Thursday, October 28, 2010

To work, or not to work- like I have the option.

I always thought that I would want to be a stay at home mom. But to my surprise, I couldn't wait to get back to work after I had the boys. It was a little bit of hating seeing our bank account dwindle, a little bit of missing my profession and a little bit of just wanting to get out of the house and have real conversations. Being a hair dresser, my schedule is somewhat flexible and I don't exactly work a 40 hour week. It could be a great profession to be in as a mom, if you are in the right salon.

After having Fiona, I wasn't as enthusiastic about going back to work and each day, I am finding myself dreading it more and more. Something more important then work always comes up. I don't get stressed easily, and can handle most anything thrown at me, but when schedules conflict, it completely stresses me out. And when working and raising a family, schedules are constantly conflicting. Doctors never seem to have appointments available on my days off, so I am left having to cancel and rearrange clients and take time off of work. Then I try to accommodate clients by coming in on my off time, but that leaves me scrambling to find nannies ( and the money to pay them). I strive to be the best stylist for my clients and make enough money for our family, while spending enough time with my family and using a nanny as little as possible. I'm starting to understand the necessity- I stress necessity- of having one parent's job be full time stay-at-home. Cleaning the house, grocery shopping, cooking, paying and managing the bills, keeping the kids entertained and active, and taking them to doctors appointments is a full time job. And Fiona's special needs is a full time job in itself. We are just getting started with her therapists- her medical team is now up to 11 different doctors. Juggling all that on top of a full time, out of the house job is causing too many conflictions.

What happened to the good ol' days when women stayed home? I'm all for equal rights, but I wish it was more common and attainable to be a stay at home mom. Homemaker sounds so appealing. Why have a family if you are going to have someone else raise them? I find myself nodding my head in agreement with the "women should be in the kitchen" jokes. I have been having dreams of spending my days doing arts and crafts, playing at the park with the kids, and cooking homemade meals again- something I used to love to do when I had the time. I'm craving for my husband to work a normal 9-5, be home for dinner every night and have 2 day weekends to be together as a family. I covet that cookie-cutter life.

American society trains women to frown upon this picture- that its degrading to woman. Add some family time at the beach, and its my dream!

Our life is chaotic. I have whole days where I only see my kids to kiss them good morning and tuck them in with a kiss good night. And Charlie and I have exactly one full day and one late evening a week that we see each other more then just in passing. Our opposite schedules are great in cutting down the cost and time we need a nanny, but they also cut down the time we get together. The strain of this comes in waves- at times it works and everything seems to flow, but after a while I start to break down. It's the feeling of never being able to satisfy everyone around me that wears me down. I'm either putting my boss and clients (and our bank account) out or my husband and my kids.

Now, I am saying all of this from a working mom perspective. My stay-at-home friends have their own battles that they deal with and I know that life doesn't always look as perfect as that picture. There are positives and negatives for both working moms and stay-at-home moms. But right now, the positives of staying at home sound so tempting. If only it was a real option.
After all, who wouldn't want to spend all the day with these three :)

My heart (an admiration) goes out to single parents who do it all on their own! My sacrifices are nothing compared to what you give up to make ends meet.


  1. Shannon, I work at the salon P/T by choice for some of my own spending money. I can quit any time which is great! Scott and I decided I would be a stay at home mom and I do love it. We made many sacrifices to afford it. We have only one car that is paid off, we are looking for an economical house to buy and don't go out or shop very much, when I do it is usually at a consignment shop, yard sale or Craigs List. And just forget expensive vacations. We live in a generation of greed and it is hard to not want everything. We feel like we need it. Scott and I were there a few years ago. I can assure you that the rewards of sacrificing such things and being home with Nathan was the best thing we did. I completely encourage you to shed what you can and maybe make the attempt to stay home. If you ever need help with the kids I am open for it. Whatever decision you make you are the ones that need to be happy with it. No approval from anyone else is necessary.

  2. I have been reading your blog for a while...bravo for being so open with your feelings.

  3. Thank you Ky! And Melissa, I so appreciate the advice. At the moment, even shedding the extras wouldn't be enough to live without my income, I wish we didn't depend on my income for our necessities. Maybe someday!! Defininetly jealous you get so much time with your adorable Nathan :)

  4. I just saw this post. It was in the "You might also like" section of your blog. I totally agree with you. I wish I could be a stay at home mom and house wife. I miss 4 bedtimes a week. I hate that. The 3 nights a week I have off are my favorite time. Cooking dinner, bath times, books, bed. It makes up for any stress I had during the day. This is an old post and now you are a stay at home mom. I hope you are loving it. I wish girls felt like they had the option when some one says "What do you want to be when you grow up?" that they say "A stay at home mom". Its less of an option now a days then it ever was.



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