Will there be time for me when it all over?

It isn't always easy to be the one at home

Its interesting. When I worked full time and had an infant son, I longed to be one of those mommies who stayed home all day with her baby. I hated going to work and knowing that someone else was taking him walking in his stroller, singing to him, feeding him and watching him do all those "firsts". I solved that problem by taking a cut in pay and working part time. I worked that part time job until my second child was ready for preschool. I went back to full time teaching and ended up getting a wonderful surprise, a third child, my little girl. Once again, I was miserable leaving her, but yet I did each day because by then we had purchased a house and I had to work full time.

My daughter turned four, and things got difficult with my son who had aspergers sydrome, thus I found myself as a part timer once again. I love the fact that I can go to school plays that occur during school hours, as a teacher, I never could when I worked full time, I can attend school plays and get house work and shopping done while the children are at school. It does come at a great cost to us financially so we have to sacrifice things other families do not such as vacations and new cars. Its tough, but we have always thought it will be worth it in the long run because our children were flourishing with a parent home with them.

But where did I go? I feel myself slipping away. I have so many dreams. I want to see places other than my children's sporting events and scout meetings. I feel trapped inside the walls of my home because I move with a herd at all times. I am rarely alone and when I am, I am often depressed because I cannot join my fellow mommies at the gym, nail place or travel agency where they are planning yet another cruise. I often wonder, if we are in a recession, how they are traveling to the Carribean twice a year? How are they at the spa so often? Maybe this economy crisis is a myth? I am confused.

I dream of traveling to other places and experiences exciting events. Please don't get me wrong, the children's activities make me very happy and I don't want to miss a single game or milestone the pass over. But I don't know who I am anymore. Is this the mommy crisis?

I have found that being a mother is the hardest job I have ever had. I would trade working full time for this any day of the week in terms of exhaustion. If you work a full time job, guess what? It ends at some point. Motherhood never does. It is a 24/7 job. It is forever. Again, I am thrilled and blessed with children. I absolutely adore being a mom, but why is it that daddy's life goes on and mommy's doesn't?

Okay you say, there is where I am off base. My life should continue. However, when one parent has a job that keeps him on the run for several hours at a time and traveling at times, the other parent should not have the same type of career. The children would have noone at home to raise them but strangers. So there should be a happy medium, shouldn't there?

For whatever reason, our world still does not operate that way. Many families are able to exist in a two career life quite well, but they are few and far between. Most times it falls to one parent, even if the parents are taking turns, rarely are both parents out there and creating well balanced children. Someone has to be home. It is the right thing to do, why have children if a parent is not going to be there at least some of the time.

I know it is an irrational fear, but I worry all of the time that I will never get to experience the things that I so want to experience. I want to travel. I want to visit historic places, go to museums, see all that so many that I know are seeing. I love being a mom, but I want to live while I am on this earth. I am afraid that the children will grow up, and it still won't happen.

True, if I want it to happen, I have to make it happen. I keep telling myself. I get up each day and try to enjoy every second of the children knowing that this is something that I do not want to wish away. I think of the movie "Mr. Holland's Opus" and know that even if I do not travel the world and see the museums that I want to visit, I will have contributed to creating something wonderful...decent human beings.

I know that the woman is in here somewhere standing back letting the mom do her job. She will stay put and pop out when she is allowed or when it is a good time for her to show herself. When she comes around, it is a good feeling, almost a high. I am still here. When I am finished doing the most important job that I have to do, she will pop out and stay out permanently even when Mom is still needed, even when Grandma is called upon someday. The woman in me is here, she is just sitting back and taking in all that she needs to learn about me. When she emerges one day, she will know all my accomplishments, all of my wants, needs and desires. She will help me, she will be the guiding force that I need to do everything I have ever wanted to do for myself.

Right now, I am doing something important. This is a job that you cannot do incorrectly. You may make mistakes, but you must be able to correct that appropriately, young lives are depending on me. I have to mold, I have to shape and I have to prepare them for the life that awaits them one day.

When they are ready to fly, so will I.

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