Friday, July 16, 2010

Working and Mothering

Right now this is what is churning me up inside. I work shift work fulltime. Which entails 4 twelve hour shifts in a row (thankfully not nights right now). Then I get 5 days off if I do not work any overtime. I see my kids for 10 minutes in the morning rush and for 30 minutes in the evening before bed on my early shifts. On my late shifts I see them for about an hour in the morning but not before bed. The moments before and after my shift are not happy, relaxed, joyful ones. They are filled with tension, irritation and stress. I can't switch my hats off fast enough. It's like the working one is glued to my head and the mama one is just out of reach. My toddler is glued to me and screams if I leave the room. My preschooler pesters and annoys because he can't get in for a snuggle or his sister will scratch his eyes out. Some mornings both cry as I head off to work.

So why don't I stay home? I've debated this. Our income would be halved but we could do it with some changes. I've searched inside and out and I just cannot come to terms with being a stay at home mom. I loved my maternity leave but while I was on it I longed for something else. Something else to occupy my brain other than diapers, laundry, cooking, baking, education, playing, gardening and whatever else. I was so wrapped up in the kids and the house. I felt guilty if I took any time for myself. So I guess work is time for myself that's less guilt ridden. I can convince myself that I NEED to be there. That my family NEEDS me to be there and be happy with the time for myself among adults. Yet right now I am not satisfied at work. I want to make a change. So it feels like if I'm not happy there I should just be at home with my kids. I don't want them to remember me as this resentful working mama who hates her job and is cranky when she gets home.

I want to go back to school to get my master's degree. However I am afraid of how that will affect my family. I don't want to be stressed over school and always studying and writing and never have any time for them. Yet I want to lead by example to say that you can achieve anything you desire no matter what your circumstances are. Yes this would be easier if I did not have children but I do. That's the path I chose and I can still achieve all my goals but at what cost?

Oh and throw into the mix we want a third child. Where does he or she fit in all my plans?

I feel like no matter what I do some part of me or my family has to be sacrificed. I am yearning for balance and a clear path.

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