Monday, June 2, 2008


I've decided to introduce a further element of anonymity to my blog and will start calling my daughter Peaches. It's what we call her sometimes anyway, but in the hope that I keep blogging for a long while to come, I think it will be a good thing for her if I keep her name off the internet.

After all, if Recaro and I have blog names... so can she.

That's all an aside. What I really want to post about is how my heart is aching right now. It started on Sunday afternoon when I started thinking about work the next day. And then thinking about dropping Ellie off at her fabulous childminder's.

I've been back at work for almost one year, but it's finally happening. It's becoming very difficult to think about leaving her. I'm just loving all my time with her. Even when she stamps her little feet and rages for not being allowed to do exactly as she wants. Even when she spills milk on the sofa. Even when she ignores me because she'd prefer to watch Lazytown.

If this feeling continues, what am I going to do? It'll mean days of examining our finances, realising we can't really have me not working. Maybe I'd have to think about negotiating doing less paid work... And the fear that work won't or can't be that flexible.

What if I gave up work and then regretted it? It'd be really hard to get a new London job. Local work doesn't pay so well. Which other company out there is going to be so flexible?

Recaro asked me how I felt about my work/life/mum balance recently. I made all sorts of reassuring noises to him so that he wouldn't feel under pressure. And now I feel under pressure. What a mistake that was.

Of course writing about this is cathartic. The notion is dawning on me that I could be feeling a pang of envy for my neighbour who is about to have a baby and go on.... maternity leave. Glory days. Every day spent just doing what made me and my baby happy. Plus work was in the background and continuing to pay some of the bills.

Maybe I'll always want what I can't have. Mind you - I was blissfully happy on maternity leave - nowhere else had greener grass at that time.


scrappysue said...

i can feel your heartache, but i can't say i know how you feel, so i won't even pretend to imagine. i know recaro will appreciate your honesty if you were to come clean so to speak! i DO know you are not alone with your feelings.

cyber hugs to you :)

Amanda said...

Keep in mind as you read what I am about to say that if you have to work you have to work and I do not feel like being a SAHM is the be all end all.

I worked for about 3 years after Jonathon was born. Like you, when Sunday would get there, I would get so sad that everyone was going to be going seperate ways again the next day. I was finally able to convince my husband to agree to my staying home. He was nervous that I would overspend leading us to lots of money issues and great unhappiness. Anyway, it was the best decision we've ever made. I had worried about the 'grass is greener thing' but 4 years later I'm still the happiest I've ever been.
Here's my advice.
If you quit working then you could give up some things. I don't know how many cars you have but it seems like you can use alternate means of transportation. You CAN live very well on less, I'm learning.
Mostly, know that you need to do whichever your gut tells you. If you want to stay home, you may have to make some changes but you can let go of other things. But if you stayed home and REALLY couldn't afford it, nobody would be happy, that's for sure.
Sorry to ramble but this is something I'm passionate about.
Good luck!!

Sass E-mum said...

Thanks Sue and Amanda. It's an important thing to think about - really carefully - and before it's too late. Thank you for the cyber-hugs though. I needed those.

Nicol said...

I can totally relate. I want desperatly to be a stay-at-home-mom. I love the time that I have with my dd and I simply cannot bear the thought of someone else raising her. I feel that if the sitter sees my dd more hours a day then what I do, then she is being raised by someone else.

I left my education and everything to be at home. I work from home watching other people's children. How ironic is that?! I am now raising other people's children. But at least I can be home with my dd and we are working towards me not having to do daycare anymore. I look forward to that day.

You can probably find a way to work part time or from home or even make due with less. I am also very passionate about this subject.

Working mum said...

I know what you mean, I've felt this way at times. However, may I remind you that you haven't hit the 'terrible twos' yet, have you? During that phase (which actually lasted nearly 2 years), I was quite glad of going to work for a break!

Now I'm back to not wanting to leave her again as she is so much fun at the moment. I guess it's swings and roundabouts.

I'm very lucky I enjoy my job and I can collect her at 4.30pm and work again after she's gone to bed. I also have the school hols with her; so I rationalised that this was a good compromise.

Could you work our a compromise? Maybe work less until she goes to school and then increase your hours again? Or change careers to something that fits in with school hours (this is what my mum did)?

I wish you wisdom and luck in your choice!

jakelliesmom said...

I have a lot of opinions and compassion on this very topic. We can talk about this - e-mail if you want.

gigi said...

I worked evenings when my husband could watch the boys. I waited tables two nights a week when they were little and still did it when they were teenagers but by then I worked 4 nights a week. My husband became a great hands on father because he had to do his part and help with the homework and chores. It worked for our family. He and the boys are best friends. They still like being with their dad best. They all work together and hunt together.

I like the name Peaches, a lot. Hope you find a solution that works for you and your sweet family.

SaraLynn said...

I feel for ya in this!
I went to part time after Jaxson, and eventually to just working Saturdays. Mainly to keep my foot in the door at the hospital. I have been there for several years and did not want to lose certain benefits or senoirity.

but I totally understand and I hope it all works out for you.

(Sorry I have been gone soooooo long!) :)

Gerbil said...

Well, I think I am the other side of the coin. When my older two were born, waaaaaaay back in the day, I really had no choice as I found myself a single mom when R was 6 mos old and C was 2.

Now, the reality is that DC is expensive and two incomes help a lot... but I like to work. And I like my job. And we found a home based sitter who adores short stuff, and he her. And he's learning a lot and the time with the few other children is valuable for him.

I cherish every moment home, but working allows me to be a better mother in the end. To me, that's the important part.

Is the answer part time work, staying home or things as they are? I guess weighing all sides with your husband would be a good idea.