Tuesday, November 8, 2011

i don't think i could be a stay-at-home-mom

I've been back to work now for over three months - just a little longer than my maternity leave lasted.  And here my little Dexter is almost six months old.  I was reading through some old blog posts - specifically the one to Theo on his half birthday - and I can't believe how time has flown.  I sure didn't know then that a little over a year later, I'd be looking back at the first six months of my second child's life. 

Working is okay, I guess.  It's a balancing act.  I don't know how well I would do as a full time stay at home mom.  I think I would get bored at times.  I think the kids would definitely get bored at times.  I love our babysitter.  She's awesome.  We were lucky enough to find her via care.com and she has been unbelievably reliable.  She's exceeded all of our expectations.  She does crafty crafts with my 5 (almost 6, sad face sad face sad face) month old, for pete's sake.  I would never have the creativity nor the patience to do half of what she does.  With all that being said, I really miss my kids during the week.  I leave for work after they go to bed at night, their dad takes them to the babysitter before I get home in the morning, and I pick them up around 5pm in the evening.  So I basically get to spend 2.5 or 3 hours with my boys on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights.

On Thursday mornings after work, I've been sending them to the babysitter so I can rest and/or catch up on chores and errands.  It's Thursdays I have the most trouble with.  Technically, I could take a two or three hour nap and go get them.  But by the time I could go get them, Theo would be taking a nap.  And what's the point of going to get Dexter if I'm just going to have to turn around and go back for Theo a couple of hours later?  The thing is though, that I have horrible guilt about sending them to the babysitter on Thursdays.  I always feel like I need to explain what I am doing every Thursday so it's justified that I am not going to be spending every waking second with my kids. 

Hey, I have to go to the grocery and the bank today.

Hey, I have company coming this weekend so I need to clean the whole house.

Hey, it's our anniversary so I'm going to get a haircut and try to find a last minute gift.

Hey, we have an appointment with our financial advisor today.

What I really should say is this:

Hey, I'm freaking tired, I haven't slept in 2 days, there are cat furballs under my coffee table the size of your head and they're driving me crazy.  I don't have the energy or the patience to chase Theo around or make cotton ball snowmen with Dexter today.  Additionally, I just wanna lay on the couch and watch DVR for two hours because I never, ever get a chance to do so otherwise. 

I guess I just wonder if the babysitter or the other moms think I'm a crap mom because I choose to send my kids when, yeah, technically...they could be home with me for that half a day.

I realize now that I have virtually no me-time.  Aside from Thursdays, I have no me-time.  I'm busy with the kids from the time I wake up in the afternoon until I leave for work through the week.  On the weekends, by the time they go to bed, I'm exhausted and I fall asleep on the couch before I can make it through one 30 minute sitcom. 

So I've been taking advantage of the fact that we pay for Thursdays whether they go or not, and I've been sending them to the babysitter while I do something else (or nothing at all).  That right there makes me wonder if I'm the opposite of stay-at-home-mom material.  Even pondering that out loud makes me feel like crap.

I know I need the time to myself, so why do I feel so guilty?  While I was on maternity leave with Dexter, I continued sending Theo to the babysitter 3 days a week because it was just too much trying to take care of my newly toddling toddler and my newborn baby.  There were so many times I thought to myself I was glad to be a working mom who had a babysitter to send my older kid to, because if I was a SAHM, that wouldn't even be an option.  How do SAHMs ever get time to themselves?  I guess after the babies go to bed....??  Or maybe there actually comes a time when kids play by themselves long enough for a mom to relax for a few?  Nah, that doesn't seem possible.

feeling guilty,

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