going places

by humanmama on January 11, 2012

It’s hard for me to admit,

(since I like you all to see me as awesome and totally successful, and happy where I am, with what I have, but then if I lied, I would not be humanmama, would I?)

but sometimes I don’t want to be a stay at home mom. Shudder. Shockwaves. I know. Of course I’ve been honest about this before, but many people, many relatives, many older ladies who have children who are with grandchildren of their own, and the like…many of them say, “No, no, you love it. You’ll never get this time back. It’s the best time of your life.”

To them I say, both, “Yes, it is,” and “You don’t remember.” Also, “you’re not me, are you?” Actually I don’t say this to their faces, as that would seem disrespectful. But that’s what I’m thinking, old ladies.

I got laid off from my job in research (uni- and bi-polar depression research) when I was just back from maternity leave with my first baby. After that it was all over–the decision had been made. My mom stayed home with us for 10 years, until my parents divorced, so growing up I always thought (knew) that I’d be staying at home with my children.

Until I began working.

I liked work. I liked getting paid–I loved the independence of having a paycheck (and damn the taxes, I didn’t even mind paying them–I use the roads, don’t I? I drive on bridges, drink water, went to public school–I don’t mind paying taxes). Growing up I always wanted to be independent, so that no one would have to pay for me (*or, not pay for me), and as soon as I could I took up things like cell phone bills, car insurance, and the like from my parents. That way I knew what was getting paid, and I was paying it. I’ve always found a huge source of pride in paying my own way, and it’s hard for me to ask for help.

These are not good qualities in staying home. Staying at home has made me into an anal type-A freak about some things, like bills and housekeeping and what time the kids go to bed. Since there’s no other outlet to pour my energy into but my kids and house and Carpenter, I’ve also been (a tiny, teeny bit) annoying and naggy since I got home. Also, with my first baby, the postpartum depression was killer. I think it’s because I didn’t really make the decision to stay at home–it was done, and that’s what happened. I took it as a sign, and I wasn’t in control of things.

Did I tell you I’m a control freak? I don’t seem like it, since I can really be the “easy going one”–but if you knew Carpenter fully, you’d know it doesn’t take much to seem like the “easy going one.” Also, marriage isn’t all face value, it’s a give and take. I freak out if the kids are late to bed, and he freaks out if someone moved messenger man-bag full of binders and notebooks.

So it’s hard for me to stay home. And sometimes I think the kids can tell. But I do my best–I play, work, and laugh with them as fully as possibly. I do crafts and take care of making beds and we think of something new every week.

There’s always going to be a part of me at work, at a career, being someone competent. Being someone independent. That’s the thing with kids, though–they can make me, Ms. Independent, realize just how dependent I am on those little smiles, those little faces, those long eyelashes on Bette Davis eyes. Nope–I won’t mess up this time wishing I was elsewhere.

just call me Ms. Dependent

But someday, I’ll be back at work. And happy then, too.

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Jessica January 15, 2012 at 12:39 am

Yes. I love being home with them. I love being away from them. And other times I hate being home with them or I hate being away. Having some say over the decision is definitely a key to my happiness. As usual, I appreciate your honesty.
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