I’ve been slow to blog, but I have a good reason. My household is going through a major overhaul. After over 12 years of being a stay at home mom, I went back to work. I don’t like to word it that way, because it sounds like I’ve been playing when in fact, I’ve been working as a stay-at-home Mom. That was a real issue when I was searching for a job. I was surprised at how many people (women in particular) thought I was sitting around doing nothing for a decade. Of course, that should have been another blog.
I started part time a couple of months ago, and this past week was my first week as a full-time employee. I took the position knowing it would become full time in July, but that was moved up. We were not exactly ready, but we survived.
The kids pitched in with dishes and laundry, but somehow lost the ability to pick up after themselves, or maybe I had been doing more of that than I realized. We performed a mandatory Rock-n-Roll Clean-up on Saturday, and everything (at least in the main portion of our home) is presentable. The laundry is folded and the dishes are finished. By the way, it is important to note that I do not have a working dish washer, our dishes must be washed by hand.
Before starting full time, I talked with my Mom, because she worked full time at a large company from the time I was in kindergarten. She told me, “Now is not the time to worry about recycling. Buy paper plates, bowls, cups, napkins, and whatever else will help me reduce what needs done. Now is the time to get the kids involved in managing our home.” She then gave me all the supplies she had mentioned.
Since I stayed home, and they are busy with school and activities, and my husband worked full time and devoted his off time to the kids, I took care of most everything. That is not to say, no one was expected to help. They put away their clothes, because I fold everything on the dining table, and in order to eat, you have to clear your spot. They helped with cooking, because I wanted them to learn how, but if something else came up, it was no big deal. The thing we lack is the ability to clean up as we go, so things were already getting out of sorts after only a couple of months of me having a part-time position.
I was, and still am, overwhelmed by the idea of working 5 days a week with a long commute, but I am also happy with my new job. It is different from any job I have had before. It is a comfortable environment with some of the nicest people I have ever met. That is not to say I did not like my previous jobs, because I did. Up until now my last job prior to staying home had been my favorite. It’s just we cannot go back. The world we understood working when we were working before is not there. It has changed. The technology has changed. Some of the people have changed. We just cannot go back. Plus, my skills have changed. They have evolved. I can squeeze a lot out of a dollar. I can make most any costume work. I can put together a meal, all be it crazy, with whatever is available in the cabinets and fridge. I can make it to three cities in one day in order to see each kid do something. Of course, I have suffered defeat trying to see everyone when it was not humanly possible. I have suffered defeat in the rush of a morning by not getting how upset one of my kids were over what seemed like nothing. I have suffered defeat when my oldest had to meet with the counselor because my alarm didn’t go off and he was late to school. I no longer dust my alarm.
Aside from the logistics of covering the things I had been my sole responsibility, there has been a lot of emotional changes. My oldest is driving, and is happy to have added freedom and help with transportation. My middle child is helping with things that concern her, but not as happy to lose the possibility of a shopping trip any afternoon of the week. All and all, it has hit my youngest the most. I set him up with an email account, so he can send me a note when he gets home from school. He tells me how his day went, and if he has homework. I try to send an email early in the day to let him know I was thinking of him, and so he has mail when he logs into his account. I don’t always accomplish that, but he sometimes forgets to send me an email too. It is helping. I am also trying to carve out even 15 minutes a day with each of them — time just talking to me, riding bikes, taking a walk, or watching a TV show together.
After one week of being on the job full time, things are okay. There is room for improvement, but there always is. I will succeed and I will suffer a few defeats, but I intend to remain positive about the whole experience, and I will try to share the ups and downs with you as I go.
Until next update,