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The Grass Is Always Greener On the Other Side

The Grass Is Always Greener On the Other Side

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When I was pregnant with my son, I was looking forward to being a stay at home mom. To be completely honest I thought that it would be easy. I would get to stay at home with my kids, take advantage of different play dates, meet new moms, and watch my kids meet their milestones. I couldn’t wait to devout all my time to them, and never have to worry about working outside the home.

After my son was born I was very busy. We were going out a lot, and I was catching up on chores and e-mails when he was napping. We had a great routine. But as he got older I started to question whether I wanted to stay at home or not. I was enjoying my time with my son, but I felt like there was something missing.

I started to explore these new feelings. I felt like I was torn between wanting to stay at home full time and pursing other goals. I was swimming in diapers, feedings and sleep schedules, and found I needed a break from my mommy role. I wasn’t rushing out to get a job but I started to explore other options that allowed me to stay at home with my son, but also stay busy while he was napping during the day. I wanted to help out financially too so all the financial burden didn’t fall on my husband’s shoulders. Most of all I wanted to find a job that I was passionate about.

I started working online as a Project Manager and Virtual Assistant. Every day I was challenging myself, learning new ideas and concepts. I was conversing with team members and clients about websites, newsletters, and social media, and really enjoying the networking. After struggling to find what I was passionate about for so many years, I had finally found the perfect fit for me. Now that I was a mom, could I find the balance for both?

My boss understood I had a family and the schedule was flexible, fitting easily into our routine. Being a mother herself, she encouraged me to work around my son’s schedule. I couldn’t believe that I found the balance that I was looking for.

Over the last year my son’s routine has changed, therefore changing my work schedule. There were days that I had to stay up later to ensure my work was getting done, but I knew that it was a sacrifice I needed to make in order to maintain my workload and be with me son when he was awake.

Eventually the balance that I once had was completely lost. My spare time was dwindling, and I felt like I couldn’t keep up. I was exhausted trying to keep up with work and not allowing it interfere with my time with my son.

After some soul searching and A LOT of mommy guilt I realized I couldn’t do it all. There just weren’t enough hours in the day to be a full time stay at home mom, and a work at home mom. My problem was I was seeing them as mutually exclusive; I could only do one or the other at a given time.

I was struggling with feeling like I was neglecting my son over work when I did need to catch up once in awhile. I didn’t want to let him down by taking time away from us. I was trying to do it all instead of asking for help. There is no quick guide to being a successful work at home mom. What if I was doing it wrong? Some days I wished I had a job outside of the house so the decision was easier for me, being more cut and dry. But I know that’s not the case. The grass is always greener on the other side.

After a lot of brainstorming I finally found a solution for me and my family. I knew all along what I needed to do, but felt that I would be judged if I didn’t make the right decision. It came down to finding that balance in my life again. In the end, I know I made the right decision and my family supports so I couldn’t ask for more.

Have you ever struggled with working outside or inside the home while raising a family? How did you find the balance between parenting and working? Did you ever feel any guilt as a parent?

Stay tuned for Part 2, where I describe what we did to find this balance again. Its A Work In Progress.

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Comments (7)

  1. Crystal Tuesday - 04 / 09 / 2012 Reply
    You are a great mom Tricia, and you shouldn't feel guilty. Its kinda funny though, that it is more often than not the mom who feels the guilt and not the dads going off to work. Hoping you find better balance with moving into your new home and what you have put into action to help yourself! xo
  2. Melody Lachance Tuesday - 04 / 09 / 2012 Reply
    I never struggled with the decision to be a stay at home mom, or a working mom. I always knew I would go back to work after both my children were born, in order to obtain the things we wanted for our family. But I was one of the lucky ones, I had family care-givers and never had to worry about who was looking after them. They were not just someone's "job" which made it much easier on all of us. When I was home I tried to make the most of the time we did have. I was always home for the first day of school, and my kids did come before my job, and if you can manage that, no need to feel guilty.
  3. Tricia Wednesday - 05 / 09 / 2012 Reply
    Thanks Crystal and Mel. I feel like once I get a routine established I will feel better about my decisions. Things have just been all over the place recently its hard to get in to a routine and see how beneficial it is.
  4. Melanie Fisher Wednesday - 05 / 09 / 2012 Reply
    Great post Tricia! I stay at home right now too while pregnant and will continue to be a stay at home once our son is born and I am already starting to feel some of the things that you are/were feeling! Glad to know I am not the only one going through this!
  5. Tricia Wednesday - 05 / 09 / 2012 Reply
    You are definitely not alone Melanie. Its nice to know other people have the same feelings.
  6. StephanieS Thursday - 06 / 09 / 2012 Reply
    I stopped working when I was pregnant with my son, who was born in 2003. I went back to work in 2009 because financially I had to. I left that job in January of this year and I'm back to being a SAHM - which I love. No qualms about it.....I hate working. Period. I love sending them off to school. I love being home when they get off the bus. I love being able to be here when they are sick. I love being able to volunteer at their school. I love being a SAHM!
  7. Tricia Thursday - 06 / 09 / 2012 Reply
    I agree. Having the opportunity to join in on school events and being able to send them off to school is a HUGE benefit. I am looking forward to those days with my son.

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