I know alot of you have done it. Or if not yet, you will. You know that you have contemplated that switch. The one where you find out your pregnant and you have to make that decision. THE DECISION!!! The only one that really matters in your mind once you find out your pregnant. The one that you will forever be judged for... by your friends, by your family, by the strangers that you meet, and ultimately by that baby that you are carrying around.
THE DECISION: Should I go back to work or should I stay at home with the kids???
I am not here to judge you for that decision. I am not here to say anything about it. For each of you have made your own decisions. I have 3 children. I have gone painstakingly through this decision each time. From the time I have peed on the stick to the time that my maternity leave was over, I contemplated whether or not I wanted to go back to work.
With my oldest (now age 6.5), it was the easiest decision. I was 29 years old. I was young and still thought that I could do it all. Heck, I didn't have any kids, all the energy in the world and the idealistic thought that I could be the perfect mom and still work 60 hours a week. I could cart my kids to daycare, work from home 3 days a week. My weekends were free to enroll in playgroups and swimming lessons and music classes. We had vacations to pay for and houses to buy and cars to afford.....
I WAS going back to work. Everyone else's opinions be damned. My parents were old fashioned. I would be bored taking care of just a baby - I was on the fast track and doing way to well at work.... Why waste my $100K college education? Man, I was a cocky bitch, huh? But I did it. I did it happily and you know what, I made it work. Maybe I wasn't always the best mom or the finest at my job, but both still went pretty smoothly....Then I got pregnant again.
With my second child (now age 4), the decision, although not as easy, was still pretty cut and dry. I was going back to work. I could do it with 1, I can do it with 2. This time, I negotiated my job let me work full time out of the house with Friday's off. 40 hours in 4 days. A full time nanny, because ultimately, I missed being home with my kids. I wanted to be able to run downstairs and see those first steps, smiles and everything else. But, I wasn't ready to say I don't want to work. I had the best of both worlds. Flexible job, kids at home... I was still not fit to be a stay at home mom. I still wanted to work and succeed. What would I do when they were 5 and 7? At school for 30 hours a week? I would never find a job then.
But the little things started to eat me up. I realized that I couldn't be Super Mom and Employee of the Year at the same time. Things had to give. And I didn't like that one bit. I am Type A perfectionist to a fault. The only thing that stops it from being a fault is that I recognize that I am a Type A Perfectionist and laugh about it. But the laughing doesn't mean that I still don't want and expect myself to be perfect. But, I still could put on the smile, pull the all nighters after the kids went to bed because I played hooky for a day to volunteer at pre-school, or set up a play date for the kids, or went to a playgroup. See, there just weren't enough hours on the weekends to set things up for both kids. And maybe, I didn't get them swimming lessons yet, and music class fell to the waste side, but those were the facts of life. I keep telling myself I didn't do it and I turned out fine. I know how to ice skate (barely), ski (kinda), swim (well), and when I was younger I could play the piano and sports and everything else. We were going to be fine.
But then, BANG. Baby #3 was on the way - due in March, 2011. Surprise! And that's when I realized.... I can't do it all. And you know what? I don't want to anymore. So, I peed on the stick and when it said positive, all those aspirations of being this crazy career woman and mother went down the drain. Maybe I was just bored with my job. Maybe I just needed a change. but mostly, I was just tired. I can't run on that treadmill anymore, so for me, something had to give. And that for me was my career. See ya later. Adios.... My family is the most important thing in the world to me, and if I wanted to remain even slightly sane, I needed to give something up. So short of walking out of this house and pretending that kids didn't exist, I had to give up that pesky career that I loved for 10+ years.
So that's it. That's my story. What is this blog about? Well it's about it all. It's about being thrown into a life of 4 kids (well 3 kids and a husband really). It is about how some days I can barely hang on to my sanity. It's about how some days I just love this job so much. It's about how I take it one day at a time, 1week at a time. 52 weeks at a time. I keep telling myself in 1 year it will be so much easier and everything will change. So here it is - will it really change in 1 year?