A few weeks ago, after working all day at my desk in my guest room, I came downstairs after the nanny had left, packed up a bunch of snacks in a bag, pulled out a blanket and brought my two boys outside to the front yard for a picnic. We had an awesome time gabbing about bugs, ice cream and everything else 6 and 2 year old boys love about summer. I laid on the grass and thanked my lucky stars that I got to spend time with them like this. But more importantly, I thanked my lucky stars that I get to work.
I am a MUCH better mom because I work – and I’m not afraid to admit that. I left my corporate job back in 2012 to be a stay at home mom with my then 2 year old son, thinking I would take him to the park, the zoo, the museum, then come home for his nap while I cooked and cleaned like Martha Stewart. I can’t even tell you how much of that previous sentence was wrong in my life – not only was I a terrible stay at home mom, but I realized in just a few short months that I truly missed working and using my brain in a challenging way. (Not that being a stay at home mom isn’t a challenge!) I also realized that I just wasn’t cut out to be a SAHM – the mere physicality of it was exhausting. Having to be on my feet all day, chasing a toddler around, then when he was finally in bed, I still had a mound of things to do. I just couldn’t do it.
I realized I wasn’t cut out to be a SAHM just six months after I started. But guilt, worry and fear kept me from not only admitting it to myself, but from seeking something that would truly challenge and stimulate me, while allowing me to be with my kids. I left my corporate job because of the hours I had to work and the fact that I was only able to spend at most an hour with my son per day. But I wasn’t ready for the reality of being a SAHM – the pendulum had swung so far in the opposite direction, it was difficult for me to keep my head above water. It wasn’t until I started my own freelancing business did I finally start feeling like I could tread water again. Now, three years later, I’ve created a “balance” in my life where I am able to work and intellectually stimulate myself, help professional moms in ways I had hoped to be helped in years past, and yet still have the time to spend with my kids I sorely missed when working a corporate job. Because I have that outlet in my life, I’m able to enjoy my kids more and be the mom they both want and need.