Wednesday, April 18, 2012

On Being Super Woman

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Today was one of those days where I got to work, turned on my computer, found about 87 emails, all of them "urgent" and thought to myself, "Am I too young to retire?" I feel this nagging urge that I am ready for a change, ready for the next step, but also realize that I do not want to live my life always wishing and hoping for "the next step". I think part of this stems from how close I am to finishing school, and if I'm honest, I also suffer from minor baby fever. It wasn't so very long ago that I suddenly knew that I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom when the time came (if we're financially able to). It was an adjustment in my thought process and something I didn't admit or dare to say out loud for awhile. My whole life I've strived towards career goals. And college (and grad school) were always going to be a part of the deal; my parents never gave us another option.

So when it started to creep into my mind that once we decide we're ready to have babies, I want to stay home with them, it freaked me out. And because I'm neurotic and like to plan every aspect of my life (I don't really like change, I like plans) I go into a frenzy of anxiety. My thought process goes something like this,

"Poor Lucy (our dog) is home alone all day while we're at work.
I better take her on a walk and give her extra treats to make up for guilty I feel.
How will I EVER leave a baby at daycare?
 I wouldn't be able to.
I would need to stay home with them.
At least until they're ready to go on to 1st grade.
And if we have two children, that could potentially be about 8-10 years before I'm back in the work force.
I'll be going on 40.
I'll have no experience in the library world, only a dusty paper degree.
Would I then start in an entry level role with some 25 year old whipper snapper as my boss?"
Source: via Jana on Pinterest

Being a woman is hard work. It's a tricky concept trying to "have it all" and balance all of the important parts of your identity. I'd love to hear from some of you women that "do it all" or chose one way or another for a reason.



Tammy @ Lemons, Avocados & the Bay said...

So true. So so true. Like you, I think being a mom is the most important job and I want to stay home when I have kids too, but I realize there are some many additional issues that go along with that. I figure life will work itself out... =)

And maybe you and I should just develop our own blogging business, make lots of money, and stay home. I think it would be perfect hehe

Beverly said...

I feel your pain in this thought process girlfrand... I'm finishing up last year of grad school and will be done with my PhD at 29 years old. That gives me only a few more years to decide when to have kiddos.. but in the meantime while my mortgage payment in school loans is sitting waiting to be paid, I have to search for this BIG BUCKS CAREER that I went to school my whole life for! OMG... where to begin?!

The thing is I'm a super duper planner myself... to the tee! But lately my fiance has done a fantab job of helping me get through today before thinking or stressing about the future. You can only control yourself and the now. So what you do now will benefit your future.... just make the best of NOW! The rest will fall into place ;)

Hope that helps! Happy Wed!!

Anonymous said...

Ooooh I so get this. It's an important decision to make. You're going to have to choose for yourself because everyone's life is different. But I will say that I wish I had been able to stay home the first 8 years of Lexie's life. I've only been a SAHM for the past 2. I missed out on a LOT of things I'll never be able to get back.

Of course, some people might say, 'Think about the things you would have missed out on during those 8 years if you'd stayed home.' It can go either way. And some women have perfected the work/life balance and it works great for them, but I wasn't one of those people.

My priority now is Lexie. When she goes off to college, I'll likely be joining her and getting my masters degree. Then it's back to the work force. :o)

Holly said...

I completely agree with everything you said. It crosses my mind quite often.

I'd love to hear from the women who "do it all"

:) great post!

Melissa said...

amen. i am struggling right now. being home for the last ten months has been great but it cannot last. i feel guilty having to leave them or if i were to stay home what will i do when their in school? be a forty-year-old server. no thanks. i wish i went another direction with my degree. i do not know what i will use it for. so sad.

Ruthie Hart said...

I don't know how working moms do it but I applaud them!!! I know I want to stay home because like you, I cant imagine leaving my babies at daycare when I already get sad to leave Ernie! You will make it work I know!

Jane {In the Pink and Green} said...

I feel the same way some days when work gets really I too young to retire? LOL...I have really always wanted to stay home with my kids, and I'll admit that I eagerly look forward to when that time comes that I (hopefully) don't have to work and can just stay home...not that being a stay at home mom is easy by any means! At the same time, since I do work from home, I tecnically have a job that I could potentially do once I have a baby, and it would be nice to have 2 the same time, when I get really stressed with work, I'm like I really don't know if I could handle this and then a kid on top of it? It's definitely something I go back in forth about...but babies are still a few years away for me, so I'll guess we'll just wait and see what happens! :)

Makaila said...

Deep topic, hard topic. I'm a working mom. It is very hard to be away, but being a single mom, coupled with no support from the daddy, I haven't had another choice. I feel like I do nothing well. I do it all, but nothing to the level of greatness that I would like too. If I have more kids, I would like to be in the financial position where I could stay home. That said, my son is amazing and independent, self-sufficient, very socially adapted, and forced to be self-disciplined. With technology there are many ways to stay on top and in contact with your kids too..

