Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Epiphany with a side of Guilt

Long ago I knew I was not the Stay At Home Mom type. Or any Stay At Home type. When I was first married, I was unemployed for 6 months and it was hell. I get antsy. I get bored. I long for intellectual pursuits and people to see/meet. I start projects around the house that cannot be finished. And that was without children!

Being unemployed these past 4 months has been my chance to see what life would be like if I was indeed a SAHM. It does help that I was getting unemployment checks, because, at least for the short term, the financial aspect of why I have to work was out of the equation. And, surprisingly to me, it.did.not.suck. Yes, there were times when the isolation from adults made me lonely. And, the weather could have cooperated more so that I could have enjoyed more of the out-of-doors. The many projects I thought I would do (organize the clutter, loose weight, cook spectular meals, read more) did not happen as I found other things (and a toddler into everything) to occupy my time.

But I found new appreciation for my children. I got to know them even more than I thought I ever would. I got to look at them with non-hurried eyes. I was able to GIVE to them experiences that I hope they will remember for a long time. This time has bittersweet memories for me that I will cherish forever.

A bit of me now feels totally guilty for having to leave this situation and go back into the work world. A guilt I had not had as strongly 4 months ago.

It will be back to the "normal" life for our family, with an appreciation for the what might have been.


serenity said...

You know that I struggle sometimes with the guilt, too. Because it seems like the time I get to spend home with O goes by SO quickly.

The good news is that you DID get time to have with Michael and Willow this summer. Un-hurried time (I like that description, btw. A LOT.) where you got to do things that you WANTED to do with them. That's great news.

And of course there's good and bad to everything. The financial security of having a job? Good. The intellectual fulfillment of having a job you enjoy most of the time? Good. The feeling of having to sort of cram quality time in sometimes? Bad.

Et cetera.

I think looking at it like you are - getting back to "normal" with an appreciation for the past 4 months - is a good way to approach it. I expect it won't take all that long before you're all adjusted to the new normal.


Caro said...

There's always the guilt. I'm glad you've enjoyed the extra time though.

Cibele said...

I am always feel guilt, i am alawys in a hurry, eevn on weekends... I loved what you said: 'I got to look at them with non-hurried eyes" I glad that you had this time with them, but i am glad you have a job again!

docgrumbles said...

I feel like all the time I have spent with JAG has been so rewarding, yet I really want to have "me" time again at my job. I know that first week or so of transition will be rough.

I truly feel, though, that without the financial benefit from working (even minus daycare tuition) I might opt to be a SAHM.

Fertilized said...

There is always something to feel guilty for. You enjoyed your time. There is no reason for guilt. Do what you do and enjoy your life

Kate said...

Oh, the guilt is there for me, too. I don;t think I could really be a SAHM. It's just not who I am. The time you got to spend with your two sounds really nice, though.

Parenthood For Me said...

I would say the good thing is that you were able to discover that being a SAHM isn't exactly what you thought it would be. I work part time. I know i couldn't be a full time SAHM. Maybe there is a way for you to find a happy medium.