Updated: Feb 11, 2020
To be or not to be a working mom... that is truly the question.
I always thought I’d be a working mom. My mom was a working mom, so were all my friends’ moms, so it was natural to think I would be too.
I can have it all.
That’s what we want, right? The supportive spouse, the dream home, the kickass job, and the darling children… we’ve got this. The truth is, having it all is the hardest balancing act you never knew existed. It feels like a constant tug-of-war to be the best at every aspect of life. If you put more hours into work, then your home life suffers; if you spend too much time away from work to be with your family, your job performance suffers. If you spend too much money on making your home magazine-worthy, then that money isn’t being spent on the children, or yourself. The list goes on…
Well, I am 5 months into twin parenthood and nowhere near finding the right balance of rationing out my mental and physical energy. I want to put in extra hours at work, because I feel like I am taking too much time in the ladies’ room with my breast pump. But more often than not, my heart is completely broken from having to leave my children every morning. And a hefty dose of postpartum depression didn’t help either. I have been practically begging my husband to let me quit the 9-5 and stay home with the little sweetums. Unfortunately the babies are under my insurance. My husband owns his own business so all of us going to his insurance would be financially strenuous... especially since my son now has a pre-existing condition.
Jack’s open-heart surgery at 4 months of age allowed me to take a little more time off after maternity leave. I was able to take care of Savannah and still have time to visit my son while he was recovering. That week and a half went even faster than my 8-week maternity leave. I so badly wanted to keep staying home; but the truth is, I was exhausted! Work would actually be a reprieve from the chaos of “baby jail.”
Going to work every day is rewarding in that I feel like I am an accomplished adult. I have arrived. I am Andy Sachs and I have survived the Devil herself. Coming home to smiling babies after a long day of kicking corporate butt is what I had in my mind when I went back to work. It took some time to get here, but it is so satisfying walking in the door and seeing their big gummy smiles.
Staying at home with children is a beautiful, exhausting luxury. Every day is jam-packed with feedings, diapers, activities, naps (barely), books, tummy time, and if you’re lucky, a few cartoons. And the thing is, it’s every day. Every day is the same. You don’t get weekends, you don’t get different projects, and you don’t get a break. Being a stay-at-home parent is a very strenuous job.
I still hope our family will be able to financially get to a point where I can stay home with the kiddos. But I know that will not be a vacation. It will be a double full-time job with no pay, but lots of benefits.