How did this happen, you ask? I am not entirely sure I know the answer.
I used to work in a corporate environment. It was fast passed and exciting! I felt like I was on the cutting edge and thought myself very cosmopolitan. I was the Bomb diddly, baby!
My husband also works in the corporate world. He works longer hours than I used to work. The corporate world today seems to want more and more from you with the same pay and longer hours!
With both parents working full time translated into my daughter having to go to before and after school care all week. She enjoyed it mostly, but there was very little “family time” during the week. My husband and I missed lots of activities and events at her school due to our work schedules. This part did upset my kid from time to time. It made me feel guilty!
So, we decided someone needed to be more available to care for our daughter. I did not have a kid with the intention of someone else raising her!
The decision was kind of a no brainer. My husband liked his job and I did not like mine. So, I quit. It was a bit scary, but what change is not a little nerve racking.
I was so excited to not have worry about reports being due or going to appointments! It took me a good six months to stop waking up and thinking of what I was late on doing for work.
Now, I have not been employed, outside our home, in about two years. I have noticed a strange phenomenon related to this transition. I have gone from a “working mom” to a “stay at home mom.” It seems that I have gone from one peer group to another.
The first strange thing is now when I meet people and they ask me what I do, I get this, “oh, isn’t that nice?” Then, I notice the small tick in their brow, as if they pity me. It sometimes makes me feel like leper, like one of my fingers fell off in our handshake.
You know the people I am talking about. These are the type of people who seem to judge you by your level of employment. Just to clarify, a “stay at home mom” is scraping the bottom of the barrel. These people seem to stare at you in order to find the malady you possess that keeps you from being employable!
Secondly, I have noticed that my “free time” has become a vortex of other tasks. It amazes me how quickly I went from the corporate work world to the “I have more things to do than ever” space.
What causes this spiral of so much to do? I think my husband thinks I sit on the couch all day eating bon bobs and watching soap operas on TV. I assure you; this is far from accurate.
I spend a lot of time keeping up with my kid and her school work. This was my primary goal.
However, when did I become Cinderella, a taxi driver, a personal chef, and my husband’s personal assistant? Almost overnight!
Some people seem to be under the impression that when you are not employed that you have plenty of free time to run to the bank or pick up their dry cleaning for them. Hmm, let me tell you, not so much.
I will not bore you with the litany of tasks I perform every day. We all have them, right?
I am not getting on my soap box here, well maybe one foot, but what gives? I paid my dues in the working world, but I continue to pay my dues working at home.
I can say our house is organized and clean. I manage to get some form of dinner on the table most weeknights. I can now attend and film all my daughter’s events, then play back for my husband. However, I draw the line at volunteering, it’s too political for me.
To the “stay at home moms”, know that you are not alone. I feel your pain. You are the unsung heroes of school lunches, car pools, scheduler, school performances, that are in the slap dab middle of the work day, and families lying their heads on clean, crisp sheets at bedtime.
All in all, I appreciate the opportunity to be at home for myself and my family. I may not be the best mom in the world, and I am not shoving any other moms out of the way for the “mom of the year” award. BUT, I am here.
Just remember, no one has ever been on their death bed wishing they had spent more time at work!