Friday, February 26, 2010

Back to work Confession

When I went on maternity leave, I knew this day would come. Actually, before I even went on leave, my heart hurt a little then to think that one day I would have to go back to work and leave my babies. I guess I just didn't realize how hard it would be.

Im writing this post for me. I don't know what it is, but I guess I feel like I need to justify my decision to go back to work. But not really to anyone else, just myself. So here goes.

On Monday, I will watch as Dan loads up Emma and Joshua in our Odyssey and takes them to his parent's house. I will head to a job that I am not super crazy about, yet I am good at it. A job where I like the people I work with and, at the end of the day, a company that respects me and my performance. A job that I have worked at for 7 and a half years and a job where I have worked up to the top position on my team.

Here comes my confession. Most people say that they go back to work because they don't have a choice. The hard thing for me to admit is that I DO have a choice. Although it wouldn't be easy, Dan and I could afford for me to stay home. We have been married for awhile and have been careful with our money. So if I woke up on Monday morning and said "Dan, I can't do this," we would be able to survive.

So what stops me from staying home? I guess the answer is that I want to know. I want to know if I REALLY want to be a stay at home mom (SAHM) I mean, sure, I can say now that I want nothing more to be at home with Emma and Joshua. But, for me, I don't think I will ever know this for sure unless I go back to work. Unless I see if I can balance the struggles of being a working mom. Because there is part of me that thinks I will be able to do it. And it will work for me. I will be able to kiss my babies good bye in the morning, pump on my lunch break, spend my spare time between appointments with a quick visit to see them and make dinner at night while I listen to them giggle in their swings.

The problem is that my decision has so much guilt associated with it. I am choosing work over Emma and Joshua. I have looked at our budget and know we can afford it but I have said the words "I choose work." This choice places a pain and weight on my heart that I wasn't prepared for. I feel selfish. I feel selfish because I want it all. I want time with my kids. And I want time for me. It took us so long to get pregnant and these children are the answers to our prayers yet I am choosing to leave them with someone else (albeit Dan's parents, who love them like crazy)

So that's it. My confession. I know that even though I feel sadness and even though I feel selfish, I am making the right decision for me. I need to try this. And if it doesn't work, then atleast I will know.

Alright, well I am off to enjoy my last day alone with Emma and Joshua. I might even let them snuggle in bed with me for one of their naps instead of their cribs, just so I can spend that extra time with them. Hope everyone enjoys their weekend!


19 comments:

osuraj said...

Such a hard decision! It's definitely different for everyone. I think you are right though until you go back to work and try it out, you'll never really know for sure. The upside is you have your family looking after the babies instead of having to rely on daycare. I think that has got to bring some peace of mind! Good luck going back!

Anne said...

It sounds like for right now you are making the right decision on for what you think is best for you and your family. Worse case scenario, you back to work and realize you want to stay home! At least you know that you tried then. Do not feel guilty, everyone is different! Although I do admit that I am jealous, I wish I could stay home so badly!! :) Also, love the "pillow" post below, soooo funny. Not sure how I missed that one!

CLML said...

I feel like I could have written a lot of this post myself. Big Hugs Shan, you are not alone.

Anonymous said...

Well written. A hard decision for many, I'm sure. You are not being selfish and you can have it all. You are being a good mommy and are trying to find a balance (sometimes a challenging process). You love your babies and they know that. No guilt necessary. To be the best mom you can, you have to take care of you (which sometimes means going to work!). You will find what works best for your family. Hang in there. And, good luck on Monday!

Kelly and Natalie said...

I gotta say that most days, I love being a SAHM, but I think about going back to work pretty often. I often struggle with feeling like I'm wasting my education and the guilt of not bringing in money even though we are sorta ok financially. There are days I wanna rip my hair out cuz I am so bored or just need a break.

I tried to go back to work in October, and I took Natalie to daycare for the day. I picked her up that night, and I freaked out. I just couldn't do it. And I know that now. When I have those moments that I want to get a job, I think about that day.

Bottom line, you gotta do what is best for you and your family. If going to work is something you wanna do, DO IT!! I totally understand any momma's want to go back to work even if they don't need to. Happy momma = Happy babies! Good luck going back!

The Lane Family said...

