Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Life is Hard...

I often wish that we could afford for me to be a stay-at-home mom. I really do.

(I don’t mean that with any disrespect towards my place of employment. I work with amazing people. I have wonderful members to serve, and am able to enjoy myself at work quite often. If I could afford to take a leave of absence for a just few years and be guaranteed my job back at this wonderful place, it would be a dream. But life doesn’t work that way.)

I know that the idea of being home all day isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and that many people feel like they thrive by being a working parent. (There’s also less time to sit around cramming your face full of crappola when you’re away from home!) There is nothing wrong with this. (You will hear no “this is better than that” from me). It’s just that I am not that type of person. Maybe I wish I was, at least just a little bit. It would make life easier for me. Instead, I feel that a LOT of things fall be the wayside when I return to work. At least this time the transition has been easier. And I do credit my coworkers for that, and I’m very thankful.

But, here is the thing: I think that for a lot of woman and mothers - even those who enjoy working - it often feels like we are just pulled in too many directions. Too much is expected of us at times. And you know what I think the hardest part is?

It's the "emotional work". (thanks to whatever magazine introduced me to that phrase.)

You know...the stuff like remembering birthdays and sending cards, planning celebrations and holidays, organizing soccer practices and carpools, picking up missing ingredients - all those little (or not so little things) that need to get done, but often are taken for granted. (I mean, to be fair, how would your husband know how much work goes in to hosting a birthday party when he has never done it himself? Or how tough it is to keep track of every little thing that keeps your family unit running.) I don’t think that some people realize how much planning, work and stress it can add to our lives. Oh, and don’t forget to look good doing it. Otherwise, you’re accused of letting yourself go. But also don’t spend too much time exercising, because then you are neglecting your family, apparently!

I’m not trying to start a gender war, or place the blame on husbands. And I’m sure there are many families where men are the ones who take on these responsibilities. But I find that society in general hasn’t really moved past the times where all women stayed home, where men had more consistent schedules (and were probably home more to help), and where life was just less fast-paced in general.

I’m not saying that being a stay-at-home mom is necessarily easier than being a working parent. It just works better for me.

Does anybody know what I’m talking about?

One thing is for sure: having a healthy, loving family makes it all worth it.

In happier news, my workplace is changing hours just slightly starting in April, and it means that it will be easier for me to attend certain gym classes. How big of a dork am I to be so excited about that?

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