This post was written by guest blogger Lisa Noel from Oh Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy.
Growing up I always thought I would be like my own mother and be a working mother. Somehow being a stay-at-home mom didn’t seem like an option for me as a child. I thought I would do something much too important with my career to simply walk away from it when I became a mother.
And then real life happened.
I struggled with depression in my college years and now as I approach my 32nd birthday I still have not received my degree. I began working at an insurance company that valued it’s employees slightly more than pond scum. I loved the work I was doing, it was challenging, and I adored my immediate co-workers but the overall atmosphere of this corporate job was horrible. So when I was 22 I went to work for my parents business. They owned an electrical construction company and I began handling all the miscellaneous office work. Over the years I’ve assumed more responsibilities, especially when my mom was no longer able to work, but what I do is still far from the challenging, world altering work I thought I would one day do.
Then in 2002, I became a mother for the first time. When my son was 6 weeks old, I returned to work despite my desire to be with my baby. My husband did not make enough for us to survive on his income alone. Then after our second son was born, just 13 months later, two things had changed; my husband had found a better job AND my company was not doing well, so I was laid off when my second child was about 5 months old. I stayed home for about 6 wonderful months. My husband worked a ton of hours and we rarely saw him. I took care of the house and my then 6 month old and 18 month old primarily by myself. But I loved it, it was everything I’d been dreaming about since my oldest childs birth.
Then as the winter approached I was called back to work.
Knowing that my husband would be laid off soon I couldn’t say no. So I returned to work. My husband did go back to work that next spring but not for very long before losing his job. He has since taken a few different jobs for short periods of time but none of them have ever paid enough to us to cover the costs of a sitter or been steady enough for me to stay home. So while I would still love to be able to be home with my kids, its simply not an option for our family. I regularly hear comments like “at least they’re home with their dad and not some stranger” or “what a blessing that your husband is home with them.” In attempts not to be completely disrespectful to my husband I TRY to bite my tongue. But there are MANY days that I’d rather they be with someone else. Yes, they’re home with my husband, so, for the most part, they are consistently living by the rules that we have set out. But it also means they’re HOME, making a mess all day long and I can’t be there to be keeping on top of it. So most days I come home the house looks worse then when I left it. Then I have to make dinner, do baths, and stories etc. Then there’s still laundry, cleaning and shopping to do.
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So some days I really wish they were just somewhere else for the 8 hours a day I’m gone to be making a mess elsewhere so that I could maybe, someday get a little ahead of the mess. But then I also know that when they were going somewhere else, it meant I had to leave the house earlier, get everyone up earlier which meant an earlier bedtime. And then I got home later. So the nights seemed to be nothing but dinner and bedtime. So having them safely at home waiting for me is a blessing in some ways. I love the welcome I get each day when I come hom. I’d still rather be the one to be home. But for us, for now, this is what works!
– Lisa Noel
Posted by Nicole Ibarrondo, former editor here at Mom Fuse