I’ve been a full-time working mama now for three weeks. In some ways it feels like an eternity and others it has flown by so quickly. As our family works out the specifics and the “balance” (ha! balance! we know that’s not a real thing, right?) of our new schedules, it’s been challenging but so rewarding at the same time.
Traditional weekends no longer have the same meaning, as Will and I both work weekends now, and that’s ok with us. The only downfall I’ve found with that is now that summer is nearing and all the family activities are starting to pop up, many of those things happen on weekends. When we moved to Lexington last summer, it took a while to adjust with all the traveling I was doing for work at the time and we missed out on much of the festivals and whatnot. It appears we will need to get creative this year to experience this awesome city that we now reside in.
I like the hours I work, even though I’m sure some would look at me like I was crazy. I go in at 4:30p and get out at 1:00a, Wednesday through Sunday. Will works early mornings, 4a-12:30p, Thursday through Monday. So there’s always one of us here with the kids and no need for a sitter and we both share one day off together.
The reason I like the late shift (other than it eliminates the need for child care) is that I get to still spend a majority of the kids’ waking hours with them before I head to work. We have an early dinner right before I leave and then daddy takes over kiddo duties and they’re in bed typically between 7:30-8:00p. Had I gotten an earlier shift, say 2-10:30p…a majority of my shift they would be home and awake. So I still get to maximize my time with them and get home at what I consider a decent hour for me, since I’m most definitely a night owl.
The biggest downfall is by the time I get home, finish any little to-do’s in the kitchen and unwind for a little while…I’m getting to bed around 2am or so and the kids wake around 8am. It’s been a bit of an adjustment on my energy levels, but I’m hoping that’ll even out with time. Remember, I haven’t worked a traditional job in almost 7 years, so just being out of the house for 40 hours a week is draining, even though I just sit at a desk all day. It’s not a physically draining job, but it can definitely be mentally draining.
I love the work. I love multitasking and troubleshooting and problem solving to help our customers on the other end of the phone get the service they need at a difficult and frustrating time. For the most part the customers don’t get angry with ME…and even if they are upset, I can’t really take it personal. I’ve had some funny situations, some downright scary/upsetting situations but mostly just easy things that I can help take care of quickly.
So we are still adjusting. The two days that I just had off did not feel long enough, filled with errands and the kids’ dentist appointment yesterday and Jack’s speech therapy coming up this afternoon. But that is balanced by the dance party the kids and I had yesterday morning and riding their bikes and giving them their bath and getting cuddles and tucking them into bed. By the library story time, blanket forts, splashing in puddles and going to the Kite Festival with friends.
I have a great respect for both SAHM and working moms. I’ve seen both sides of the coin and I see the pros and cons of both. Some still may not understand my choice to go back to work, but for right now, in this moment of our lives…it’s a positive thing for ME and a positive thing for our family. It doesn’t mean I love my children any less and it doesn’t mean I’m being selfish. Quite the opposite. I saw the opportunities it would bring to our family and I made a difficult choice with the help of my husband, family and the friends who support me unconditionally to step outside the home and embark on a new adventure.