Sunday, April 12, 2015

Working Mum, Stay Home Mum? I'm still me

Two months ago, I went back to work after 18 months at home with my lovely children. It's been an interesting experience, to say the least. It's also reminded me why the stay-at-home parent/working parent divide is silly:

I get different reactions when asked the "what do you do? " question, although these reactions seem to come with the same amount of judgement. I feel just as frustrated when people seem interested in my job but not my children as I do when people seem more interested in my children than my job. After all, the different parts of my "self" aren't that disconnected. Regardless of whether I'm inside a play-house playing lions and tigers, or wearing a suit and writing a report, I'm still me. 

I have moments when I feel like I'm good at what I do, and moments when I feel like I'm rubbish, just like when I was a stay at home mum. I also have moments when I am exhilarated by my work, and moments when I'd give a limb to be somewhere else, just like before. I also care about/worry about/think about my children just as much as I did before. After all, I'm still me.

I still hate doing the dishes, and still wish I could hire a team of magic pixies to clean the house while I slept. After all, I've never been a lover of housework, and I'm still me. 

I miss being at home, just like when I was at home I had moments when I wished I was at work. I crave intellectual stimulation just as much as before, and still struggle to find time for my hobbies and interests. While I have less time for myself now I work, I do have more adult conversation which probably just balances the two things out. But, working hasn't changed me, it's just changed how I spend my days. I'm still me. 

I still try hard to feed my children healthy meals, while secretly eating far to many marshmallows myself. After all, I'm still me. 

I still feel guilty about my choices at times, just as much as I did when I made different choices and was at home. I still feel defensive when I hear someone criticize whatever side of the fence I'm currently on, and affirmed when I meet other mothers who have made the same choices I have. But, I have to remember that those other mothers are still them regardless of whether they're home with kids or not, just as I'm still me. 

Most of all, I love my kids just as much as I did before. After all, they're still them, and I'm still me.

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