Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Walking the Tight Rope

I don't usually write "mommy blog" posts and that's because my blog is usually about me and I'm trying to block out the random things that my teenager nor my tween keeps babbling about as I'm having my "me" time. This brings me to my topic - the fine balancing act of being a mom.

I'm kind of a "older" mom. I had my first child at 28 and my last two "double trouble" at 35. That means I had lots of time in my life to be a little selfish with my time.

Prior to being "mom," I had a job that I love and was also going to college. At that point in my life, my entire focus was on having a career. Of course, the first time I held that little boy who's now taller than me, all my priorities has changed. I didn't quite realize it because I was still very focused on having my career. I had graduated just before my son was born, so I was interviewing and dealing with a newborn at the same time. It was through those early interviews that I realized how difficult having a career would be.

My son was about a year old and I was interviewing for a great position. I would be writing the monthly newsletter for a major health care company. I had this interview nailed. It was exactly what I was looking for, I had the experience and it would had paid well. There was just one little glitch, I had a meet a woman for whom I would have to occasionally write an article . So I'm sitting in the room, waiting for the meeting and this is supposed to be just a formality. This lady rushing into the room, rejects my attempt to shake hands and the first thing she says to me is, "if I have an article that I need out by midnight and I don't get the information to you until 9 p.m., what are you going to do?" I explained that although I would be home by that time because I often have other commitments (my kid!), I'd be more than happy to write at home and e-mail it to her as soon as I could. She said that she would expect me to come back to the office and stay as late it needed be.

I knew that wouldn't be for me, so I took a "mommy track" job at a private school and remained there for eight years. I make it work with my degree and I still had to maintain that balancing act between being "mom" and a career woman. I proceeded to have three more children during that time. Over the next few years, I balanced being a mom, a wife, a professional, but somewhere I lost me. That is the one role that got dropped from my act. Eventually, the wife role was dropped as well. That's what happens when you can't perfect the act.

Now I work from home and have for the past three years and you would think that it would be getting easier. It has in some aspects because if I do have a sick child, they just stay home with me. Go figure that I've only had to keep one home sick from school and that was just once. It is still tough because it's difficult to be able to do things with my children. I'm often caring for others children so I'm not able to do things like field trips or after school events. My attention is always divided between my own children and the needs of the children that I care for on a daily basis. I make it work.

At this point in my life, as my children are all in school, I'm facing the possibility of having to go out in the "working world" again and wonder if I still have it in me to have the outside pressure of that balancing act. Only time will tell, but this time I refuse to put my family last because I've worked too hard to build a good second marriage and to be a good mom to my kids and no job is worth losing that.

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