I'm a planner too. But, you can't always wait for "ideal" circumstances. Sometimes you just have to live. And adjust, and make life the absolute best it can be, and it ALWAYS works itself out. :)

Kate @ Daffodils said...

I was a teacher turned stay at home mom and I often crave heading back to the workforce, but I love every moment I have with my boys. My perfect senario was when my oldest was a baby-2, I taught pre-k. So he went to a small daycare for 3 and a half hours while I was able to get out in the real world, but then we had the rest of the day together. It was wonderful. Maybe you can start working before kids and then find a happy medium like that! I am now a fully SAHM and blogging helps me feel connected :)

Rebecca said...

I'm wrestling with the same thing. I'm working on my MBA and know I need to work for a couple years to start putting a dent into my student loans. I also really want an awesome career. But then I see babies and think how much I would love to spend my days at home with them. Oh well, I have a couple years to figure it all out!

Lauren said...

I have the same feelings. I'm working on my 2nd degree and with a mountain of school debt piling up and the majority of bills being paid by my hard working husband, I feel pressure to get out there and start working as soon as possible. On the other hand, I think I'd like to have a baby before I'm 30 (3.5 years - the half is important!). I don't know what to really do about that. Not to mention I wouldn't want to go back to work right away either but the longer you're away, the less relevant you become. Especially in nursing :S It's tricky but hey at least you know there's lots of us in there with you xo

Karla said...

Oh man.. tell me why when we first got yogi I would leave my lap top recording.. so I could come home and watch it. I wanted to make sure he didn’t cry for too long. I can only imagine how neurotic I will be with my kids. But I’ve decided that if I leave my kids with my mom as their nanny I will feel less guilty, I will know they are safe and growing up around a healthy loving family. Of course this is all after I stop working for the first year of their lives? *SIGH* at least those are my hopes.

Danielle said...

I totally understand this post! I feel physically ill leaving Huckleberry for work, I don't know how I would ever be able to leave my children at daycare. Then again, I did go to school for a career and love my job now. How do women do both?? It would be so tough.

Elizabeth and Kyle @ Love Is the Adventure said...

If you find a woman who says she does it all, she's lying. Or a robot. I've asked my mom about how she's balanced it all, how she and my dad survived through all the work, careers, kids, moves, financial strain. She said, "It seems crazy but you just do it because you have to do it. You never know what you're really capable of until you have to be."

Ughhh, THIS topic has been on my mind all week. I've been sick in bed since Saturday night and all the downtime has given me pause to process, then stew, and finally meltdown about the future. I've been in school for what literally feels like FOREVER. I have TWO more years in the PhD program if I really, really haul it and I just want to be done. I want to be done. I want to be out of debt. I want a baby...sometimes I feel like these things are NEVER going to happen! I am only content in this moment because I am so sure that while I have nooooo idea what lies in store...I am totally and completely certain that God does. It's quite simply the only rest I have right now.

Ke lly said...

I feel that it is completely possible to be a working mom. However, I feel this decision is too complicated to reduce to a black and white answer. It definitely boils down to what works best for YOU & your family.

With a bun in the oven (8 weeks away from being a mommy), I have an idea and a plan of what is to come, but I truly will have no idea until he is here and it all starts!

The best thing for me is to keep an open mind. There are pros and cons to both sides, being a SAHM or working mom. Neither is right, neither is wrong :)

lo @ crazy ever after said...

I can see you using your degree in some small capacity as a stay at home mom. It won't get dusty. Volunteer. Mentor. Don't be a full time stay at home mom. I was one (but not really) for Jack and Ainsley this past year. Well I was their nanny and was with them 50 hours a week. It was hard shit. And it made me realize that even if I had the opportunity (yes, staying home with your babe is exactly that) I would need to do something to keep my mind active. The kids would need to be around someone other than me too. Grandparents. A one day a week nanny perhaps. It's not that being an at home parent is mindless. Not at all. Just different. I can only imagine I'd feel more like that if I was a roman with a graduate degree. Sorry. I think I jumped around a bit too much there. But yeah. You're probably used to that by now. Haha! 444 followers. Cool number. :)

lo @ crazy ever after said...

roman. Errrr. I meant woman. Clearly.

Joy said...

Agree 100% with this post. Growing up is scary. I really thought I'd have my life figured out by now, but I'm still not sure what I want to be when I grow up. And I'm nearing 30. Still holding out for the perfect job - professional vacation taker. Don't know if anyone is hiring, but I'd be a perfect employee ;) Also - what is with this baby fever thing. I just wrote a post about it recently too. It's scary. I blame Pinterest. I just wanted to stay home and take care of babies and craft and bake and be a domestic goddess. Boyfriend just says to take things one day at a time. Guess that's all we can do.

nicole. said...

i think "do it all" is at the discretion of the holder.

i do my own version of do it all. im a teacher. im a mom. im a wife. im a sister and a daughter. and, i try and be a friend in there too.

some days are better than others. the days i manage to work, pick up the kids on time, cook and clean something... i call a win. the other days... well they are still pretty good


in the end... life is what you make it - and certainly dont want to look back at mine wishing i would have done something differently.

Lynett said...

