Posted by Kim K.
I have been told over the years that I think too much, that I
worry too much. This can be a good and a bad quality. As a teenager
and in college, I think it was good. I would think, discuss, have
really deep conversations and soul search. But, now as an adult
with two kids, I almost want to push a button and turn off 'the
In June I made a very big decision, one that I struggled with
for many years. I left my job. The first three months I enjoyed the
honeymoon stage of everything being perfect and wonderful. It was
summer. The weather was nice. Everyone in my family was happy. The
pool was open. I wasn't over thinking it. Then fall came and school
started, along with it the real job of being an at-home mom. Before
long, winter set in. The days feel long and cold and the gray sky
really starts getting to me. I promised myself I would try to
embrace my inner winter. But, it's a true struggle for this native
Many days I really like being home - even in the winter. I
am so glad to pick up my daughter at preschool every day and I am
happy to be home when my son gets off the bus. I'm helping my son
academically because I can now focus on working with him on
homework. I am definitely less frazzled on a daily basis and I've
even spent more time with my dogs. One of my favorite things to do
is to take them to the nearby 44-acre dog park where they run and
play and, I can, well, think!
There are many reasons why I am glad to be at home, but there
are other reasons I am not. I have less time to talk on the phone
without the nearly two-hour round-trip commute to work and back.
Often I would talk to my mom, and I know that both of us miss the
talk time. I spend less time to be with adults (seems like I spend
most of my time with those who are 8 and under and K-9). I feel
less social lately. On the plus side, I do have more time to do
errands. I never got things done when I worked. I just got used to
running out of milk. I was always running behind. But a part of me
actually likes taking on too much. Right now, I am not challenged
in that way. I have time to pause. Yet, I have a hard time finding
time to take a shower at a normal time. Often I will just stay in
my workout clothes all day. I try to make dinner almost every
night. I am less forgetful.
Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, I
have more time to think.
Just today, as I was talking to a friend on the phone, I had an
a-ha moment: No matter where you are or what you are doing, there
are going to be good days and bad days. No matter if I worked or
didn't work, I would be struggling with the grayness of winter. I
always get down this time of the year. Regardless of where I am, I
would still have hard decisions to make about being a parent. I had
lonely days when I was working. I have lonely days now. I also have
to stop looking back (I've got a big problem with this), stop
looking so far forward (another problem), and look to the now.
To be in this moment.
I am convinced that there are no easy choices for the 2011 mom.
Working. Not working. They are both challenging in EXTREMELY
different ways. I can say now that I have done both, and nothing
comes without a price. I have friends who are miserable working and
friends who are miserable staying home. I have friends who couldn't
imagine staying at home. I have friends who can't even fathom
working outside the home. I am stuck somewhere in the middle of it
all, and I'm just trying to figure out if the grass is always
greener on the other side.
I guess I am going to have to think about it some more.
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