Wednesday, April 30, 2014

It's My Choice

Within a few months of dating Chris (five years ago!), I confessed that my greatest desire was to be a mother. To stay at home and raise my children. No one told me how difficult that would be. I'd seen my mother do it and several friends do it. Sure they had hard days but no one gave me much warning as to what I would be getting into.

When we started talking about starting our family, I knew we were not in a place financially where I could quit my job. At least, not yet. But I knew that my job was do-able from home. A co-worker had done it for years with three kids so I thought, "it can't be that hard with just one!"

Of course, my job is a little different from my co-worker's; my tasks are different, I also work for two different departments and have on-site meetings. When my maternity leave was over, I decided to start out with 30 hours and build my way up to 40. Again, no one really told me how difficult that would be (until after I started).

There are days that go really well. William naps for long periods of time, eats well and plays contently allowing me to get my work done before dinner. But most days aren't smooth or easy. Most days are irregular at best, starting before 5 a.m. and not finishing until after 8 p.m. I try to get outside once during the day, and shower and eat, but I rarely get to do all three.

We are still not sleeping through the night, although we are working on it much more seriously now. By the end of the day, I'm tired, the house is a mess and dinner isn't ready. I do try to take a break from work after William is sleeping and get ready for Chris's arrival home. I put away the toys, wash any dishes and bottles left out and get dinner started. But not always.

It's on days like today, where we woke up too early, didn't nap at all and I had a meeting to go in for, that I feel the stress of what I do. Where I acknowledge to myself that what I do is hard and much harder than I anticipated. And then, I take a deep breath and remind myself that this is my choice. I wanted to stay at home with my baby boy.

It's easy to get frustrated at him for the irregularity of my day, but I always feel guilty afterwards. He is my priority. I love that I get to be with him everyday. But the reality of fitting in those "extra" 30 hours of work do weigh on me more than I'd like.

I don't want to complain about my job. I'm so thankful for it and the ability to be able to work from home. But tonight, I just needed to admit you that this is hard.

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