Yesterday was my first day of
vacation work. Returning to work is the first step toward us finally bringing our second child home. After meeting with our reproductive doctor, Dr. D, we learned that we are going to likely need another round or so of IVF. If IVF doesn’t work, then we’ll move on to either surrogate or adoption. So I am working and saving all I can to help prepare for these next steps.
I spent quite a bit of time focusing on my biggest worry, which was finding a great nanny for Nathan. I also researched about how to steps to take to make sure he is in good hands. I finally found someone very promising, and went to interview her. Shockingly, I somehow managed to not scare her off with my lengthy list of slightly neurotic questions. The thing is that I just HAD to make triple sure that I could be 1,000% confident that he would be in good hands while I work. I interviewed Nanny Amy for over an hour, then emailed every single reference contact to get their experiences working with her. All of the references only had the very best things to say. We found ourselves our nanny!
Tuesday, I dropped him off at Nanny Amy’s and he was all smiles when I left. Yep, I am officially a working mom.
Let me just settle once and for all that at-home parents of stay home kids have it WAY harder than working spouses.
Working for me was almost like a vacation. For starters, I actually had a lunch and dinner break. As in…I got to sit down, uninterrupted, and eat a hot (hot!) meal. I can’t remember the last time I got to relax and eat undisturbed. My back felt just dandy from not having to lift a quarter of my weight many, many times a day. The main thing is that I got to RELAX.
At work, I did not have to obsessively check on an out-of-sight toddler. I was able to concentrate (concentrate!) on one task (one!) for as long as I needed to finish the task. It turns out that my task-finishing skills are totally fine, it was just the whole mommy business thing after all. I sat down when I wanted to, got up when I wanted to, and generally just did a whole lot of stuff I never get to do at home. There also was zero exposure to hazardous waste, constant violation of personal space, screaming/whining in my ears (eyes?), or massive guilt from not giving into that same screaming/whining.
After working my hours, I to do some general cleaning and tidying. I totally enjoyed cleaning. I realized that no one likes to keep fighting a battle they know they are going to lose, such as keeping a house clean with a busy tot to help it get messy again. When I dusted, I wasn’t at serious risk of losing my pants from a toddler pulling on them and fussing because he wants to use the swifter. I quickly yet thoroughly vacuumed the place up since I did not have to pick up a gazillion vacuum-busting little toys beforehand, nor did I have to repeatedly stop to plug it back in due to a little someone’s game to keep unplugging it.
A similarity between working and being a home mom is that I am still there to help people with whatever they need. The similarities ended there. At work, people are decisive about what they want. They make a request, I fulfill said request, and I even get told thank you at the end. It is amazingly civilized, these work places are.
It is nice to know that there are still places on earth where personal dignity is found. Being an at-home parent is just not one of those places, at least not when you have younger ones. I’ve been so desensitized by being an at home parent that someone could probably throw up on my desk once a day and it wouldn’t even phase me. I would probably happily clean it up without a second thought knowing that I’ve reached my biohazard waste quota of the day.
So for you at home moms out there with little ones, hats off to you. If you have any doubts at all if it is you or your spouse who has it harder, you win, hands down. If the spouse has any doubts, ask him how many times his personal space is violated at work each day (Including, but not limited to: being pinched, hit, sat on, pooped/peed/drooled/thrown-up or otherwise covered in bodily fluids, whined or yelled at as close as humanly possible to your face, ect); or if he got to eat a solid meal of any sort uninterrupted without having to share a single bite while the food is still warm.
For the working spouses out there, give your at-home wife something she won’t get to experience otherwise- personal dignity. Take over the duties and let her take a decent bath, alone. Tend to various needs of the little ones so she can have some personal space. Don’t yell at or whine to her, and keep the kids from doing it as well. Make sure to tell her thanks when she does things for you. Take over childcare in such a way that she can finally just RELAX. Give her some personal dignity. She’ll love you for it.
That being said, I would not be working if it wasn’t a crucial step toward completing our family. While I would like to pursue a career once my children are a little older, I have thoroughly enjoyed being at home with Nathan for as long as I have. I am very blessed to have found opportunities to work doing something I enjoy while still being able to stay at home with Nathan most of the time. To me, being a at-home mom is the best job in the world. The rewards I have gotten from seeing this child grow from a helpless newborn to a thriving toddler outweighs any of the sacrifices I’ve had to make to do so. I really miss him a lot while I am at work, but knowing that this is helping to make our dreams come true helps me get through it.