Mom to Simon
Childcare: Partner, Babysitter and Friends
What did you struggle with most about returning to work after having your kids?
I always rebelled hard against the idea of being a stay at home mom. I just got a master's degree in my field and even though I super wanted to have a baby, I had no desire whatsoever to be a stay at home mom. Thankfully with my husband's job I totally could be, but I just could not (& cannot) imagine not being a theatre practitioner and educator.
What do you find difficult about being a working parent?
I would say the hardest thing was being willing to admit that yeah I really do miss Simon when I have to go to work. It doesn't make me want to stop working, but it makes me happy that I'm currently working part-time (though eventually I would love to have a full-time job). It was hard to admit because I felt like I was betraying my old self in saying that I love being at home with Simon. When I write it out it sounds ridiculous, but it's true! I am happy to finally be learning to live the nuances of my life-- I love being home with him, but I also love working! It's both! The most difficult thing is when other moms say things like, "I just couldn't leave my kids." or "I'd be afraid I'd miss something when I was at work! They're only little for so long, you know?" I know they're not trying to pass judgement (seriously, not mad at them! They have their own things as mamas that they are dealing with) but when my mom friends say these things and don't get excited for my professional accomplishments it makes me feel judged. Letting go of that fear and letting myself glory in both my job and my life with Simon has been the hardest part.
What do you enjoy about being a working parent?
The way I feel about teaching... well, I've never really talked to another person that feels the same way about their job that I do. I love going to school and seeing my students because I truly FEEL the statement "there is no such thing as other people's children." So even though it's hard to leave my child, I go to work so I can spend my energy and talent on my OTHER children. It's amazing.
After being back at work for some time, have your views about career and family changed?
Yes and no. I have always known I wanted to do both, and I'm doing both so in that way my "views" haven't changed. But giving myself permission to miss him and want to be home with him while still wanting to work and loving my job-- that's new...and I love it!
Knowing what you know now, what’s one thing you wish you could go back in time and tell yourself as you were preparing to return to work or getting ramped up in your role?
I wish I had told myself not to stress, that everything works out in time. That there are hard things about it and easy things about it and that they are a lot -- a LOT-- of joys. :) But I probably wouldn't have listened to myself because I am such an anxious person.
What did you choose for childcare, and how has it been for your family?
Daddy works from home and watches Simon once/week; family, friends, swapping days with other moms; we also have a babysitter that comes once a week that we LOVE.
At this point I don't think there are any cons. OR at least they're very small and are far outweighed by the pros. It also helps that I am not breastfeeding, but that is another very long story that I would be so happy to share another time! Just ask!
I love being Simon's mom. It is so fun to watch him learn & grown. I also love being a teacher-- it's a part of who I am. I can't imagine my life without either of these roles.