Preface - This post is not a debate of the merits of being a working Mom or a stay at home Mom. Everyone makes their own decisions about what is best for themselves, their kids and their families. This are just my ramblings and not meant to offend, judge or sway anyone who may be in either camp.
I think it is safe to say that I am a working Mom now instead of a stay at home Mom, who works very part time. I guess I have to update my profile on my side bar some day. I am not sure how I feel about that… good in some ways and not so good in others.
I have gone from working one day a week for a total of about 7-10 hours for the last seven years to working five days a week for a total of about 27 hours. That is not full time by any means, but definitely those added hours have been an adjustment for the whole family.
The change has been a blessing on many fronts. First it has added income flow to the budget which has been very nice. It is nice to have some extra to decide what to do with. What a nice change. I think I can actually breathe just a little bit easier.
And the biggest blessing and one that was hidden from us when we made the decision, was how Little Man would benefit. He has truly done amazing. His new school is a perfect fit for him. They love him and see his unique talents. His class is smaller, more academically based and more structured which has served him well. He is very proud of all he accomplishes each day… writing letters, completing projects and learning bible based lessons. Just yesterday he was singing to himself in his raspy little boy voice, "God is good, God is good." Yes Little Man, he is! He other favorite is "Many, Many Blessings. Many, Many Blessings." While he is still having some behavior issues at school, he has done remarkably well with the transition.
The girls have struggled a little with the time that I am away now. They are having to manage themselves more and contribute more to the household duties. Those are all good things, but is has probably been more of an adjustment for them then I realized it would be. Overall, they are doing great though. They seem to get along well when they are together and have actually stepped up to the responsibility. Just yesterday, they decided on their own to dust, sweep, mop and vacuum the house. Their only assigned chore was to empty the dishwasher. Those are some good kids!
I guess the one that has had the hardest time transitioning is me. I want to be home, I like being home. And while I am not the best SAHM, I think it is so important. I posted about some of my struggles before. But, nonetheless, is makes me sad that I am not able to be home in that way any more.
It is funny… I think it is so important for my kids that I am home, knowing what is going on with them and that they are important and matter. But at the same time I also think it is important for kids to see their Mom work; doing something for herself and the family. I think kids need to know that the world does not revolve around them and their every need and interest catered to. The real world does not work that way and I think a false sense of entitlement can be created if Mom's are not careful. My kids have all benefited immensely from being in a positive daycare setting for many years; many kids miss out on that.
I guess after such a long time being mostly at home and doing most all the SAHM things, it is hard to think of myself any other way. What is ironic is that I have never been a full SAHM. I have always worked since I have had kids, from three days a week, to full time to one day a week. I am not sure why I have thought of myself as a SAHM all these years. But I have. A more accurate title for me over the years, and especially now, would be a WPTAHS or a Work Part Time at Home Some Mom. It is just hard to re-program my brain to view myself another way.
I feel out of the loop with friends. I have no time to myself without children around (this is the first year I was getting a little bit of time to myself when they were all in school, but is was very short lived). I still have all the responsibilities that I had before but less time to do it all in. And the biggest struggles is getting "it" all done without impacting the kids even more. Sigh.
Don't get me wrong. It is getting easier and I can not tell you how thankful I am that I am not working full time. I know I should be thankful and celebrate the fact that I seem to have the best of both worlds (did you hear the Hannah Montana song in your head there for a minute?). I have to start to recognize the benefits everyone is getting from this change and not focus so much on what everyone may be missing. Logically, I know I am not failing as a Mom by working more. I know that deep down, but it is struggle in my Mommy heart all the same.