I’m A WAHM Who’s Really Jealous Of Moms Who Get To Go Into The Office
Whenever I tell someone I’m a work-at-home-mom, the usual response I hear is, That must be so great for you! I understand the reaction – I really do. I understand that the part of this job that allows me to work from home also allows me to be around my kids more and makes my schedule just more flexible in general. But after doing if for a year, I honestly think my life would be so much easier if I could go into the office everyday.
I probably shouldn’t use a word like “easier” because it implies that working from home is harder than not working from home – and I don’t think that is true. But at a certain point you realize that no matter what sacrifices or juggling you do – as a mother, you’re always going to feel like you are falling a little short.
When I first advanced in my freelance career to the point where I could do it full-time, I thought it would be so much better to be able to spend that extra time with my kids. Now I realize that there really is no “extra” time with my kids, just a lot more opportunity for chaos. I can’t do the full-time writing job that I do every day without giving the lion’s share of my attention to my work. Can you guess what this means? Yup – I constantly feel like I’m ignoring my children.
My son is in preschool a few days a week and I pick up my mother every day to help with my infant daughter – so it’s not like they aren’t getting attention. I just never realized how crappy it was going to make me feel to be in eye/ear shot of them and not be able to constantly respond. I thought working from home would give me this opportunity to “have it all.” I hate to use that term – but you get my drift. I thought I would get the benefit of a career with the perks of being a SAHM. Not so much.
After a year spent in a new state, with not many friends and working from home – I realize I need an out-of-the-home life, desperately. The idea of taking a half hour lunch with my coworkers or arriving at a place where I have a space to work seems so attractive to me now. I never wanted the nine-to-five life before. What is happening to me? I really think I am just missing the camaraderie of adults. Also, being face-to-face with a real human who treats me like a real professional would be good, too.
Maybe this is just a case of “the grass is always greener.” I imagine there are people who are driven crazy by their co-workers or who feel like spending an afternoon in an office is stifling. I bet there are tons of moms who leave the house for work every day and wish they could be home with their kids. Maybe work is just stifling. Maybe parenting is too.
This whole situation is making me realize what a crock the Mommy Wars are. Women who stay at home with their children don’t feel less guilt than women who don’t – the guilt is just channeled differently. And no one is doing a better job with their kids. Having a toddler in preschool everyday versus staying home with him yourself? There are benefits to both. I guess the answer for me is to get my kids into more consistent daycare for longer hours so I can focus as if I were in an office – and miraculously make some friends.
I’m still a little jealous of all the women who just got back from their lunch break, though.