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I wrote this stream-of-consciousness post back in September. I had been having a rough day (or two or three or who knows how many), or was it just a rough moment or two? Ah, who knows. What does it matter. The truth is that going back to work outside the home is a constant battle for me.

thoughts, thoughts, and more thoughts - workIt’s about meeting the often-too-high expectations I set for myself and the way in which I berate myself endlessly when I don’t meet those expectations.

It’s also about continually learning and struggling to quiet the thoughts in my head that can become all consuming, in which I’m not enough….I don’t have, nor do I deserve, any grace.

It’s about letting go and trust and faith and patience.

All of this is why it’s helpful for me to just be frank and honest, thereby posting this stream-of-consciousness rant. Oh, by the way, I felt a little less pressure after writing these thoughts. That little less pressure is why I write, always has been. So, here it goes:

i’m going back to work. my desire to go back to work is fueled more by fear than anything. fear can be many things. right now, for me, fear is where i sit. i am afraid of not having financial stability. i’m afraid that i can’t care for my child and family financially. i’m not contributing and the guilt is too high. the guilt of not contributing to my family is immense. my guilt leads to fear. my fear leads to action. going back to work is a tremendous sacrifice for me. going back to work means no more watching baby grow every day. going back to work means i’m quite likely going to miss something. going back to work will be sad for me. sad in other ways than just baby. sad because it looks like another dream gone. maybe i could shift my thinking. maybe i could alter my perspective. see altering my perspective would also mean it’s not as important to me to stay home as i might let on. i’d be covering up my true feelings on the matter. staying at home with baby is highly important to me. staying at home has always been what i’ve thought is best. always meaning, since way before i ever considering what it’d be like to have children. working and having a career was important, but it doesn’t trump staying home to raise baby and any subsequent siblings. nothing trumps being there to care for baby. one might think this is for selfish reasons of not wanting to work hard. one would be mistaken. i worked very hard, was beyond dedicated and committed to the families and children i’ve worked with. what’s important to me about being home with baby is that i know what’s being taught. i know what he’s learning and how. i know what’s said in his presence and what isn’t. i work hard at this job. i know how he’s treated. yes, that means i know when i’ve messed up. i’m ok with that. it’s easier to look at any way i mess up as a mother than it ever would be for me to know that i essentially allowed someone else to harm him in any way. i don’t live mainstream and i don’t plan on starting. i want baby to have the best learning. that’s not conventional learning methods. that’s definitely not television. does that mean he’ll be socially inept. no, quite the opposite. he’s much more socialized than babies his age i’ve known. staying home means to me, i am fulfilling my motherhood role to the fullest. others may disagree. and just as a sidenote, i don’t at all think that mothers, parents, who don’t stay home are less of a parent. this is my ideal. this is my goal. this is my expectation of myself. (there goes that expectation mess again) being a stay at home mother, to me, is the best choice i could ever make. so, going back to work means so much more than it appears on the surface. going back to work also means bowing out of the fight with myself over the fear of financial insecurity. staying out of work means i keep fighting…..

And there it is. I’m still at home and I still have much gratitude I am able to be at home (even if I don’t contribute financially). Above all else, I love Baby tremendously and stripping myself of caring for him because of myself just isn’t excuse enough for me today. Tomorrow I may need to use a different reason. The day after even another.

I’m fortunate enough that we can get by with me not working. The reality is that even if I was working, we’d be needing to pay some form of childcare and the cost of it is like me not working anyway, so I guess it works out. I truly am grateful that I don’t absolutely have to work. This doesn’t mean it’s easy not working. It also doesn’t mean I don’t want to work. And further still, it doesn’t mean I sometimes wouldn’t rather be working outside the home.

working
Me a few years back at an adoption signing event

For now, I’ll keep doing my best at this job. For now, I’ll continue to be grateful the need for me to work isn’t there. For now, I’ll also continue to struggle and figure a way that works best for me when it comes to contributing to the family’s financial situation.  At least that way, I know I have more of this:

2014-01-04 22.26.58-1

To Work or Not?
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5 thoughts on “To Work or Not?

  • January 23, 2014 at 12:19 pm
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    Such a cutie! These questions and decisions must be hard. How old is your baby now? I will face a similar dilemma along the way, not only for the contribution but for the feeling of achieving something else as well. You got to weigh it all up, don’t you!
    anexpatinuk recently posted…On Creating New Habits 2014: January MindfulnessMy Profile

    Reply
    • January 23, 2014 at 3:25 pm
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      Thanks, he wins me over every time he smiles and laughs! 🙂 He’s 9 months now!

      Yes, it’s tough to balance the desire to contribute (more) and feel like I’m actually achieving some grand (or perceived grand) thing. Some days the questions and the decision isn’t tough, others it’s almost more taxing than child-rearing 🙂

      Good luck to you as you face your dilemmas!

      Reply
  • February 21, 2015 at 2:45 am
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    I did this whole battle with myself recently. Except it was the opposite. I work but was wanting to give up on my vision of being a working mom. I think either way we struggle with our sense of self in this new role of motherhood. No matter our choice we’re not the same person we were before motherhood.
    Angela @ Stepping into Motherhood
    Angela recently posted…The Brain on MotherhoodMy Profile

    Reply
    • February 21, 2015 at 4:09 pm
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      Angela, you are absolutely right. We aren’t the same person once we become mothers. This was such an ongoing struggle for me for so long. Now, I’m fully ok with being a SAHM. At the same time though, I’ve begun to believe that I can venture and do some type of work from home or start a business. This feels good and right to me, just as the idea of being a SAHM always did.

      Isn’t it interesting all the struggles we have with ourselves once we become mothers? 🙂

      Reply

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*This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through, I may earn a small commission. Your price will never be affected by my affiliate link. On occasion, I also write sponsored posts, which help to run the blog as well. I thank you for supporting this space, so I can continue to share my journey and our family adventures. For more information, please visit the full disclosure here*


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