Thursday, August 30, 2007

The End of Stuntmom?

I know, so dramatic. I've been tossing this article around in my head for days now trying to figure out how to approach this subject, but I wasn't sure. However, I am 100% sure things are changing. I'm still planning to write, but I think my readers need to know one thing--I'm going back to work. I've managed to work out the details with my past employer, and I will be returning to work next week.

Why, when I love the stay at home life? I love my kids endlessly and want to see them as much as possible. It's a funny question that I'll do my best to explain. These last three weeks have been by far the hardest for me in my two years at home. I spent two of these weeks in Maine visiting my family without my husband since he was working. Wow, I can't imagine being a truly single mom, with no help.

When I came back from vacation, the baby was sick, and the two older girls were endlessly fighting (possibly not feeling that great either). My oldest daughter started kindergarten, attended for two days, and then school was canceled for the next two due to heat. We were stuck in the hottest, driest days ever in the history of Ohio (or at least the history that I can remember; you have to trust I know the weather.)

I would call this third week "rock bottom". I was in such a bad place in my head everyday and nothing seemed to help me out of it. I didn't feel like taking care of the kids, the house and certainly not the dogs. The thought of making one more PB&J just made me want to run back to bed. I don't know why, but suddenly I just didn't want to do this anymore. Maybe it had to do with some of my friends who were going back to work after some time off or I was becoming distanced from friends that I was hanging out with--but something in my head was changing. I couldn't explain it to my husband--sure I was on vacation for two weeks in nice cool weather, but really I need a week without changing a diaper, not getting endless glasses of milk, not having little ones constantly asking "MOMMY, HELP, I NEED THIS NOW." I had this need to leave everything and go live alone for a week or two just to clear my head.

Then I got an email from my previous employer with a job offer on the Friday morning of my worst week ever--such amazing timing. (I should mention that every time a head hunter would call over the past two years, I would ask them to keep my number on file--it gave me a certain amount of security knowing there were still people out there that thought I was employable.) The job I got an email about was tempting. I called them up after looking into how easily I could get a nanny. I called the office and spoke to my potential new boss so I would have all of the details to present to my husband over the weekend. I admitted to them that he was going to be the hardest sell of all. (Please keep in mind our deal has been if I wanted more than two babies, then one of us needed to quit our job. When I was pregnant with number three, I quit my job.)

Michael easily agreed to my going back to work. I'm not sure if it was because I was in such a bad place and he understood I was quickly falling apart? Or that he too thought it was just such a great offer, how could anyone turn it down? He agreed on a few conditions. One being that we hire people to help us out. I agreed to hire a cleaning lady to do the work that I very seldom ever did anyway. I also agreed to hire a nanny. No early morning daycare drop off. No arguing over who's job is more important, my main job will still be managing the house, but now I get to leave it for part of the week.

So, I'm going back to work and I couldn't ask for a better deal. I still get to work out of my house with an occasional trip into the office or down to the customer. I will still have the summer off, since it's a temporary position, I'm going to be working on a specific project that will end around the same time as school. Once the project is done, then I'm done. Also, I get to set my own hours.

I'm really embracing this change. It will give me an opportunity to take a break from my kids. I know I will really miss them for the hours I'm out of the house. It will also give me a chance to appreciate them again. It's sad to say, but once I accepted the job, I started being a better Mom again. A light switch went off and I started to really want to spend quality time with them again. I know I was taking them for granted, so I feel it couldn't have worked out better.

Suddenly I'm grateful to be a mom again. Does any of this makes sense? Am I crazy and just need a good counselor? I know I should be happy that I don't have to work, but I think this is just the thing that is going to make me a better mother.


Susan said...

Wow, it sounds like fate! I think you made the right choice for you. Or at least, it sounds like it. You saw the study about how the majority of moms see part-time work as the ideal situation. Now you will have it! Congrats. I hope it works out.

Please don't give up on Stuntmom! You have such a great blog. Keep us updated on your continuing adventures. You can be an inspiration to all the full-timers and SAHMs who dream about the "part-time ideal."

Good luck.

Susan at Working Moms Against Guilt

StuntMom said...

Thanks Susan. I imagine I will have more time to write now that I will be back at work. I will look at it as being my coffee break in the day. Thanks for being a dedicated reader and I will do my best to keep up the blog.

Michael said...

BTW, I didn't think I would be the hard sale on this--I thought you would.

You gave up on both house cleaning and a nanny in the span of about 15 minutes. These were "discussions" we had over about 3 years without any resolution.

Congrats again!

Tela said...

Wow. How awesome. Congratulations!

Good luck in your new adventure--and I echo Susan in the request not to give up on Stuntmom.

I know a lot of women who say working allows them to be better moms--more focused being mom they aren't working. I wouldn't know it any other way--but I do think it helps me cherish the time I do have with my son.

Again, good luck--keep us posted!

marshkn said...

It sounds like things unfolded for you in a wonderful way. I think it's great that you're up for a new experiment!

You'll always be StuntMom.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! It sounds like a win-win arrangement for all. I too hope that will still continue.

Anonymous said...

I see this so differently. I know exactly how you feel about motherhood. I feel worse most of the time. However, I'm trying to be a better mother despite the threat or reality of not seeing my kids until the work day ends. I think motherhood is about making us into better people through trial after trial after trial. Your job offer was perfect timing, it was right when you were at your lowest point.

Angel17 said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. Dave