I love my job.
My job that consists of staying home with my daughter. And yes, I’m aware that there are people that don’t consider being a stay-at-home mom
a job. Because we play all day, or the kids play and the moms watch tv or chat on the phone, or in today’s world, text, tweet, pin.
9-5 (sometimes) 9-9 job I used to work, with this job, there’s never enough hours to the day. I don’t watch the clock, like I did sitting at my desk, or if I do, it’s to make sure I have time to get everything done that I want to get done. It’s busy.
Music class. Reading program. The gym daycare, for the one or two hours a day that is time for me and someone else watches Clara. All the miscellaneous errands, back home at a certain time so that we can have lunch (taking the time to plan and prepare a healthy lunch). Nap time, where I either also nap, depending on how I slept the night before, or get caught up online. Then back up and back at it. Playing (working) with Clara with stuff that’s going to actually teach her stuff – play-Doh, crafts, books, flash cards, the alphabet, counting to 10 (which she can do, already). Then dinner, some playtime, the television if she’s so inclined (lots of times she’s not), bathtime if it’s that night and bed. Lots of energy and effort even after she falls asleep because she’s (still) a light sleeper, wakes often, needs reassuring.
And I still need to find time to clean the house and do laundry (often I simply don’t). A twelve hour day, and on call the other twelve hours. Who else, other than stay-at-home moms, pull a 24 hour work day with zero pay?
And yet I love it. Love it, love it, love it.
I’m thinking about it a lot, how much I love my time with my favorite girl, as I think about going back to work. Part-time, full-time, whatever makes sense, if the job is right. The opportunity might be presenting itself, if and when we have family support close by. I’m happy staying home, but I’d be happy contributing again financially, helping plan and prepare for the future. Happy to take some of the pressure off the single income.
And yet. I won’t do it unless it’s the right job, the right flexibility, the right fit for our family. Will still allow me to put Clara first, because she matters more than anything.
Last week, I suffered another period from hell, with the same miserable, mother-effing cramps that are similar to Pitocin-driven labor pains. My periods keep getting worse before they get better – last month, the worst of it hit at the gym and I went lightheaded in the middle of a set. Was scared to drive myself (and Clara) home so had to sit quietly (and breathe) in the locker room and wait for it to pass. And last week, at Clara’s music class, the same thing. Intense pain that is startling and rude and in the bathroom with her after class, I was so close to yelling at her when she wouldn’t listen to me (after a morning of not listening). Almost losing my temper like that with her SCARES me so I did what I had to do to feel better – buckled us in the car and drove the couple of blocks to the nearest Costco (a planned errand) but the hot dog, the coke (water for Clara), the waffle cone we shared was NOT planned. And afterwards, I felt calm, more myself, the angry, furious, bleeding monster inside me conquered. When we got home, I put on my Wonder Woman t-shirt (because parenting while on periods like mine is worthy of Wonder Woman status) and we both napped, in Clara’s bed and if I should feel guilty about sleeping next to my child, I don’t, because I LOVE it and love the sleepy, wonder-filled way she says “mommy” when she wakes up and finds me there.
But yeah, the days when my period, and my endometreosis are at it’s worst, those days are the days where I’m merely surviving. We eat bad food, the tv is on more than it should be, I’m seriously lacking in patience and I think my favorite girl senses it (and pushes me hardest on those days of all days, maybe because she’s suddenly unsure of…everything?)
And those days? Those days I long for a 9-5 job, a job that allows me to call in sick but still send her to daycare, or have her with her Ba (grandpa) all day, and I can go back to bed, and weep or feel sorry for myself or knock myself out with drugs because those days? Those days I’m not the best mom and those are the days I wish I could skip entirely.