Being a working mom is something that I’ve struggled with immensely since I had Santi three years ago. When I told my boss I was pregnant, he immediately told me that soon I would quit because being a mom trumps being an employee. I rolled my eyes and said that being a stay at home mom wasn’t for me. I gave birth to Santi and almost three months to the day I was back at the office. Actually, I was working from home four days after giving birth, but I was back full time in April.
The adjustment was hard. I was leaving my baby with my mom (which made it sooooo much easier because the only person who is going to love and treat him like I will is her), but I was spending all day with other children and families, and felt like I was neglecting my own. I missed a lot of “firsts” and cried a lot during this time. I would rush out of the house in the morning and rush back to hang out with him in the afternoon. His “witching hour” was 6:00 PM so just in time for our bonding experience. I would spend a lot of time cooking for him and bathing him but I felt I wasn’t enjoying him, which made me feel like a bad mom.
I also felt great because I was back at work, talking to people about non-baby things. I got to take my mind off of him for hours at a time. Some days I would think of him constantly and feel like a crappy mom because I wasn’t with him, and other days I’d be so busy I wouldn’t think of him at all, which made me feel like an even bigger crappier mom. How could I not think of him all day? But that’s the thing when you’re a working mom–your mind is supposed to be on work, not your baby.
When baby #2 came, I decided to take 6 months off. I figured, more time with Joaquin would allow me to go back guilt free. Guess what? I was wrong, Those additional three months made me closer to him. He had more of a personality when I left him at home so I wasn’t just missing being at home with my baby, but I was missing all the fun things he was already doing. And while my mom was still taking care of him, so was the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and I didn’t feel 1000% comfortable with that transition. (Frankly, she’s the best decision I’ve ever made and I miss her so much).
So, two years later and I was still riddled with guilt. Except this time, there was no off switch. There weren’t days where I felt I didn’t have time to think of Joaquin. In fact, that’s all I did. Perks of working where Santi goes to school is that I’d walk by his classroom whenever I needed a baby fix and there he was. But still, I felt like a crappy mom and I could no longer justify me needing my freedom or “me time.”
Now I am the mom of 2 kids with 1 on the way and I am transitioning from working in an office with people I love and consider good friends, to being a stay at home mom. My last day is actually Friday and I’m both nervous and excited. I’m nervous I’ll be bored, feel unfulfilled, that I made the wrong decision. I’m excited about not having to answer any pressing emails, being able to get a blow-dry in the middle of the day, and dedicating myself to my kids and website.
I don’t really know what lies ahead, especially since I’ll be 3 x as busy come April, but I do know that I have to stop waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel and I have to just light it myself.