Resisting the Change

I knew going back to work full-time, outside of my house, would take some getting used to. I told myself there would be some days that were easier than others, but I didn’t really think it would be this hard. After all, I had been looking for a job like this one. I was ready for it, and even wanted it. Yet, I am still not adjusting to what being a full-time working mother really means.

Sometimes circumstances change and you are forced to change with them. You can fight them and resist the change, but it always happens and you just end up defeated and exhausted from the fight. So I told myself early on that fighting this change would not benefit me. I would need to learn to deal with not being in control of everything that happens in my home, with my kids, throughout the day. There would be times when the boys would go out with dirty faces and mis-matched clothes and surely people would stare and think (in their judgey voices) “where is their mother?” I would come home to paint smeared on the kitchen table (and maybe even on the boys faces) and I was going to have to take a deep breath and remind myself that this was not, is not, a big deal. I prepared myself for all of that.

I was not prepared to leave my kids as they were crying and hanging on to my coat. Only to look back at the window as I pull out of my driveway and see their sad faces staring back at me. I know they are over me leaving 3.5 seconds after I am gone, but I’m not. I am sad all day. I feel horrible that I left them like that and “Mommy Guilt” kicks in and it is all down-hill from there. Will I ever adjust to this? Does any Mom adjust to this?

All in all, I like my job. It is fulfilling and challenging and the paycheck is pretty nice as well. It is also easier, way easier, than staying home and taking care of two children. But I can’t seem to find my happy middle. I hate that there are days when I feel being home with my kids (mainly when they are sick or there is something I am missing at school) is more important than anything I will accomplish at work all day. That taking them to the doctor and comforting them so they feel better is my job, my most important job. And still I left this morning as my son was having a breathing treatment and plans for a doctor appointment were being made. I resented my “paid” job. I hated that it was making me leave my baby when I felt like I shouldn’t. I resented that the paycheck and the lack of time off were making a decision for me. I hate this part of the change.

I know my kids are fine. They are in great hands and Jason is completely capable of making sure Joey gets to the doctor and that he is breathing okay. He manages all of it, and does a damn fine job. But I still can’t help but feel like it is my job. I am not sure how to give up ownership of the duties that have been mine for the last four years. The dishes in the sink, dog hair on the floor and mountain of laundry piling up cause me anxiety – but I can deal with them. I just don’t know how to cope with the constant feeling that I’m not doing what’s right or being a good Mom…that I am simply not there when I need to be, should be.

So for today, I feel sad about leaving my sick baby. And resentful to the job that made me leave. Tomorrow I will leave again. I will do the responsible, grown-up thing and head to the office. Hopefully I will leave healthy, happy smiling faces behind when I go.


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