Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Am I ready for this?

You'll never find a shortage of stay-at-home moms complaining about their job. Just listen closely and you're sure to catch a whinefest close by about unruly kids or a messy house or feeling like life is completely out of control. Though I'll be the first to admit that there are days that are tough, really tough, and that sometimes it feels like you're just one little person with the workload of 100's, I realize that being able to stay at home with my girls is a blessing. On those tough days when I can be found daydreaming of being at work instead of at home I realize that going to work won't ease my workload, it'll just add 40 hours plus commute to it. Right now my full-time job is to be a mom and nothing else. Once I go back to work I won't suddenly become a part-time mom. No, I'll just add "full-time employee" to my resume. Am I ready for that?

Right now I get all day, every day to clean the house and take care of my girls. There are plenty of days that don't seem to contain enough hours to get everything done but I've come to realize that's my own damn fault. My obsessive nature allows me to believe that I can get everything done in one day and when I don't, I feel not only disappointed but utterly exhausted. So now I allow myself days to do nothing more than spend time with my girls. I won't fill my days with laundry and mopping the kitchen floor. I won't clean the bathrooms and I won't straighten up our rooms. Instead, I fill those days with kisses and cuddles and coloring and tummy-time. It's because I'm a stay-at-home mom that I have the luxury to do that. It's because stay at home that I have all of this "extra" time.

I know that once I go back to work I'll be longing for these days at home with them. And I know that's why I keep putting off going back to school. Anthony and I had agreed that I'd go back to school and then start looking for a job after Maddie turned 1. The plan was for me to start graduate school last October. Being pregnant with Madelyn and living at my brother's made that impossible so I moved it to April. The semester didn't end until June 1st and Maddie was due May 28th. Postponed until August. We're now in August and I haven't even applied. Postpone until October perhaps? I have been struggling with this for what seems like forever. There is a big part of me that would love a career, something to define me as something other than "wife" or "mommy", something of my very own. I think of that and I get a surge of ambition and then......and then I realize what I'll have to give up.

I'll have to give up morning snuggles and lunching everyday with my girls. I'll have to give up being there to put them down for their naps and getting them when they wake up. All this extra time that so many moms find a burden is what I'll miss most. Am I ready for that? Am I ready to add a job to this life that already feels so complete? I have no idea. I honestly don't know what to do. As my udder mudder (aka Anthony's mom) so cleverly put it, going back to school will NEVER get in my way, it can only help me. Then, after I'm done, I can decide whether or not to go back to work. Makes sense. But to me, going back to school is deciding that I'll go back to work too. To me, they're a combination package. Why would I go back to school if not to go back to work?

I have no idea. But I'll keep you posted....

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