"You don't know what you've got til it's gone"-No song lyrics were ever more true than these.
About two months ago, I re-entered the workforce (I am now a work-away-mom, aka WAM) after being off for 18 months with my youngest daughter and off the 12 months prior to that, having gone back to school. MAN, did I have it good before!
Every day, I got up with the kids, got them off to school and then did errands with my youngest. We went for walks, played, checked the mail, did some laundry, got groceries, made meals...life was so much simpler. Now, being back to work full-time evenings, there seems to be less and less time to get anything/everything done, and for the first time since my kids were born, I'm missing things. I missed my kids get all fancy for a school dance. I missed my daughter's dress rehearsal for her recital. I missed my son's field trip, that I would have chaperoned...I know these things may sounds like little events in their lives, but in the past I was there...for everything.
My husband thinks the kids have adjusted seamlessly to my working evenings. Is that why they're always fighting now? Is that why my son looks like he might cry when he occasionally drops off supper to me at work? Is working for minimum wage really worth all of this?? UGH! Stupid bills. Stupid money.
My husband has had to step up and take over some of my daily tasks. He now makes supper some nights, not all because often I make it before I leave for work. He does bath time a couple of times a week. He folds the occasional load of laundry, but only if I ask...at least twice. By the time I get home, he's exhausted and wonders how I managed all that I did, every single day of life. I think it has been good in getting him to appreciate me a little more...but he's no Mommy...or so my kids tell me.
I guess I'm having a little pity party for myself tonight... I just love my kids so much and should have valued the time off more than I did. I don't think I realized what a privilege it was having not missed anything my sons first 8 years of life, my daughters 6 first years and my littlest daughter's first 18 months.
Sometimes I plain and simply couldn't see past the meltdowns, temper tantrums and poopy diapers. I dwelled too much on what laundry for five people looks like or how many times a day I would have to pick up hair elastics on the floor or find socks stuffed into the couch. I got way too caught up how often I swept up dog hair, tidied baby toys or packed school lunches. Stay at home moms have the best, and most important, job in the world! If only it were easier, financially, to stay home.
To all the SAHMs who bother to read this; You will never regret having been there for your kids. You will never regret being able to say that you were there for each and every moment that mattered. I know staying home isn't glamorous. I know your kids can drive you insane...but cherish every moment, because one day, you too may have to go back to work...and I assure you, working full-time and being a mommy full-time is even less glamorous.