Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hearing voices

Going back to work was always in the loose plans my husband and I had for the day that Mommy's Super Awesome Preschool and Camp ended and elementary school took over. In fact, my daughter asked me this morning if I was going to get a job.

"You said that I could go to gymnastics when you get a job," she reminded me. Sigh. I did say that.
I've been home full time for six years. No pay, no vacation, very few positive job reviews. It's been yoga pants and pony tails, Diet Coke and Luna Bars, noise and mess and very little sleep. Some days my biggest victory was keeping the kids alive and the house from burning down. 

What I have done is save my family thousands of dollars in child care costs. And by pursuing work that allows me to be a parent first, I can continue to save us money. In fact, I did the math on putting three kids in after school care and camps - nearly $16,000. Even if I worked part time in an office, we'd pay for care during school breaks. Intersession camps alone would cost us about $8,000. 

And still there are voices in my head (and my living room) saying that's not enough.

There's a voice in my head that says I'm a burden because I don't put money in the bank, yet the proof of my financial contribution is there for the calculating.

There's a voice in my head that says I need to be productive with my new freedom. My house should be cleaner. My husband shouldn't be helping with the laundry because I have time to do it all now. Meals should be more elaborate than the usual taco and pasta nights. That pile of fabric isn't going to sew itself, chica. Those baseboards are dirty. That bathroom needs to be painted.

There's a voice in my head that says I should really do something productive before doing something for myself such as exercise or have coffee with friends. See, I need to earn those things, the voices say.
Where did this notion come from that cold, hard cash defines your worth? Why do I, after eight years of parenthood, still feel like I'm "just a mom"? No matter how many mom voices chime in on how we are "enough" the thoughts are still there. Theories and comments welcome.

That said, I am taking baby steps in crafting this new phase. I don't want to struggle to fit work and exercise and housework into a busy a family life. Is this unrealistic? I think not.   

1 comment:

Amy Kellum said...

First of all -- YAY!! Josee in blogging!!

Second - Please give yourself a break! This new phase of your life is just beginning. Please enjoy a little freedom - coffee with a friend is a good start. - And never give it up!

Third - You're work was worth SOOOOO much more than the money you saved in childcare costs! You are an amazingly wonderful mom and your kids are SO lucky to have had the start you have given them.

Peace, Josee --