I used to be one of those people who thought my coworkers with kids got "special" treatment. Of course, this was before I had a little energy sucker of my own and realized that your life is not just yours now and your priorities shift drastically when you have a baby. I am not here to give you the "being a working parent is hard speech, but really, the shit is not easy. I am sure that everyone out there who works and doesn't have kids is so fucking sick of hearing working mom's especially, complain about having to work AND parent. I get it, I am sick of myself sometimes. The bottom line is we CHOSE this life, so maybe we should just suck it up?
When my husband and I decided to have a baby the conversation did not include any plans for either of us to change our career paths, which may be weird to some. But, we never thought that having a kid would really change our lives that much. We vowed never to be "those people" that wouldn't see our friends or would RSVP to an event and then cancel at the last minute. Then along came little miss E and rocked our world. What she did actually, was put things into perspective for us and show us how out of balance our lives really were. I have been lucky enough to never work a traditional 9-5 job which has been extremely helpful on the mommy front. However, my husband has done this for the last couple years and what we realized is there isn't much balance to a life like this at all. His only time with baby girl is dinner and bed time on most days and time on the weekends when we are tending to other things that got pushed to the side during the week. Alone time as a couple, ha ha yea right. We decided that this was just not worth it, it was fine when it was just the two of us (and pups), but a baby? They need much more, and we need much more time with them. If we wanted to truly feel that we are raising her, not daycare and grandparents we had to make a change.
Off the hamster wheel. I started to work less hours and will be working even less in the new year, and my husband is making a career change. Holy shit! Horrifying. There is a lot of risk involved here, and how much reward? The sacrifice on our end has been huge. No working mom who truly enjoys her career wants to feel like she "has to give it up" and no hard working hubby/father wants to feel like he can't provide financially on the home front. Here is the real deal though. We are a team and there are two star players here. It is not my time right now. I had my time, I have built and amazing career for myself. Now, it is my turn to lift him up and play the supporting role. I am not implying by any means that "mom" is a supporting role, mom is the star okay "when your good to momma, momma's good to youuuuu." I am talking about the role of wife. Supporting my partner's goals and our ultimate goal to be great parents and have a happy, healthy, work life balance, AND a strong marriage, which seems so foreign to most I am sure.
Do we want our kids to grow up seeing us moan and groan on our way to work and come back to stressed to enjoy them? I for one know that I can have a short fuse when I am over worked and exhausted and it trickles into home. This is not a fun way to live and it isn't sustainable. Kids are going to be kids and I want to have the energy and patience to let it roll off when my daughter throws my favorite makeup brush into the toilet (still cringing). I WANT to have a career and be a mom, and I have said before I do believe we truly can "have it all." But, what does that look like to you? What does it cost right now? You don't lose the weight over night. You don't build a successful career in a day. A happy marriage doesn't just happen. Having it all isn't going to come easy I'll let you know if it's worth it when we get there.
Right now, I am going to enjoy the ride. I am gonna love the time with baby girl for as long as I have it. I am gonna enjoy the time at work when I get adult interaction and make it worth my time away from my sweet girl because otherwise what is the point? If you leave your babies every day to do something you hate what is the point? You owe it to yourself to do work that you love and still have time and energy to love on your little ones. I don't really like when people call being a mom a full time job, that's just me but hear me out. It is full time, but I wouldn't call it a job, it is my life. It is who I am now. My career is what I do. So, when it seems like people are chosing their "job" as a mom over work, it is not a choice. Work is work. Motherhood is our life.
Shauna Hyler, mommy of two beautiful girls! Working, blogging, and adventuring with the hubby and my sweet girls.