I’ve been back at work for over a month now. Yes, I was working from home while I was on Maternity Leave. So this is officially back at the office.
How do I feel?
To be honest – mixed feelings. To my defense, my opinion on it has been affected because of the ‘working from home’ set-up.
I enjoyed being at home a little longer with Ehren, whereas with Chase it was just three months and back to work. With Ehren, I worked from home.
It had its up’s and down’s. Firstly, as Ehren grew bigger and started sleeping less, it became a little more difficult to do work during the day. Some of the work tasks that took me on average 30 minutes took up to a few hours because of constant interruptions. I eventually switched to working at night once everyone was in bed so that I could have enough peace of mind to concentrate on the tasks at hand. It wasn’t the easier part either. By the time I was done with my work, Ehren would be waking up for his night feed.
I was exhausted. I was sleeping even less than what I had intended to, even with a baby. At some stage, I was counting down the days to returning to the office so that I could complete my work in peace during the day and enjoy the evenings with my kids. At this stage, I was rushing to get them fed, bathed and in bed so that I could work and try to get some sleep in. That wasn’t the best way to work around the idea.
I miss my boys during the day when I have a moment to breath. I think back to the time I was home with them and how fun it was. Then I think about the times when I was crying almost every day because of the constant crying, tantrums, and screams. Oh boy, I don’t miss those times at all. I was already exhausted with less than normal sleep and then I had to go through a whole day where both boys were crying and I can’t give neither my full attention.
So the question of “Would you mind being a stay at home mom?” I say, yes – under certain conditions.
1. If I had to stay at home, the very first condition would be financial stability. Will we be able to live off one breadwinner’s salary? If yes, will it be substantial enough to make sure that we’re not living on a super tight budget and worrying about making it to the next paycheck – Call me spoiled for wanting this, but I have lived through enough months with these worries to know that I won’t want this with only one working partner.
2. What was something about being a stay at home mom that surprised you?
What surprised me the most is the lack of patience I never knew I had. I didn’t realize that until I went through a day and a night of pure tantrums and screams. I’m working on this, it’s a slow process.
3. What was the hardest part?
The hardest was most probably splitting time between working and spending time with my kids. Although being a social person, not seeing anyone or leaving my home for days on end really got to me.
4.What is your favorite part?
One of the best parts was having both my boys with me, and having my oldest spend more one on one time with his baby brother and see the happiness and excitement radiating from his face. Oh yes, and my 10:00 AM naps, those were the best!!
5. What is the biggest thing you’ve learned about yourself?
Apart from loving the time with my boys at home, I realized that this wasn’t a full time setting for me. I’m definitely a person that works better surrounded by others and not being alone all the time. I might not be the best applicant for the full-time stay at home experience.
6. How has your relationship with your partner changed, if at all, from this arrangement?
I think my husband realized that I wasn’t just trying to be difficult and impossible when I complained about how I couldn’t get to all the chores every day and how tired I was. He might have thought, “How can you be tired from just looking after kids and doing almost nothing else?” Remember I did this for almost four months straight. A few weeks ago, he had to look after the boys while I was at work. When I arrived at home he just said, “I understand now why you complained about being tired. I haven’t even been with them all day and I’m done for.”
Needless to say, he understands a little more what I have to deal with – every day.
7. Do you think that only moms should be stay at home parents?
A lot of women see themselves as the half to stay at home because it’s the ‘natural way’. Gone are the days where this was a must. I follow a few blogs of stay at home dads and I see their experiences with being the stay at home parent, and you know what, they love it. I hate this idea placed over a person saying that they are only allowed to do certain things that fall under their gender based roles. I call BULLSHIT!! This is where the feminist, bra-burning bitch comes out to play. Times have changed, people have come to adapt to them – maybe you should too.
8. What are your views on men that demand their partners to stay at home?
“I would very much like to sit face to face with such a man and let him tell me what I can and can’t do with my life.”
As a woman, you have rights. You have the right to make a decision for your life based on how you want it. There are no “you have to’s”. I am my own person, I will make demands on myself for how I want things done.