What was i thinking?

22 Nov

Many of you will be aware that I went back to work recently. Well, i’m working a contract, but hopefully there’ll be more where that came from. You see, I’d been off work for over 2 years. I’d struggled at first, I mean, really really struggled, and then I’d slowly begun to accept that maybe I would be at home until the youngest was at school. And I was okay with it. I had the routine down, had lowered my expectations of what kind of mother I could be (flawed), and I was starting to settle. Yes, JUST starting to settle after 2 years, let’s just say it had been one bleedin’ long bedding in period. Yes i was still a bit jaded, mouthed off once in a while about why women couldn’t have it all, but I was living with it. Struggling with my identity, going through some kind of third life crisis, but living with it all the same.

But then i went back to work, and i’ve got to say – WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING? Me, Milk, a full time mum? 14 hours a day, non stop fetching, cleaning, cooking, wiping, mopping, shrieking? It’s just too bloody difficult. It’s not me. I’m too impatient, petulant, easily bored, obsessive, emotional, – goddamn too bloody tired most of the time to do all that.

My life suddenly has more balance. I have children days and work days. Weekdays and weekend days. Work clothes, sloppy clothes and, goddamn it, i now even have sexy clothes (and a sexy new fringe may I add). But seriously, this IS me. I think I might have lost myself for a while back there. Convinced myself i was someone else because, well, i had to.

But do you know what? I might have found it difficult, I might be happier having some me time and ponsing on a bit about monetising content and defining user journeys, but I jolly well did prove i COULD do the stay at home mum thing if I really really had to. Just pretty please don’t make me do it again.

17 Responses to “What was i thinking?”

  1. Vegemitevix November 22, 2010 at 11:00 pm #

    So honest. And for me, so close to the truth. Funny thing Milk, you and I both went back under similar terms and I’ve come to this point too. I find on the at-home days I feel a little purposeless, somewhat extraneous. I love being needed, and dammit, wanted at work. I love that people think I’m smart and talented. I’m not too grown up to admit that I need that validation. I’m both things a Mum and a professional, but I’m not sure I will ever be a career-Mum. So thrilled you’ve found your balance Milk, and so early in the piece. Well done you! It’s only taken me about 15 years to find mine. 🙂

    • marketingtomilk November 23, 2010 at 11:49 am #

      And so the parallel lives continue. i think i’ll just come to you for advice from now on.

  2. Lady-Like Pervert November 23, 2010 at 12:09 am #

    You speak for the likes of so many of us! I felt the same while home with my children – being a working mom makes me love the times I am with them so much more!

    Life is about balance and I’m so glad you have found it!

  3. Ksiu November 23, 2010 at 1:08 am #

    Good for you 🙂 i couldn’t do a stay at home mum for two years, i’m going mad when i stay at home with kids 24/7. My brain turns to mash 🙂
    but i do love my kids more than life and if i had to i’d stay home for them.

  4. Wanderlust November 23, 2010 at 1:24 am #

    I’m glad you’ve found a balance that works for you! I had a difficult time being a stay-at-home mom. Now that I’m a single mom, however, I’m having difficulty working full-time and keeping up. I’d like to find a new balance that works with my new reality. I’m glad you’re in a position where you can make that choice. That’s wonderful.

  5. Lucy November 23, 2010 at 2:29 am #

    I have found, so far (eldest is 6, middle one is 5, youngest is 4) that situations (and my emotions around the changing circumstances) has ebbed and flowed over the past 7 years, since I left my professional career.

    When they were little babies I was shagged but working from home, which was a juggle, but worth it. As they moved to toddling/childcare, I moved to part time in an office, which was cool, but left me wondering how many roles I was responsible for….

    Now I have ditched them all to kindy and school I am back working at home and am finding it all very lovely – I suspect, however, that the novelty of the school run will fade soon….

    I am waffling, but my point is that I think it is natural to have to experiment a lot with roles, circumstances, hours, locations, responsibilities, as children go through all of their ages and stages, so do we*. And, that in turn, our emotions and how we feel about each age and stage will also fluctuate.

    *we as in women. My husband looks at me totally blankly when attempt to broach this issue. He does not percieve that his life has altered one bit over the past 7 years……

    • marketingtomilk November 23, 2010 at 11:50 am #

      This is a very interesting point. YOu are right, mens lives do seem to be a bit more linear. Becoming a parent doesn’t quite affect as much of their lives as it does for women. I think we are brought up to think things will follow a natural progression, when in reality things change including what suits us.

  6. JulieB November 23, 2010 at 8:59 am #

    I feel exactly the same, which is why I went back to work. Part of me really envies women who can do the SAHM thing, and I sometimes wish I had at least given it a go, like you! Congratulations on finding a balance – and long may it continue.

  7. Muddling Along November 23, 2010 at 9:21 am #

    I’m with you on this – I haven’t done the full time mother thing for more than a couple of weeks but I enjoy working, I enjoy wearing heels, make up, nice clothes, using my brain and not being a Mummy. I also enjoy my Mummy time now because I know its not forever

    For me the big thing is to try and get everything in more balance – I want to reduce my hours and to give me a bit more Mummy time, not a lot more but enough so that I can do more than just have weekends with the girls

    Congratulations on finding out what works right for you!

  8. 21stcenturymummy November 23, 2010 at 9:22 am #

    I couldn’t be a stay at home mum. I take my hat off to anyone that does. I work from home 2 days a week and my 3 year old goes to nursery. It works perfectly!

  9. jfb57 November 23, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

    I’m so glad it is working out. Yes, it is possible to do the SAH bit but it’s also OK to do going out to work as well!

  10. Livi November 23, 2010 at 7:59 pm #

    I’m glad you’ve found yourself again and are happier

  11. Mwa November 23, 2010 at 8:34 pm #

    Yay for you!!! It’s wonderful to find balance. I’m looking forward to a little more balance as well. Only three more years… 🙂

  12. tim November 23, 2010 at 8:37 pm #

    i’m glad it seems linear to someone, cos I haven’t got a fucking clue.

  13. sandrine November 24, 2010 at 6:12 am #

    I stayed home for two and a half months each time – as the births coincided with the universities summer break. Although going back was hard, and heart-breaking at times, I couldn’t really see myself sticking around at home any longer. I’m really lucky though that I work close from home so I was still able to breastfeed at lunchtime and even now I’m able to work full time and spend time with the kids everyday because it takes me 5 mins to walk home! I’m so glad you’ve found your balance again! I can’t imagine why anyone would think we would be better mothers for doing something that we find so hard to fit in with! And yet they do…

  14. Rock and Roll Mummy November 25, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

    Glad its all working out for you, its my third week back at work this week. I spent the last bit of being on maternity leave wanting to go back and feeling guilty that I was a little bored of being at home and now i’m at work I miss them and guilty that i’m making them mserable that i’m not around enough!

    Having said that I’m enjoying doing my 3 days back in the office and now i’m freelance i love that I have more control. I was in london on Tuesday for meetings including a catch up with an old client in starbucks, it was great and I felt well just invigorated.

    The house however is a mess, the washing is piling up, – but one thing at a time, i’m just trying to find a good balance if that actually exists!

  15. nmaha December 16, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    I did the sahm thing for a year and a half and hated the snappy, bored person I became. I am a much better mother, wife, sister, daughter when I’m working and trying to figure out the work-life balance thing.

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