Back to Work… | A Blog About Transitioning in Motherhood
Three months ago, after five years being a stay at home mom, I went back to work. I was ready, but it was scary. My youngest was about to start first grade and my oldest was already in third. I knew the school year drill and I was good at it – errands, organizing and volunteering at school. What I didn’t know about anymore was working for someone else’s agenda, pushing papers and any new software from the last five years. But the boys were old enough, so I should go back, right? The idea of paycheck sounded pretty good and it would be nice to use that college degree again, so I worked through the anxiety of the first day jitters and started filling in that timesheet again. motherhood
Readjusting to life working outside of the house has been an emotional ride. Yes, it was fun buying a new work wardrobe, but learning to work again has been nothing less than exhausting. I’ve cried at night from the doubt and the stress of having to juggle expectations at work, at home and in life. It’s had me feeling like I’m doing a half-assed job at many things and my plate is too full. What used to be an easy decision, now takes me much longer than it should. Don’t ask me where I want to go for dinner, my brain is fried from trying to stay on top of my workload. I just had to miss chaperoning the first field trip at school and had to hide in the bathroom at work to have a moment to work through that sadness. I feel overwhelmed that my house has a lot of unfinished projects. And my pants are getting too tight, since I don’t have time for that daily, mid-morning exercise. But you know what? It’s fine. Nobody is dying because they haven’t had a roasted vegetable on a weeknight. Instead of daytime field trips, I just volunteered at the evening session of the book fair. Nobody but me recognizes that the baseboards could be touched up. And yes, my pants are a little tighter, but it’s ok. I’ll get there. I’ll get to the point of having things in better order, things more planned out, projects complete, and I’ll probably get to go on the next round of field trips in the spring. Everything takes time and my boys seem minimally affected, at least nothing that won’t make them more independent in the long run. I’m lucky enough to be able to be home when they get off the bus and they’re thrilled to FINALLY be able to go to the Afterschool program on school vacation days.
Three months in and I’m settling into this new role of working mom again. Perhaps the biggest and most surprising change within the last three months has been learning to give myself permission to NOT have it all together, but instead, do the best I can. And I am. Not always gracefully, but I’m still trying. Oh, and I bought a new dining table with my paycheck.
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Written by a local mom reflecting on her experience as a stay at home mom going back to work