buying a house, I don't know if that will be my life much longer! We still have a year before Gracie starts school, so I'm putting it off, knowing how expensive childcare is, but I don't have much longer to make this work!

Hugs, again!

ElegantSnobbery said...

PS, loving the look of your craft room! I'm SO excited to begin decorating mine!

Anonymous said...

Aww sweetie, I've been wondering about you lately... how things are going with the new job, and new house and such.

I wasn't sure if you getting a job was something that you financially needed or not, but I can attest (even though I'm not a mom) that getting a job seems like it would weigh more on my relationship and lifestyle with Kevin, than I care to subject us to, if not completely necessary.

If money is the reason, then decide how much you 'need' to make each month, and perhaps find a simpler job that will require less commitment. A little extra money no matter how financially comfortable you are, can never hurt... but can it?

I think if nothing else, I've learned that even though Kevin and I have next to nothing (or so it feels lately) we still have each other, and a LOT of love to share. For me, this is so much more worth having, than a daily grind job.

If you don't NEED it, I'd say go back to doing what you do best, being the loving, creative, and caring mom that you are.

Weigh it all out. If it means just making a job change, that suits your needs better, do that, but if you don't need the money, and you can already live on less... sometimes less is more.

The holidays are coming too, and considering we've all survived the ugliest economic down turn of internet times... the best is yet to come.

Whimsical Creations said...