After I had Aidan I went back to work about 30 hours a week when he was six months old. He would stay with my husband's mom and HE Loved it. I have to admit I Loved working that much, feeling good about what I did, being with my colleagues and just loving what I did. I felt like I was a much better mom when I was working.

Then with the twins I was put on long-term bedrest and the contract ended so I was a SAHM. Plus we moved clear across the country and I had no one that I really trusted to watch my kids.

As much as I Love being a SAHM...I would do miss working and feeling good about what I do. Does it make me selfish...no it just shows that I am good at two things :) For now I am a SAHM but once we move closer to family I will be both again.

Josh and Emma are so cute and wonderful and you will make the best decision for you and your family....and what makes you the best and happiest mom you can be!!!

Jessica said...

Sounds like a hard decision that many moms face. I think it is great that you have the opportunity to do which ever you choose is best for you and your family. I think it is smart for you to go back to work and see how you really feel. Good luck with what ever decision you choose.

Kathy said...

Hugs and lots of tissues. I went back after 4 months (because we can't afford me not working). Luckily, my mom watches her at my place. I enjoyed the 'break' during the day, despite missing her. However, now that she is 1 and "learning" my mom is teaching her (like "where is your belly?") I had a crying breakdown because THIS is when it's hard to miss out. When they literally know something new that you didn't teach them.

Ava and the Trips said...

Very well put. I think it's great that you are trying it and seeing if it's right for you. Hang in there!

Lindsay said...

Sounds like you've thought this through and I know you are making the right decision for you!

Amy said...

shannon, you SHOULD NOT feel guilty for working! you have to do things for yourself, too. even though you may not be with them, someone that loves them as much as you do is, and all of you are SO lucky for that. what you should feel proud of, is that you DO have the choice to work. you have layed a super strong foundation for you and your family, and that is something to be proud of. although i understand how you feel, try not to feel too guilty about doing something for yourself, bc in the end, the right outcome will happen. hugs!!

Mary said...

Oh sweetie, you have nothing to feel guilty about! It's perfectly a-ok to want to have it all! And, I give you a huge amount of credit for trying it!

Love and ((hugs))

Molly said...

Every mom has guilt regarding this decision, no matter what they choose. But only a mom can figure out what her family needs and how best to provide it. And if working is fulfilling to you, it is an aspect of your motherhood that your kids will appreciate. They'll be happy to have a mom who follows her convictions and weighs such decisions thoughtfully. And your time with them will be so sweet because you know how precious they are!

Megan said...

Sweetie, you are NOT being selfish by going back to work. Trust me, being home with one baby all day is hard, I can't imagine 2. You are doing what will help keep you seem to at least like and it provides very healthy Shannon-time. You need that. And hey, if it doesn't work, it doesn't work out. Don't feel bad for your choice at all. You are doing what you feel is best for the moment, and that's all ANYONE can ask you for or tell you. **HUGS**

Leigh said...

I'm proud of you for making the hard decision. I'm back at work but I'll confess - I couldn't wait. I love my babies so much but I'm just not the sahm type.

Scullyhoyy said...

Big ((hugs)) I know everything will work out the way it's supposed too.

lovealways6565 said...

Shannon I had this same decision to make when I went back to work. I fought myself for weeks about the decision, and sometimes I still question myself. BUT i know that i am making a good life for Michael, one that with out my income we could get by and live okay but with my income we can live very comfortable. I think that God will definitly help you with this one. I pray that he gives you the strength you need. *hugs*

Tara White said...

This is such a tough decision for any mom. Loving your children and also have a career are totally separate. I had a very hard time coming back to work but in the end I like my work and life outside of being a mom. It's not selfish. For some crazy reason women feel like they have to be super mom and do everything. it's okay to ask for help or to rely on others (like Dan's parents) to help you out. The babies are in good, caring hands. And you have the option of staying home if it doesn't work for your family. I can tell you now that I wouldn't be able to stay home full time. I'd lose it even though I love spending time with Parker. I need the break. Call me anytime to talk>

Sarah C said...

Those kiddos get cuter and cuter every day!

No matter what you chose, there is ALWAYS momma guilt; ALWAYS. I think testing it out is the only way to determine to yourself what you want to do. And remember, there is no wrong answer, as long as it works for you.