I became a stay-at-home-again mom four and a half months ago. With the impending move and the crazy farmer hours my husband was about to take on, it was a practical choice to make. I also felt like, having gone out into the workplace when my daughter was six months old, I could use some more time home with her especially. It seemed like the right choice and I owned it.
But I have learned some things in the past four and a half months.
Not long into the switch, I threw an angry, frustrated tantrum because the move was stressful and my parents wouldn’t get their shit out of our house fast enough for my liking, and all the house responsibilities had become MY responsibilities. Lesson from Tantrum #1, I need structure and order, and those things have taken an extended sabbatical in my household.
I got myself a cleaning lady, thinking maybe that would help because I wouldn’t feel so resentful that my husband no longer helps with cleaning at all, and I could spend my time unpacking and of course being with my kids without having to live in a filthy stink hole of a home.
Deep breath, yep this helps. Except wait. I still feel overwhelmed and anxious and like I am invisible. I still spend my whole day cooking and cleaning and hearing the word “MOMMY!!!” 47,283 times. Thus Tantrum #2, wherein I unloaded on my husband about how he doesn’t cook or do groceries or dishes EVER anymore and how I feel burdened and frustrated. He got mad, then he did dishes, cooked two dinners in a row and went grocery shopping. Lesson from Tantrum #2, maybe I just need to be more clear about my needs and everything will be fine.
And yet, here I am, puffy-eyed and tired from Tantrum #3 last night. I crawled out of bed and sobbed on the couch with my husband listening and worrying for over an hour. Lesson from Tantrum #3, no matter what my husband, a cleaning lady, or anyone else can do to help me, there is something I am not doing to help myself. So I’m admitting to myself, I miss working. I love working.
For some reason, I feel ashamed. No one else has put that on me, it’s all me. But I feel like I committed to being home with my kids, overestimated my abilities to do so, and now I’m copping out. I’ve read all the blogs debunking the Supermommy myth lately, and I am so appreciative of them…but I still thought I could actually love being at home with my kids if I just worked hard enough at it.
I realized last night, if I was this miserable in a “day job,” I would be looking to change careers. I have trouble admitting that being home with my kids is a job that I can NOT like. I can’t deny it anymore though, I am truly miserable and that doesn’t serve anyone in this family.
So I’m job hunting. And that’s exciting for me. I am already spending 2-3 days a week on the after-school music program I started, so I would like to spend 2 days a week doing something else. And I should probably spend 5 minutes every day reminding myself I’m not an asshole mother for making this decision.