I never wanted to be a working mom.
The plan was to stay home with my kids after they were born--after all, I am their momma and I should be the one raising them, right?
For the first year and a half of Jameson's life, I was fortunate enough to be able to do this. England has an awesome maternity allowance scheme that meant I got paid for nine months while hanging out with my babe. Amazing.
When October/November of last year rolled around, I got a part-time holiday job at Lush and loved it--I worked 15-20ish hours a week, walked there, and didn't ever have to work very late. It gave Jameson some time with Papa or Ah-ma and Yeh-yeh and it was fine. I made some friends and got some much-needed independence.
However, once we moved back to America, Hubs and I both knew that the situation was going to have to change. Moving transatlantically is expensive, and we did it twice. It meant that we both had to work, no matter how much I didn't want to.
Now, the incredible upsides to our situation are many: my parents or sisters are able to watch Jameson while Hubs and I are both working, and if I have to leave him, who better than with his own family?
Also, my office is extremely relaxed and very willing to work with me on scheduling. Everyone here loves my little family and they know how important they are to me.
Hubs and I work opposite schedules, and although this can be tough in the marriage department, it's easier in the childcare one. He gets to stay home with Jameson while I'm at work, then my family has him for an hour or so until I get home and take over. So really, J's got at least one parent with him for most of the day.
Finally, my working has taught Jameson some much-needed independence and strengthened the bond between Hubs and himself. He is now perfectly okay with waving goodbye, saying "Love you, momma" and heading out the back door to play. He knows I'm coming back, and he knows he's with people that care.
So. There is a lot of good in this situation.
But. But, but, but.
Every day, my heart hurts to be away from my kiddo and it makes me want to cry a little when I get home and watch him do something I've never seen before, but everyone else has. Or when he talks in his own little gibberish-y language and Hubs automatically knows what he's saying while I'm sitting in the dark.
I never wanted to do this work-away-from-home thing. That's why I wanted to be a writer--so I could be at home with my kids and still contribute. And even though I know this situation is (probably) somewhat temporary, it's still hard. I feel like I'm running a race, and I'm running out of endurance. I'm experiencing that split feeling that so many working moms talk about--like you aren't doing a great job at work or at home because there is just too much going on in both places. Not to mention that trying to take care of myself has fallen to the bottom of the pile, because any time I am at home, I am thinking about how I need to be with my family.
I have no resolutions or answers for any of this, other than to just keep going. I'm still "technically" part-time, even though I work nearly 31 hours a week. (Tack on my commute, and it's probably almost 40.)
I am so fortunate to even be able to work, and to have a job, so please don't think I am unaware of this. I just feel torn in half sometimes, and it's an uncomfortable state that I'm learning to live in.