Seriously, did you just read my mind? I feel exactly the same way yo do. I'm 32, don't have a baby yet but will be working on it soon. I want to be a stay at home mom but didn't realize that until after I hit 30. I too have been a career girl my entire life! Everything will work out the way it's supposed to be, don't fret about the future!

Michelle said...

Oh yes. This is the stuff I think about 24/7. I even almost wrote something exactly like this today! It's the reason I decided not to pursue grad school, even though I had my heart set on it since high school. I know that I want to be a stay at home mom someday. I know that beyond a shadow of a doubt, but I have no idea what to do with myself in the meantime. I feel like just my Bachelor's degree is going to waste right now while I'm working a crappy job to pay the bills. But then sometimes I still kind of want to go to grad school and continue studying what I love. But I also know I don't have plans for a long term career. I just want to stay home and have babies.

UGH. All that to say, I feel you.

Ben & Cassie said...

I guess from all the legthy comments a lot of people feel like this! i have been thinking about this a lot latley and worried about balance. Then we had this guest speaker who came and talked to one of my classes. She said "Raising a family will NEVER be a waste of your education" I really needed to hear that and when the time comes i am sure we will all figure it out but being home when the kids get home from school seems like the most important thing!
thanks for posting this Amira!

Mrs. Robinson said...

This is such a great post. I wish I had some advice for you...but. Honestly? When I'm feeling stressed or overwhelmed with all the shiz going on, instead of making progress or making a plan to do something, I simple stop. Haha. I cease all productivity and sit on the sofa to stress. It's horrible. Gotta break the habit..let me know what you discover. :)

Britt @ The Magnolia Pair said...

Why do we think so alike? I tend to act neurotic and plan 10 years away. I always say I am going to stay at home because I am not career goaled at all. My dream is to be a stay at home mom and then one day own my own boutique. Maybe we'll become blog superstars and can quit our jobs and work at home with our future children :)

Britt said...

Ohhh I totally get you right now! I am in the same boat mentally as you. I would love a baby, but I know we aren't ready for that step. And the always wanting "the next step", boy this is me. I have to sit back and be grateful for what is going on now and not always want something more. This is my biggest flaw. It is such a hard balance.

twiggy@thedirtlife said...

i feel you. i totally do. i have the same mental process. the, "i won't be able to leave them in daycare."

right now i'm starting my own photography business and i'm still in the beginning stages. with the freedom of owning my own hours, i hope to be able to manage both once baby time arrives. but who knows, i hear you throw all these thoughts out the window anyways.

Nay said...

feel like this all.the.time...and I'm waaaaay closer to 40 than you are!
When you find the answer - pls email me:)
You can do it, girl!

Alyssa said...

I couldn't agree more!! Some days it's just down right rough being a woman!

Fran said...

So true! Sometimes I get so freaked out when I think about the career I've always dreamt of having but wanting to spend time with my future children as well.
I've been lucky enough that I've already (and currently do) work in the library field so if I decide to take a couple of years off or go part-time it won't look horrible but yeah... it freaks me out because the more I think about it the more I feel I'd like to stay at home once we have kids

Fran said...

So true! Sometimes I get so freaked out when I think about the career I've always dreamt of having but wanting to spend time with my future children as well.
I've been lucky enough that I've already (and currently do) work in the library field so if I decide to take a couple of years off or go part-time it won't look horrible but yeah... it freaks me out because the more I think about it the more I feel I'd like to stay at home once we have kids

Lottie said...

I am going to be a stay at home mum too, if I can, and I think it came as a shock to my parents because high flying career had always been their plan.

At the moment I am a stay at home wife trying to follow a more creative path and I think that was a ig adjustment for them too.

But at the end of the day you have to do what feels right for you.

Kristine said...

Ugh, amen to that! I'm not even a mom and I'm already stressed out. Love that picture of Tina Fey :)

P.S. You've been tagged! :) See my blog!

Hollie Ann said...

reading all of these comments and your post make me feel really normal. i'm 25 and working on my bachelors but also have an aa from a private school...and as my student loans GROW AND GROW AND GROW (eek!!) i get stressed out wondering how i will even afford children and living in san diego!? i'm very independent woman and can't imagine staying at home even if i'd want to (part of me does) but i want my own cash money too ya know?!

i'm turning 26 soon and i'm already just tripping out that my life is nowhere neeeeear what i planned it to be. i'm not ready for marriage or children....and it's like how many years do i have left!?


okay thanks for listening to my little rant!!

when can we get happy hour!? :)

Charisma Moran said...

This is something I think about everyday. Since I partially work from home, I think I will be able to stay home with my children to some extent. The problem I will face will be, will I get all my work done? I see my friends with babies and how hard it is just for the few hours I am visiting. I can not imagine taking care of a child all day AND finishing all my editing and marketing. Not to mention my limited schedule for meetings. And on Saturday, just when everyone elses work week is over, I will be heading into my hardest day of day. It just seems like SO MUCH right now. I have to keep reminding myself that there are so many awesome photographers who are moms and they balance it all so I know I can too.

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