Week 2. Sitting at a desk, staring intently at a computer screen. Fully back into the chaos of the corporate world. No chance to ease into my routine. Not a beat skipped or a project forgotten.
Week 1. Should be sad. Leaving him for the first time, away from his mommy. Should hate coming back to the grind, most mothers’ nightmare. Not me.
My time with Lucas was bittersweet. I love him, his smile, his cuddly rolly-polly body. But a stay at home mom, I am not. I love work, I love my work. The stimulation, the accolades, the quiet.
My brain may be functioning at half capacity right now, but it’s still functioning. I need that me time, I need that stress, I need that outside world that makes me me.
From day one of our marriage, I wanted to have babies and stay home and raise those babies. Until I had those babies. Being a stay at home mom is hard. Harder than working, harder than anything I have ever done. It tests your patience, it tests your sanity. It can make you feel isolated, lonely, unproductive. The colic, the gas, the lack of sleep.
I struggle with this every day. What kind of mom would rather leave her children with others while she goes out for hours to do something that is obviously not as precious or important. What kind of mother doesn’t make the decision to work because of finances, but because she wants to feel useful in a different way beyond being a mother?
I envy those who can stay home. Applaud the ones that can keep themselves busy, raising well-rounded children who get out and learn, rather than sit inside and play. I’m jealous of women who can cook, and clean, and smile instead of opting for take-out and handing the kids off to a tired husband at the end of the day, just to have a minute to breathe. I covet the desire to stay with my babies all day, being able to feed them the way a mother should, nurture them 24/7.
It’s just not me. When I am asked if I’m sad to be working, leaving my babies all day, I don’t lie. But I still feel guilt. What will they think of me? Is it my drive or my work ethic keeping me here, or is it that I can’t handle the reality of motherhood? In society these days, is it still believed that a mother would stay home if she could financially handle it? Am I outside the norm? Am I a better mom for knowing my limits and taking that time to keep my sanity? Am I fit to be a mother if I’d rather spend 4 days a week confined to a cubicle than teaching my children the lessons of life? Am I copping out, taking the easy route?
In my opinion, I do my best. I have two wonderful children who are happy, healthy, advanced, and amazing. This is no fluke. I know I am a good mom. But I also know what I am not.