It's time I admit, after admitting earlier this summer that I 1. love Bravo, and 2. am a suburban mom and 3. have decided that cooking isn't all that bad, that I am a working mom. I'm not really a stay-at-home mom, though my schedule makes it seem that way. And that's a dangerous thing.
For you see, I am free some mornings - mornings that I often fill by volunteering at school or trying to catch up with friends. I am home in the afternoons with my children, making me available for homework help and carpooling to activities. Most of the summer, I'm free. Folks tend to forget that I actually have a paying job with duties that are somewhat important and co-workers and congregants who are relying on me.
If I had to complain a bit about my very flexible schedule, I would say the following: I have had to essentially quit my book club as it meets during a weekly work event, and I'm generally considered the go-to parent as my husband's job is not nearly as flexible. Yesterday, for example, I worked for a good chunk of time, constantly fielding phone calls and texts from home when, say, the power went out due to storms! Or someone wanted to open a new container of nuts! Needless to say, I was a half-ass employee.
And half-ass parent, I should add.
Which is why I quit full-time work just before I had my second child. I felt like I was not doing a great job at either place, home or work. I wanted to be 100% SOMEWHERE. As it turns out, part-time work is really good for me in terms of my emotional health...challenging, fun, adult time, and the money. But part-time work is not recognized by a lot of circles (I'm looking at you, PTAs of both schools!). So here I am again, in half-ass land.
My husband has been generally great, as a lot of the times I work are when he is home (Sundays, evenings). Still, there are the predictable squabbles over logistics, schedules, and who-does-what.
The money I make has enabled us to go on trips this summer and to send each child to a camp...so it's worth it. Right?
In an age when women truly are getting the upper hand, why does it seem like I still struggle to meet all of the expectations and goals I have? I believe some of it has to do with the area where I live. Most moms here don't work full or even part-time...partly the reason we moved here to begin with (I was very lonely in our other neighborhood where no one was even procreating). That tide seems to be changing a bit, especially as children age out of the preschool years.
I keep thinking what if, what if...what if my parents lived here and could help me...what if we made enough money to warrant hiring someone to help with the house, or with shuttling the children....what if I was able to indulge myself a little more with free time or time with friends....
but mostly, I think our situation is working.