When Tom and I found out we were pregnant I was working in fast food, he was working in fast food and we were broke but he took a step to make our family life better and he joined the military. McKenzie was born and I went back to work when she was 6 weeks old, because financially I had to. I tried the working and being a mom thing and it did not work, 2 weeks after going back to work I quit and became a stay at home mom. It brought more financial struggles for us, but we made it work with my shopping sales and yardsales and only buying the things we needed.
Tom and I agreed that he would bring in the family money and my “job” would be to raise the kids, and stretch the money as much as possible. During that time I worked odd jobs like cleaning houses or babysitting when we needed extra cash and a short stretch working at a fast food place. I couponed liked crazy to keep the costs of diapers, food and personal items down. I volunteered at the Airman’s attic on base (a place where low ranking military can shop for free from items people donate) and got our furniture and clothing (aside from shoes) there. A perk was that I could shop too, but because I volunteered I ended up getting first look at what came in. I used this to cloth the kids and furnish the house when needed. I got the kids toys from here as well.
My “job” consisted of taking care of the kids, making meals, stretching the money, having play dates, teaching the kids, coloring, playing with kids, trips to the park, the zoo, the kids museums and for a time going back to school. I loved every minute of it. Yes times were hard when money was tight, times were hard on the sleepless nights whenever we had a newborn in the house, but none the less I enjoyed my job as “being a mom”. I know being “just a mom” was a luxury and at times VERY hard financially but I knew how to handle the things that came up because the things that popped up were “my job” and many times repeats.
Then I needed an outlet, a place for me. Because let’s face it us moms need us time too no matter how much we love the job of being a mom and with so many people I knew asking me about how to save money I started this blog. I started it and never expected it to be what it is today. I never expected it to be a job, I never expected to be the one in charge of bringing in the money for our household, I never expected or planned for it and it fell in my lap with out warning.
Don’t get me wrong I am very very grateful that it fell in my lap and I had the opportunity when needed to take what I had been using as a place for me to use as an outlet and a way to help people save money too in to something that would provide for my family. However as with all things unplanned we do not know how we are going to feel. We do not know how we are going to feel if what ends up happening is just the opposite of what we had planned, or what we wanted. It causes stress that we do not know how to handle.
I started blogging in 2008 as a hobby, even though it was just random posts, savings tips, and very sporadic but that is what I had wanted it to be when I started. In 2011 I was making a part time income, which was ok because I was still doing my mom stuff I enjoyed and working on it part time. In 2012 the real change happened when it became an important part of our household income. It became something we depended on, something that was the TOTAL opposite of what our original plan was with me being a stay at home mom.
Now 3 years later as much as I love blogging and as a job I do love it, I MISS being “just a mom”. I miss not working, I miss being able to go to the zoo, the park, playdates ect with out worries of work responsibilities. I am sure anyone who has gone from stay at home mom to working mom (blogging as a job or any other job) goes thru the same thing. But it REALLY hit this week when I put Alyssa on the bus.
I put her on the bus to go to kindergarten and it hit me right in the face, that she, my youngest missed out on so much that I had done with the other two, and I missed out on so much that I enjoyed with the other two because with them I didn’t have a job. With her I have had a job that involved a lot of working hours since she was 2 and she knows nothing different. With the older 2 I used to take them to preschool, then pick them up and we would go to lunch, or the park or a playdate. With Alyssa I picked her up, we drove thru Dunkin Donuts for coffee and quite often a donut for her and then went home….. so I could work.
I know I am extremely blessed that I work from my house because while I am working I do still get more time with them because they are home to, but the mommy guilt sits heavy. The thoughts of how different the older two had it when they were ages 2-5 compared to Alyssa make my heart hurt. It makes me frustrated and there is no going back to “fix it”.
I miss the things like spur of the moment trips to the park, a spur of the moment trip to veggie pick, with working there is no spur of the moment. I have to plan outings around working, and I am NOT a planning type of person. (Which is why blogging in general works for me as a job). I am a spur of the moment, live in the moment type of person. I hate schedules, I hate planning, I hate clocks. I liked being able to bake a cake and make a mess in the kitchen with the kids when I felt like it. Now as a working mom that has to be planned.
The thought of how I never wanted to work… I just wanted to be a Mom keeps ringing in my thoughts.
Is this something all Moms go through who have gone back to work (weather it be a job they enjoy, one that landed in their lap, ect) that wanted to just be a “Mom” and never intended to be working on top of being a mom?
I would love to hear your feelings if you have been in this situation or some tips on how to handle the mommy guilt and feeling like crap about working when being a Mom was what you wanted to do vs working like you are.