For once, I’m actually not talking about food.
First off, let me just say that I am really emotional about going back to work tomorrow. I’ve had such a great summer with Maddux, and I’m honestly pretty upset that today is our last hoorah. We’ve already eaten a good breakfast, taken a walk, and played dress up. What? Boys can totally do that. When he wakes up from his nap, we’ll be heading out to the toy store (to buy more things for my classroom- but he loves looking around!) and then I’m sure a pit stop will be made for some ice cream. I’m already tearing up just thinking about the time that we won’t be spending doing these things in the upcoming months. I know all working mothers can relate to that feeling. I think the worst part of it for me is that we’ve gotten so used to hanging out lately. I’m going to miss him!
On the flip side, I am craving structure, stability, and routine. I function better when I know what to expect. When I have a schedule I have to stick to, it’s easier for me to also stick to things like working out, eating better, and making sure to plan fun outings as a family. I also miss feeling like I’m accomplishing things during the day. Obviously, most stay-at-home moms work hard all daggum day. Sometimes, though, it can feel like you haven’t, ya know? For those days, I’ve had to learn to allow myself to be proud of even the smallest of accomplishments. Maddux didn’t stick something in a socket today. WIN! 😉
Speaking of going back to work, I think teachers have an interesting perspective on the stay-at-home mom vs. working mom debate. I get to do both throughout the year. Let me just say, neither of the options is better than the other. Either way, you have to make sacrifices. Either way, you are doing the right thing.
I will say, for me personally, working outside of the home is tough. It’s harder to find time. I still have to cook, clean, meal plan, grocery shop, help with yard work, and take care of Maddux in addition to all of the work for my job. When I’m not working, I can do these things with him, during nap time, or while he plays. Because of that, I feel like we have more family time in the evening during the summer. During the school year, I have to rush around and do all of those things each night. That being said, staying at home isn’t a walk in the park. It’s harder to find patience. If anyone thinks that being a stay-at-home mom is easy, I will gladly laugh in that person’s face. It’s so rewarding, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t mentally and physically exhausting. Sure, some days are a blast. Others, though, make you question your ability as a functioning human being. If you think it’s easy, I dare you to spend the day with a toddler who refuses to nap, has a tummy ache, is teething, or is just plain grumpy. It will test your limits, I promise you that. Even though this should go without saying, I feel like I have to add that these are just my opinions. You may agree or disagree, of course.
When I read about how much harder it is for someone who works or someone who stays at home, I wonder if the person complaining even has a clue about the other side of the coin. They each present their own set of challenges, and it is up to each family to decide what’s best for them. For us, me teaching seems like a good balance. Once Maddux is enrolled in a pre-k program, it will make even more sense. I’ll be off whenever he is! Love, love, love. Now, come back in a few years when he’s attending the school I work at, and we’ll talk again. I don’t know how that’s going to go. I have a feeling I’ll end up embarrassing him on accident quite a bit. 😉 Oh, and who’s to say that having another child might not totally change my plan! Either way, I know we’ll work hard to choose the best situation for our family.
Oh, and both options obviously also have a ton of positives, too. I’m just addressing the whining I see sometimes about how much “easier” it is for whoever isn’t making the same choice as you. Y’all. Why can’t we just accept that different things work for different people? It’s just a simple concept, really.
Question for the Mamas: Do you work outside of the home, work from home, or are you a stay-at-home mom? What are the positives of your situation? I’ve had enough of the negative. 😉
Question for the Non-Mamas: What do you do for a living? Do you think that will change if and when you have children? I know I still go back and forth sometimes about what I should do, and I’m already in the thick of it!