Thursday, August 14, 2008

Change comes hard

So I've pretty much just been a mess of emotional drainage on my entire family the past week or so. The stress of possibly going back into the workforce has really taken me to the brink of sanity.

I admit it, I'm a selfish person. Selfish in that I don't want to miss a minute of my kids' lives. I remember being a single mom to the oldest two and busting my ass working 60 hours a week just to pay my subsidized rent and keep the lights on. I remember picking my kids up from daycare one August day and the daycare lady excitedly telling me all about my daughter's first steps. I remember my daughter calling her mama. Can't blame her, she did spend a good part of her first year with the woman.

So I'm selfish. I don't want other people to experience those moments with my children. I don't want someone else to teach them to ride a bike (although after putting Jack's training wheels back ON last night, I might reconsider). I don't want someone else doing the things I should be doing. And I don't care what people say to justify it, those ARE things I should be doing. Every diaper change, every load of laundry, every meal.... those are a mothers' duties.

However there's another side. There's the side of me that has always put that need to be with my kids in front of other things that make me happy as well. I feel tremendous guilt when I do something that makes me happy.

I've had a great job with the Doula thing. But it's come time where I need more, both for personal fulfillment and for financial reasons. With Craig not getting in as much overtime this summer, and my ex deciding it no longer fits in with his lifestyle to pay child support, it seems the proverbial belt has gotten tighter and tighter.

I have finally worked myself into the OB world. After a lot of time and energy and patience I am finally a trusted member of the team in labor and delivery. As such the doors I never thought would open are opening and I guess I'm feeling a little fearful. I'm doubting myself and second guessing every decision. This is big for us, it brings a lot of change and I really just have to figure out who I am and be confident and realize that I can't do it all. I have to stop feeling guilty because my children aren't the ONLY thing in life that make me happy. It's ok to have other things that make me happy..... right?


PBandJ said...

I am also a very selfish momma and it absolutely breaks my heart to have to work and have my in-laws watch Little P. They are great, but I miss so much because of work. However, I think that if I did not have something else to do at least some of the time, I would go totally insane. As much as I love my Paul, it is hard to have to think of only his needs 24/7. Kids are high maintenance and it helps to escape and do something that you love to do. Go ahead and work, you will not regret it!!!

SHAN said...

kat..i understand where u are coming from...right now i am working cause i have to..and some days i wish i could stay home and have my family time...but with the economy sucking us dry now days i cannot...maybe someday all this hard work i do daily will give me benfits??one can only hope.

tropicalg77 said...

your right there are many many things that make us happy, some big some small some insignificant and some huge.

Right now these creamed cucumbers that I made and am eating are the most joyous thing this week!

You have built a great foundation for your children, no one can take away from them what you and C have instilled in them.

Be proud of yourself, pat yourself on the back, and allow yourself to also be happy with your own self and the end what this world has to offer us is amazing, it is just that as a parent we rarely take the time to see it, feel it and enjoy it.

Love ya,

Katie said...

I work every single day not only because it helps to provide for our family, but also because I love being in the nursing field. I love taking care of people and their families and I look forward to going in to work... but I also look even more forward to coming home each evening to make dinner and hear about everyones days. Not only that but the times that I am home and able to have a day with just us makes me appreciate my family and my work just that much more.

Working because you need to financially is one thing. I can totally understand how that feels so horrible and like you are missing moments left and right- but getting to go to work, and doing something that you enjoy and love- while it won't override the feeling of saddness of not being home with your children all day long, but it can motivate you.

I stayed home with my baby until she was six months old and had to go back to work for financial reasons. I missed her first crawl, a word or two, and a few other things. And it crushed me. However, I noticed that when I came home from work, and from doing something I love, I was a much better mother. Being away from her during the day made me long so much more to have her and mdae me appreciate the time I did have with them. And I know from losing Alex that you do appreciate every single moment you have wiht your kids, but in turn, it might help them apreciate you and all you do for them and the time that you spend with them and all you do around the house etc.

It doesn't make you a bad mom or person because you actually WANT to work. It makes you a better mom-you having a sense ofpride and fufillment in your work for YOU makes you a better mom because you will have a sense of self- fufillment and getting the chance to do what you want to do for you. You've given your everything to these kids since you were very very young, now its time to do something for yourself. To say that you have earned it is truly an understatement- even though it might be financially necessary, its also something that you deserve to get to do and be thrilled with whatever job it is you take.

Good Luck with your job hunt, and I hope that your PCT job does great for you and hopefully lead you to join the rank of nursing!

Angie said...

YES It IS ok to have other things that make you happy Kat, I know we have had discussions in the past about working and what not. I am glad you are seeing how having your own adult time can really help save the ol' brain. I am now only working part time and just spending the rest of the time with the kids. I have missed alot of time that i wish I could get back too. But there is a balance you will find that keeps things in perspective. Im so happy for you, you will feel fufilled in such a different good way. Way to go girlie!!!

Heather said...

These are tough decisions to make Kat, not only for yourself but for your family. I, myself, am dealing with the decision of HAVING to go to work. It's nearly impossible to live off of one income anymore...6 people on 52K/year and we live fairly modestly. The necessities have become harder to obtain due to prices going up and our income staying the same...same ole story, you know how it goes. However, right now I don't feel quite as guilty about going to work as I would have a year or so youngest is walking, talking, and the only "first" left is potty training and actually he's pottied more than once in the potty, so I haven't really missed that either. I think about what my family needs and the stresses my husband is under because he's the only income coming in, and the only logical thing left for me to do is work, I'm ready and it would solve more than one problem in our house. Good luck with whatever you decide, and know that you aren't the only SAHM that's faced with these hard seems to be a trend lately.