Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Wrestling with Me

I am wrestling with myself.

It seems that most of my life has been spent working, to the point that I really don't know anything else. Or at least, I don't feel comfortable with anything else.

I have been officially, and gainfully employed since the age of 16. And even when I didn't have to work, I still sought employment.

My first real job was as a busperson at a swank restaurant. I was 16, cute, and had no car. I relied on my parents for a ride to and from work. It was part time, and mostly fun, but it was my first taste of having my own hard earned money. In a way, it was my first taste of freedom.

I have held numerous jobs in my working career. Ranging from really cool [English Instructor while living in Japan & CPR/First Aid Instructor], to not worth mentioning [ehem...NOT worth mentioning]. But each had one common quality...I got paid for my work.

Now, I am a stay at home mom, after working for so long, it is something that I have tried to settle in to. It hasn't been an easy transition. Even with my first child, staying at home was also part of my business. I ran a home day care, so I was still working, but at home. I still felt useful.

Granted, I have not had a high opinion of stay at home mothers all of my life, so for me, this change was pretty significant. I have never felt that it should be one adult's obligation to financially support another able bodied adult.

The problem with this thinking is that obviously you need to sacrifice something. And because they are young, trusting, and have to go with whatever you say...the kids are the ones who end up being sacrificed, which is no good either.

There is no easy solution to this. None at all.

After my divorce I decided that I could be the breadwinner, support my children, and essentially bought into the theory of "you can have it all". But that is one. big. fat. lie. You CAN'T have it all. Especially if "ALL" includes a full time job.

[ESPECIALLY if you have involved yourself with a no good boyfriend who is perfectly willing to suck up your time, money, and have you support them for four years without so much as a thank you--yes I was this dumb]

Lesson learned. [on both counts]

So, I have tried this stay at home mom stuff for about 9 months now. And to be honest, I suck. s.u.c.k.

I love my three year old, but I still fight the urge to spend my time working on projects rather than spending time with her. I am not sure how some women do it without taking medication. And by "IT" I mean, devote every waking hour entertainining and educating their children.

I guess I still need too much "me" time. Or maybe I am just not perky enough. I always feel that I am not doing enough. And I know I am not. I spend way too much time at this computer. If it isn't blogging, it is doing homework. And why am I doing homework? To get a degree. Why am I getting a degree? To acquire a better job. So that I can set myself up to be away from home. Of course, if it isn't homework, it is some other inane distraction, like reading a book...or whatever.

I cannot win.

I just think that too much time with me won't do them any good. I am beyond the point of opening up a home daycare, I would like to hold on to what remnant of sanity I have left. And it isn't the kids so much as the parents, trust me.

My dilemma:

Stay home and try to be a great stay at home mom and house keeper? And at the same time be a financial burden...


Go back to work and be a mediochre mom and housecleaner, but relieve my husband of some of the financial burden?

I've got the house cleaning thing d.o.w.n., almost to the point of considering starting a house cleaning business. [hmmm]

It's the stay at home momming that I am coming up short. way short.

Again, I am not sure how women do it. I know that it has something to do with play groups,Yoga, and vodka, but I haven't the cash for any of those...and without the right combination, the results could be terrifying.

Maybe I am thinking too much into all of this, and that the time my child spends watching Dora the Explorer, Jimmy Neutron, and Lazy Town, really aren't turning her brain to mush. [By the way Robbie Rotten is my favorite]

Don't get me wrong, I do read her a book every day. I do play music and we dance. We take a walk once a day...and sometimes we color. But after that...what else do I have in common with a three year old?! I'm a failure, I just know it.

If I were suppose to be paying me, I'd fire me.

I do know that if I don't come to terms with all of this soon, I will find myself back in the office feeling just as guilty for not being with my kids as I do when I am forcing them to be with me.


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