Is the grass always greener on the other side?

| 4 Comments

Lately, while thinking about the arrival of our second child, I’ve been longing to be just a mom, and put my career on hold.

This is not the first time I’ve felt this way.  Sometimes I get angry at having to pay someone else to play with my child, when I want to be the one to play with her.  Plus, I am frustrated with being distracted by either motherhood or my work.  It seems like it’s always a juggle between the two – and it’s tiring.

But then I wonder, if I quit my job – would I miss it?  Would I regret my decision?  Would I be bored?  Is it true what they say that the grass is always greener on the other side?

When I’m on vacation, I definitely have enough to keep myself busy.  And I am content.  There’s always something to clean or laundry to do in between entertaining Zoe.  Would I eventually run out of stuff to do?  Would I miss contributing to society at large?  Am I cut out to be a stay-at-home mom?

Part of me feels that since I paid so much for an education, that I need to use it.  And right now, finances (gotta pay back those student loans) won’t permit me to leave the workforce.  Hopefully someday I can take a break for a short while the kids are still young.  And in the meantime, I’ll try not to dream too much of greener pastures.

4 Comments

  1. Jen,

    I’ve been a stay at home mom full time for 2 1/2 years now. There are times I really like it, like when my kids are sick or when I get to pick my daughter up off the bus. But I will be honest most times I really, really wish I was working part time. I think to be a stay at home mom takes a lot of discipline with time management. I find it to be very isolating and I miss the interaction I used to have with coworkers and my students. And people do treat you differently. I felt like I was much more…respected (for lack of a better word) at church, meeting my husband’s co-workers or just in general, when I was teaching part time. Typically the reaction I get now when I tell people I’m a stay at home mom, is “oh…good for you” kinda like you would tell a child who came in second place at a spelling bee or something. I have had people be very surprise when I tell them I have a Masters. It is hard to know how much is reality and how much I just perceive to be negative interactions. I don’t know. I think being a stay at home mom full time can work if you 1. have lots of opportunities for other adult interactions away from your children, 2. Find something you can work on that you are passionate about, 3. Have good time management skills/ be a self motivator.
    I know some people love being a stay at home mom and they (and their children) do really well with it. I’m not knocking it, believe me I wish I was more content being one. I just know for me, it’s not all I hoped it would be.

    • Hi Sara – thanks for sharing. You touched on my fear – what if not working isn’t as great as I imagine in my head? And I don’t consider myself great in time management. I get more done when I’m busy and have a short timeline. As for the adult interaction – I really get that now anyways unless it’s on the phone with colleagues.

      It’s too bad there’s a stigma… I can’t say I was innocent though before I had Zoe… Having kids really does change a person.

  2. Jen,
    I think I was lucky! I stayed home with my children until my boys were in Kindergarten and 2nd grade (7 & 5) and my daughter who was 2 went to work with me. In the summer the boys were able to go to work with me as well, I had the best of both worlds! I loved being home with them, we filled our days with everything from the park to the library ( the Librarians knew my boys by their 1st names). By the time my daughter was 2, I was ready to go back to work, I needed adult interaction. I think each family is different and there are a lot of factors that rely on the end result. I have heard comments on both sides of the fence! some are negative and some positive. Women are no less of a mother by working and others are no less of an equal for spending their days filled with the interaction of tiny smiling faces, diapers, Sesame Street, Blues Clues and Molly and the Comfy Couch (sorry not up to date with kiddie shows). I was so into my children I didn’t even bother changing the radio station (Disney) in the car :). So regardless of a families decision to work or not to work, as long as children get the mommy and me time everything works out.
    Cindy

    • Hi Cindy – Thanks for your comment. I absolutely agree that being a mother is the hardest job out there. I feel fortunate that I can work from home and be around Zoe 24/7. It’s definitely distracting on both sides though. My heart breaks when I hear her crying in other room with the babysitter and I can’t go to her because I’m on the phone.

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