Can Career Moms Be Converted?

Around 17-months-ago, when I found out I was pregnant, I was a career woman. I was working in a field that I went to school for and spent lots of time and money training for. It is a job that took me a long time to get. I earned it.

I was a different person then. 17-months-ago I told people that I would never last for my entire mat leave. That I would be bored. That I would gladly exchange my mat time for pat time so my husband could have some time off with our little one. As I type these words I find myself partially disgusted at myself. How could I have known?

A new baby is a huge adjustment. So I don’t count the first two to three months in this equation. Those were a haze of sleepless nights, battles with breast feeding and a lactose intolerant baby who was mostly unhappy until we solved his problem.

But here I sit at seven months and I can’t picture how I will ever go back. Sadly, for us, staying home with our son is not an option. I, a formally unemotional/hard edged person, have cried profusely over this many times. Who have I become?

I’ve become a mother in love with a child that has wrapped his little hands/fingers and toes around my heart. I live for him. His smiles bring me joy that is insurmountable. His laughter has the power to alter my moods. How can I leave him in a few months?

My mother was home with my sister and I our entire childhood. We never needed childcare. She now hates that she isn’t trained for anything and has no career. She sees me with a career and envies the option. And here I am having a hard time choosing which side of the fence to sit on. I cannot do both. My job doesn’t provide that option.

Can I picture a life at home with my son with no more work stresses/over time and mental exhaustion? Sometimes I think I can but the reality is – I cannot. So I sit here facing one of the largest mental hurdles of my life. Knowing clear well that I will be leaving him this summer.

How do moms do it?

– Mumzilla

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4 thoughts on “Can Career Moms Be Converted?

  1. Up until a few months ago, I was a working mom. I started working full-time when my son was 8-months old. He is 20 now, but I also have a six-year-old daughter. We adopted her when she was 13-months old. I took my 12 weeks of leave and couldn’t wait to get back to my job–not because I didn’t like my new baby, but because I had spent the past 14 years in corporate America, and I was “bored” at home watching Sesame Street. But two months ago, I was laid off from a job that I really didn’t like at all, and I decided that while I was home looking for new employment, I would treat motherhood like a job, not a chore, and I find I am really enjoying the car pool lines and the ability to get all my errands done during the weekday instead of cramming them in on Saturday and Sunday.

    What I have learned about work/life balance is that the balance depends on the work. When I couldn’t wait to get back to work after the adoption, I was going back to a job I loved with people considered friends and a boss who was amazingly supportive and willing to give me the flexibility I needed. This time around, I was laid off by a boss I didn’t respect who constantly questioned me about needing time off for school events and appointments with my children.

    Work is often a necessity, not just for money, but for piece of mind. If you are going back to a job you love, you will soon find you can balance both work and mom time. If you are happy with your work, you will be happier at home with the precious time you have with your child. Leaving your baby in the care of someone else is never easy, but if you have a good situation at work, it will become bearable.

    Sorry for the long comment, but this has been on my mind too.

    • Thank you for taking the time to add a personal comment. I am guessing this topic weighs heavily on many minds.

      I think you are right about a happy work life equating to further happiness. I have never been laid off from a job – but if it was a job that made me miserable, I probably would have taken it as a blessing.

      Being my first baby, I am going through a whirlwind of emotions/experiences, highs, lows and just about everything in between.

      One thing I did not mention in my blog is that I am fortunate enough to know my son’s future caregiver quite well. It is my mom. Someone whom I trust explicitly.

      Thank you for your candidness. I enjoy your blog and am grateful for other moms relaying their stories and experiences.

      M

  2. I can completely relate to your frustration over having to leave your baby and return to work. No one expects it to be so difficult, and it can come as quite a shock when suddenly you realize that you would give up your job for your baby and changing poopy diapers all day. After I had my daughter I was only able to take 3 months off of work and I think I cried for two whole weeks prior to returning to work. It was devastating!! We could not afford for me to quit working, so I did what I had to do to get me through those times. I even went on anxiety medication so that I could get through the day without crying. I have to say it did get easier with time, but I always felt this tugging need to stay home. Now 6 years later and with one more child in tow, I am finally able to stay home. I love being home with my son and also being able to volunteer in my daughter’s school ,but there are some days when I think it would be nice to have a job. The battle between working outside the home or working in the home is hard. I am hoping to find part time work in a couple years when my son is in school. I think that evenly splitting my time between work and home will give me the balance I need. Unfortunately, the career I went to college for does not lend itself well to part time work so I am going to have to look outside of my current profession. It’s tough being a new mom. Hang in there.

    • Thank you for your comment. It’s sounds like you went through an extremely rough time. I can relate to the pre-emotions of the impending separation. It’s really hard.

      I am glad you are in a place now where you can find peace, even if it means a future part time job. I believe work is necessary to maintain a certain level of adult sanity – especially if you started out working before kids. As great as mom groups are, there is something special about the satisfaction that is received from a job. I hope that in the future I can obtain the balance that you have achieved and do so somewhat gracefully. Much like yourself, my job does not have much flexibility when it comes to hours worked/time put in. It’s either guns blazing or your looking for work.

      – M

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