Posted by: michelle @ books my kids read | February 9, 2009

on mothering…

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My little munchkin is two. I can’t believe how the time has flown. I’ve been having a lot of conflicted thoughts about my parenting abilities and what we’ve done so far. I decided not to throw a birthday party for her this year for a few reasons….1) we celebrated last weekend with her Nonno and we are celebrating next weekend with her other grandparents 2) she doesn’t have a ton of friends her age other than day care kids and they celebrated her birthday all week long.

But what this got me thinking about yesterday is that while I know she is totally well adjusted and a very happy little munchkin, would she be better off if I was a stay at home mom? I know that when she was first born that was not an option in any way shape or form, but that was also because I was suffering from post-partum depression in a bad way. I do love working and I get an incredible sense of self from it, but am I doing the best thing for my child? It seemed pointless to have a birthday party because she doesn’t really have “friends” – the only kids she sees on any kind of regular basis are the kids from daycare and the kids from gymboree (and our music class is dwindling since one of the mom’s just had another kid). I’m not sure when kids are supposed to really start having friends. I think she’s still a little young, but would it be better for her and for me if we had playgroups and other people in the same situations we are in?

I guess part of my questioning on all of this comes from the fact that I’m not sure exactly what to do when we move. I’d like to keep my job and have the flexiblity of working under my own timelines and have some playgroups and be in mothers groups etc. But the fact of the matter is that day to day I don’t know whether or not my job is secure. My company has been pretty great about the whole thing, but the economy is suffering greatly right now and I’m not so sure I’m going to have a job in a few months. I’m trying to help my magazines stay in existence, but the commercial real estate and retail worlds? come on. they are the hardest hit of them all.

Motherhood is the most rewarding and most challenging job that anyone can face.  A friend on facebook recently posted this article that summed so much of the challenge up. The paragraph that really hit home is 

When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, clean, dressed; to keeping them out of harm’s way; to answering their coos, cries, questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces the kind of checkout-line screaming that gets the checkout line shaking its head.

It’s needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15.

I’m not 100% sure that I’m up to doing that full time. I like having some quiet time to sit and listen to music of my own choosing. I enjoy talking to adults about adult topics. There is something rewarding about trying to come up with solutions to keep my magazines afloat and knowing that I am a part of the team. I’ve also never been fabulous about socializing so there is something incredibly safe about having a desk job where I use the computer for most of my conversations. I would definitely be out of my comfort zone to give this up and have to be the uber-mommy.  Maybe if we lived near family and I never had to worry about actually getting an hour to myself without having to pay someone to watch my child.

It’s really difficult to figure out all of the pieces, but that’s what’s been going on in my head.

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Responses

  1. I hear you. I go back and forth on this a lot. For now I’ve decided that I’m a better mom as a working mom, since work is so important to me. j gets lots of time at home with me and his dad, especially in the summers, which assauges some of the guilt.

    Having those summers as a sort-of SAHM has made me realize that I need to have something else in my life besides just j… for some moms, that something else can be connected to their kids and their communities (playgroups, mom’s groups, etc.). I think that’s great, and great for the kids. However, I’m starting to realize that it is hard for me to do. Socializing with other moms, for example, is tough mostly because I take advice and kid-comparisons as a personal attack. This is something I’m working on. But I guess my point is that I admire the moms who can spend their days with the kids–and I also admire those (like you, like me?) who incorporate outside work into a fulfilling life with family. Ultimately, I love that women have a choice to either work or not, and I feel that it’s really important for women to make the right choice for them–that is, what will make mom and family happy. To put it eloquently: if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

    Sorry about my “random musings” here. Oh, and happy birthday, munchkin! 🙂

  2. L – I knew there was a reason we were friends. i love your random musings in my comments and its always nice to know that someone else in going through some of the same crap that I am.


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