Being a parent is filled with challenges. The huge responsibility of keeping this tiny human happy and healthy can be overwhelming. The challenge of figuring out how to make the budget work after buying that bouncy chair, baby carrier or toy that every other mom told you, you simply must have. The challenge of finding time for your husband while knee deep in baby food and dirty diapers. It’s a constant juggle to try make it all work. But the biggest challenge you will ever face as a mom is dropping your baby off at daycare for the first time when all you want to do is be a stay at home mom. The guilt, the sadness, and the realization that someone else will get to experience the giggles, the sleepy smile after he wakes up from a nap, and possibly his first step or first word. This is what heartbreak is made off.
All my grown up life I’ve been searching for a job I can be passionate about. You know the kind they talk about when they say “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” I’ve had a few okay jobs, but nothing that even comes close to the one. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been the career orientated, success driven type who talk business at a braai. I just don’t have that need to climb the ‘corporate’ ladder
Staying home with baby boy was the first time I’ve ever felt like I actually dedicated my day to a worthwhile cause. For the first time ever it didn’t feel like I was wasting my time hoping 5pm would come around so I could go home and ‘live my life’. I loved not having to make small talk with grownups and fake concern for some job crisis. I absolutely adore spending my time with my little guy.
But even though being a stay at home mom is the hardest, most stressful job you will ever do it is also the only job (except for interns) where you don’t earn a cent . And in today’s very expensive times a no paycheck job is just not acceptable. And so after 6 months of spending every single day with Ben I was forced to re-enter the work force.
The whole thing happened so fast. Husband came home and told me the PA at work was going on maternity leave in 2 weeks and they still haven’t found a temp to fill in for the 5 months she’ll be gone. I was told to apply for the position. I kept hoping, praying I wouldn’t get the job. And in between the hoping and praying I cried. Oh there was hours of ugly crying. Then I got the call to tell me my application was successful and a week later I started work feeling emotionally drained, defeated, and very trapped by my circumstances. It was a dark time. I have never been so sad in my life. The fact that I wasn’t talking to husband because I resented him for the fact that I needed to work didn’t help either.
2 months later and we’ve settled into our new routine just fine. I don’t cry anymore, work is going okay and Ben loves his daycare friends. But it still takes everything in me to walk out the daycare door every morning. That hollow feeling you have as you try to go about your day as if nothing’s wrong stays with you every single day.
But this is not a new story. This experience is not unique to me. Moms having to return to work happens every single day. But this doesn’t make me feel better. It makes me feel worse. Knowing there’s so many other women walking around with this kind of pain and heartache is just the saddest thing ever.
I have 3 months left at the current job and I am hoping to then find a part time job. Part time jobs are hard to come by but I’m keeping the faith. I also have a few sideline projects I’m working on so hopefully everything works out for the best. Holding thumbs.