I was laid off this summer. This was something that I had seen coming for months. I had not been at my position with the company very long. However, I really liked my job. As far as jobs go, it was golden. So, I am home with my 5 year old.
Having the summer off really took a toll on us financially, but I got to spend the summer with my daughter. Still it is much different being at home without a car (both cars broke down at some point this summer) and without money. We had fun, but all of those grand plans of adventures and bonding - well, they kind of got forgotten in the mist of everyday stuff like laundry and me hurting my back.
My daughter is everything to me and I love being her mom.
But I have to ask myself is it better for ME to be a SAHM or working-mom?
I stayed at home with my daughter went she was born, mostly because I couldn't work. Physically, I was a mess. This created a lot of great bonding time in my daughter's memory, but I remember struggling and fighting with my boyfriend about the lack of housework being done. When I was able to again, I worked here and there for a temp service and had months when I was a working mom. There was a time when I worked and 'dad' stayed home with the girl. They are awesome together!
When she turned 3 years old, things started to change. I saw the signs and knew that she was ready to start pre-school. I had
no very little idea of how much it would cost to put her in a pre-school program, just for a half day. There was only one option. GO BACK TO WORK - FULL TIME!
I went back into daycare (I have a love/hate relationship with working at daycares that goes back 10 years). We moved. I was laid off from the daycare and I got my dream job (sort of). The company that I worked for actually didn't care that I would have to blow off at 10 am because the daycare called and my kid has a fever. I worked from home at times and had amazing relationships with my manager and co-worker.
I felt empowered. I felt useful. I was using my mind - after knocking the cobwebs loose - and it was great. I remembered that I was important to more people than my daughter and boyfriend. I remembered that I was smart, funny and really great at customer service, marketing, and office work. I even got to use my amazing skills at social marketing.
I loved going to work.
I loved being with my family on the weekends.
I did not love coming home from work, it was too much - yet, something that you just did. As a mom there is an emotional energy that is expected from your child that, after 8 hours of customer service and marketing, I just didn't have for her.
I still haven't found a job. We do need the money. My daughter starts kindergarten in September. I just have to figure out how to balance working and being a stay-at-home-mom and in the meantime enjoy the rest of the summer home with my daughter!