Posted by Kim K.
I can't even say how many days since December 2003 that I felt
lonely, sad or guilty as I sat at work after I had my son. For
almost seven years I had good days and bad, but often I found
myself thinking that I wanted to be anywhere other than where I
was. I always used to think to myself, I could be home with him. As
the years unfolded and I got a better job, the guilt went away
temporarily -- but came back fast and furious after I had my second
child. Often when I was with my kids, I was thinking about
deadlines, client issues and other stuff. And, when I was at work I
was thinking about my kids.
I thought if I left the workplace, the lonely, sad or guilty
feelings would go away. To some degree they have. But now some of
those feelings have shifted to other areas in my life.
Lonely. In the past five to six weeks since I
left my job, one of the things that I have missed about working is
having somewhere to go. I don't have a "place." There is no HQ for
stay-at-home moms. If there is, nobody's sent me the memo. So I
guess my new HQ is my house. I come and go and come and go. But,
during the day there are only little people and dogs at my HQ. I
guess the pool is the closest thing to a summer HQ, but people come
and go and nobody's on the same coming-and-going time slot. It's
just strange that I don't have a regular place where I need to be,
where people welcome me, where I make people laugh --- or where
they make me laugh. I knew this would be hard. It was at the top of
the "con" list when I decided to quit my job. I know that
everything is a trade off, but I didn't realize how much I would
really miss that aspect of working.
Sad. I have been much more happy than sad. I'd
say 97 percent happy, 3 percent sad. I feel less stressed. I feel
more organized. I feel in charge of my schedule/life and I don't
need to be accountable to anyone but my family. I love being with
the kids, having time to exercise, not worrying about getting to
baseball or gymnastics on time or forgetting at least one thing
that they need and just hanging out at home reorganizing and doing
projects. But I have to say that there have been a couple of days
where I started thinking too much. I could have called 10 friends
who would have said "stop by" but I didn't. I actually made a call
or two and then I realized that I wasn't in the mood. I just didn't
want to talk to anyone. I had those days at work, too. I am
realizing that those days just happen. No matter where you are or
what you are doing, it's human to be human.
Guilt. I have no kid guilt at all right now.
It's only taken me seven years! They are happy, I can tell, and
that makes me happy. But, I (as expected) feel a little bit bad
when my husband has to get up at 6 a.m. and has to be in eight
different places before noon. He's crazy busy. My biggest issue is
getting school supplies at Target. My stress of deadlines and
clients has faded. He told me to enjoy this time. He's happy
because I also am helping him get things in order and I am happy
because I am able to give him more attention because I am not
spread as thin between work and the commute and the kids. I am just
used to being non-stop work, kids, work, kids, work, kids, work,
kids. I am not used to the pause. It's only been five weeks.
I guess what I am trying to say is that everything is a trade
off. But I am glad I did decided to quit my job and stay home with
the kids. There's always going to be work, but my kids aren't
always going to be 4 and 6.
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