Monday, September 29, 2008

Being a mom who works outside the home full time is tough. My friends tell me that being a stay at home mom is also tough. Many women straddle them both by working either in or out of the home during non-traditional work hours. All of us moms face challenges no matter what our category. We are all the same - it's the challenges that are different.

There are days when I just want to give up working and trade it in - I want to stay home, if only to make my life's logistics easier. Tomorrow is a day off from school, and my usual child care provider is out of the country. Back up plans fell through, so I'm left making yet more arrangements. Would this be an issue if I stayed home full time, or worked non-traditional hours? Probably not.

But then I ask myself if that is the right decision, or just the emotionally right decision right now. Would it make logistics easier? Absolutely. Would my children be able to play more than one sport or activity at one time? Heck, yeah. Would I be able to volunteer more at church, the elementary school, or for some other cause? Probably. Would I be happy? Probably not.

I know me - and I know that staying home full time would only result in resentment years from now. I need to be away from my home and my kids and do the work I really like doing in order to be fulfilled. Without that, I could not be a good parent or a good wife because I would not be happy. And then there's the economic impact it would have on my family which, especially these days, is a frightening thought.

So I figure out my childcare situation, I only volunteer in the classroom for Halloween and Valentine's day (one party per kid), and participate in church when I can either go to evening meetings, or take my kids with me. My kids pick one sport/activity at a time, and usually only those that happen on weekends.

Mostly, I rely heavily on all of my friends - a lot of whom are SAHMs - to fill in the gaps when they can. Somehow, they always do. They offer help before I even ask. They don't get aggravated with me when I do ask, again! for help with transportation, child care, or anything else. I don't know how they do it.

Thank you friends. For you all, I'm incredibly grateful. You've taught me that it really does take a village.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Don't beat yourself up Johnna! I only work 20 hours a week, and half that on weekends when Ken is home, and I still end up with childcare issues or missing soccer games or "Curriculum Night" at school...I LOVE my job... but obviously, I love my family more... I just remember that my job allows my family to have more money to pay more bills (even though I think about how many of us live up to however much money we make...)I tell my kids how much I love them a little more on the days I am going to work...and life goes on. I also have many good friends who are always there for me in a pinch... and my wonderful husband who pitches in tremendously, or I would never be able to do it!! I think we are all in the same boat...SAHM or working moms.. we all have days we feel overscheduled and overwhelmed... thankfully we have each other for support! And one of my favorite Bible verses says "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Phil. 4:13. Some days I just keep repeating that over and over in my head!! Your kids are awesome! You and Mark are doing a fantastic job with them!!