A few months ago, I went back to work part time. I work while the kids are in preschool Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and on Sunday afternoons. It’s been a really good transition for me, and actually really easy emotionally since the kids would be in school anyway. I love being away from the grind and monotony of being a SAHM for a chunk of the week, thinking about and talking about things that have nothing to do with motherhood.
I used to love being a SAHM, and in some ways, I still do. But as it inevitably does, life has changed. I no longer have a core group of friends with really little kids who are always up for a trip to the zoo, the park, or even just to hang out at one another’s houses. Some have gone back to work full time, a lot have kids in elementary school, and many just live too far away to get together regularly. And to be honest, the conversation I crave from my friendships right now isn’t conducive to the chaos that preschool playdates always create.
And right now, my SAHM hours with Charlotte and Nolan are intense and not much fun most of the time. A lot of this is my own anxiety, especially around my house, but the ages and personalities of the kids have a lot to do with it too. I’m just so weary of having to negotiate EVERYTHING, from the color of their breakfast plates to who gets to turn on the water faucet for their bath (Spoiler: it’s both of them. But then they fight over who gets to turn it on first). There are so many precious and memorable moments- they are both so cute and hilarious, but geez, they wear me out.
I have flirted with the idea of getting a full-time job, but up to this point, that hasn’t felt right. The little kids love their preschool and weekly Bible study class, and as much as they frustrate and exasperate me every day, I know this time at home with them is so fleeting. Charlotte will be in kindergarten next year, and even though school is her thing and she does really well with structure, it does make me a little sad that in less than a year, she’ll be away from me for the majority of her days. (And I say that now, when she’s sleeping. The majority of her waking hours I say GO TO SCHOOL.)
Then there’s Grayson. I feel so privileged to be able to be at home with him when he’s home, to be here for his therapy sessions, take him to doctors appointments and spend time just holding him when I can. On top of all that, there’s a ton of administrative-type work when you have a medically fragile kid- endless phone calls to insurance, keeping up with his medication refills and supply orders, making appointments, applying for medical coverage/grants, etc. Then there’s the unexpected hospital stays, which thankfully have become way less frequent than they used to be, but they will always eventually happen. I know people do all this and still work full time, and I honestly don’t know how. It’s so much.
So for now, “work life balance” means a little bit of work outside the home, a little bit of work on the computer at night, and a lot of my kids being little, and really intense. This most likely will change in a few years, but for now, I’m trying to be content in this season. These days are so, so long, but I still feel so lucky that I get to be home with them.