Thoughts on Working Mommyhood
I’ve been meaning to write about this topic for a while now. My life for the past few months has been that of the Working Mom. After getting to be a stay at home mom for nearly a year, I re-entered the work force and my son started day care. We made the great shift. And so far? So far, we’re doing okay. Instead of writing a post about how much I miss my baby during the day (and I do), and how much I miss being home and having a bit more time to do stuff around here (I definitely do), I decided it’s time to focus on the bright side.
I’m not intending to be controversial, or to undersell the difficulty of going back to work and putting my son in day care. I’m just trying to take a light-hearted approach to this whole deal. So here you go –
The Bright Side to being back at work:
(1) Regular adult interaction. Some of my co-workers are less interesting than my baby. None of them are as cute, and I don’t want to cuddle any of them. But you know what? We talk about things. Politics, movies, food, what we did over the weekend. We have grown-up conversations. On a regular basis. I missed this more than I realized.
(2) Alone time. Ironically, I get more time to slack off and play on the internet than I did when I was at home with my son. (Don’t tell my boss). I have my own office, and I can close the door if I want. Some days I don’t take a lunch break with my friends – I just shut my door and eat at my desk, reading a book. This is a luxury, my friends. Sure, when I was home I could do this sort of thing during nap time. But there was no guarantee that it would be uninterrupted.
(3) Going to the bathroom. In a similar vein to number 2, now I can go to the bathroom by myself and not worry about my son freaking out or somehow injuring himself in my absence. It’s the little things, folks.
(4) Not having to be entertaining. I love playing with my baby more than just about anything in the world. But sometimes? Sometimes I felt under a lot of pressure to keep him entertained. He’s not that high maintenance, he has simple pleasures, and he can even play alone sometimes. But still, I felt like I was failing him somehow if I didn’t come up with fun activities or make his toys talk in funny voices. When I’m at work, I don’t have any obligation (self-imposed or otherwise) to entertain anyone.
(5) Looking somewhat cute. When I was on leave, I wore yoga pants and t-shirts pretty much every day. If I put on jeans, it was for a special occasion. Now? I actually put a little effort into my appearance. I wear decent (or at least I like to think so) clothing, and even put on a little makeup. It’s kind of nice.
(6) Time and motivation to work out. This is a biggy. There is a gym in my building at work, and I joined it. Best. Decision. Ever. When I was home I always had good intentions – after E went to bed, I’d do a yoga DVD or play my EA Sports game. But I never did it. I was too exhausted or too hungry, or wanted to watch some show I had recorded. But now I actually look forward to working out. It feels like I’m spoiling myself. And I can do it on my lunch break or before I start work for the day.
So there you have it. It’s not exactly a rival for spending all day with my beloved child, but it’s something. And it keeps me getting up and getting dressed for work every day. What about you other working moms? Anything I’m forgetting on this list?