Working Mama blues

It super sucked to go back to work in June, despite loving my job and my co workers and generally enjoying adulty type conversation. It got easier with each day, and now mostly, I take it as a matter of course and only feel the sting when something disrupts my regular schedule and time with Ansel.

I think part of what has cushioned the blow for me is knowing that La is with him much of the time when I’m not. Although this happens because of otherwise undesireable circumstances (see previous post) and is a bit of a wash when it comes to the paying for childcare issue, it definitely makes it a bit easier to know he’s with his other mom. (I’ll let La weigh in on her experience as a part time stay at home dandy, which is not her ideal employment scenario)

This week, La is hosting an academic conference at her school, so she’s working every day and Ansel is at the sitter more frequently than normal. Our sitter is a friend from my badass church, and is an incredible revolutionary latina, so . . .basically she’s amazing. I couldn’t have chosen a better person to watch my kid when I’m not around.

Lately, I’ve been missing Ansel HARD in the middle of the work day, thinking about how I only get an hour or so with him in the evening, and about an hour in the morning – and both times often involve other necessary things like making dinner or eating breakfast or getting ready for the day. I’m grateful to have Tuesdays, when I ‘work’ from home and get to spend some more quality time with him, and I can’t imagine giving it up (although I may very well have to, regardless of what happens with jobs and moving.)

A little while ago, our baby sitter sent me a text and told me Ansel waved and said “bye bye” – multiple times! And I got so excited I ran to the office next door to mine . . .and then a few minutes later I felt a heavy sadness in my heart. I guess  I’ve been lucky that most of his other milestones have happened on (or near) my watch, and I should’ve expected this earlier. But, it’s still a bummer. On the upside, I did work with him all weekend on waving, and I said “bye bye” (actually, buh bye!) every time, so it’s nice to know my hard work paid off?

The thing is, La hates being the (mostly) stay at home parent. I (think) I would love it. It’s tough to be in the situation of not having that choice available because of the circumstances of our jobs. And maybe I only think I would want to be a stay at home parent because its not my reality?


P.S. – Ansel will be 11 months old on Wednesday. What?!?



8 thoughts on “Working Mama blues

  1. I always say I think my ideal situation would be working part-time (and still being able to pay the bills!) and having more time with Evelyn. I still want her to go to preschool, be with her peers, have teachers, etc…But being away from our kids more often than we’re not feels so unnatural and some days it just downright HURTS. Solidarity, mama friend.

  2. It’s funny how parenthood does and doesn’t shift one’s priorities when it comes to working for pay. I realized in my twenties that I didn’t want to be a stay-at-home parent; becoming a parent in my thirties made me sure of it. However, it totally changed what I was looking for in a job. When my wife gave birth to our first child I was working a very irregular schedule and I started looking for something less erratic almost immediately. I found it when she was two and haven’t looked back since. I wondered if I’d question my commitment to working full-time outside the home when I gave birth to our second child, but I didn’t. I didn’t love going back to work, of course, but watching my wife parent two while working part-time from home has only reinforced my appreciation for my full-time job and yes, my choice to have one.

    But that wasn’t supposed to be a narrative about me. The point I wanted to make is, I think your instinct is probably not wrong, and being forced into a particular parenting arrangement is no fun at all.

    Also, 11 months? Really? You’re serious about that? Wild.

  3. It’s bananas that everyone in this country has to work so much…I wish you could spend more time with your baby boy. I’m full-time stay-at-home mom and what’s crazy is that even though my husband makes (what I thought was) a good salary, finances are extremely tight…which puts more stress on every aspect of our lives. We’ve created a wacky system in this country that prioritizes work and productivity over family time. What’s so annoying is that the 40-hour work week isn’t even productive—so much time (and company money) is wasted. That photo is so, so beautiful. Little man! How I’ve loved watching him grow.

  4. After spending my President’s Day trying to entertain a teething toddler on a snowy/icy day I decided I could never be a stay at home parent. I’m very fortunate that I’m able to keep 7a-3:30p hours at work, so I do get 3 hours in the evening. But yes, a lot of that is cooking dinner, bathtime and getting ready for bed. Perhaps at a new job you would have more flexibility with your schedule and be able to keep your telework day.

  5. Oh friend, I so feel you on all of this. As a teacher, Catch gets to spend a lot more time with Charlotte than I do. She’s going to have spring break at the end of next month, and I’m already jealous. Don’t even get me started on the summer. At the same time, when I am home with C all day, I find myself getting a bit twitchy. I think it would be better if being home was a regular thing and we could get into a routine with excursions and play groups and that sort of thing. I love being out and about with her. Like Lindsay said, in a perfect world, I’d work part time. Unfortunately, I am the breadwinner of the household and that’s not even remotely an option for us. This is the conversation that inevitably leads to me saying that I want to move out of Los Angeles to a place with a more reasonable cost of living. Balancing all of this is so hard. Solidarity, mama.

    • I am in this same situation with Corrie working in the school. It is so hard for me to get up and leave knowing all of the rest of my family gets to stay home and do fun things when they are on breaks. However I carry the family insurance so I have to work.

  6. I never thought I would want to be a stay at home mom until the twins were born. Now with having 4 I would LOVE to stay home I even told Corrie if I could stay home I think we would have another baby. It is heartbreaking that the working world dictates our lives at times.
    Side note…do you attend a UU church? I think you have mentioned it before but I couldn’t remember if it was UU or UCC.

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