Monday, April 12, 2010

The grass is always greener

I am a working mommy. And I love my job. And I also love my kid, in a completely different way. I don't feel like I'm a bad parent because our lifestyle requires two full-time jobs. I've never felt that by working I am not providing for the personal needs of Ansley.

But, sometimes, it sucks. Sometimes, I think it would be so much easier if I just stayed at home. And, sometimes, I even think that SAHMs have it easier than working moms.

Yes, I said it. Before you fill up the comment section, hear me out.

This is an age-old debate, one that I've participated in before. And, I'm not just stealing the topic because I have nothing better to write about. The past few weeks, the difficulty of our position has really come to light.

Normally, the hubs works second shift. Since I work first shift, it leaves about a three hour span- at most- for Ansley to be at the sitters. And, typically, that's only 3 days a week.

Recently, however, a shift change has put us needing a sitter for about 5 hours a day, 5 days a week. And it isn't fun.

Our sitter is great. She has two small children of her own, and she's wonderful. But we aren't able to pay as much as even a 13 year old would expect to make babysitting. And she says she doesn't mind, but Ansley can be a lot of work. She's high maintenance, sometimes. Other times, she's so easy, but she's unpredictable.

And, then there's the problem of sickness. Just like any daycare, we battle the sickness that is present at the sitter's. Normally, I try to keep Ansley home if she's sick, or if the sitter's girls are sick. But that is a whole other problem because then we have to result to a back-up sitter.

Which normally means I am texting or calling people nonstop trying to locate a sitter. And, sometimes that doesn't work. Which means Paul has to take off, or I end up taking off. And, sometimes, I end up bringing Ansley to work with me.

And, that is fun, most of the time. But forget getting anything accomplished. She is sitting up now, so she's plays a lot better on her own, but this kid is already dependent on technology. If there is a cell phone nearby, she has to have it. If a computer keyboard in clicking anywhere close to her, she wants to be pounding on the keys. Which means, on days I bring her to work, I get very little accomplished because she is always pounding on the keys. Cute, until a project you're working on ends up getting deleted.

And then, I have to deal with the fact that Ans is starting to get a little personality, and is starting to show likes and dislikes. All in all, it is a neat thing to watch, until I pick her up from the sitter's and hold out my arms and she decides she doesn't want to come to me. Yeah, that hurt. Big time.

My work day isn't finished when I get off. I don't get to nap while she's napping, and my house has recently been named a local disaster area. I know SAHMs are busy, and many have more than one kid at home, and some even opt for homeschooling, which I know doesn't make things any easier. But I have two full time jobs. Especially with Paul working in the evenings. And once the baby is in bed, that's finally my time to eat dinner and try to clean up the house, all while doing laundry and trying to get stuff together for the next day.

I do know that I am extremely lucky. I know that some working moms don't have any other option. I know that some SAHMs have very busy and trying schedules. And I know that much of this is a result of decisions I've had a part in making, but it still stinks.

So, working moms, know you are not alone is your frustration. And SAHMs, know that you are respected, because very few are able to juggle and balance as well as you manage too. And those of you that are trying to decide which is the best option for you, just wait to have kids until you win the lottery. Then you can stay at home, and pay other people to take care of your house while you sit and play with the kid all day. And eat peanut butter cups.

Now, that's the life.

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