I’ve been off from work (due to a surgery) going on 4 weeks. Although, I was restricted from doing some activities, such as heavy lifting and driving, I’ve loved being at home. Simply because I can get things done and still have some of my day left. My kids become a priority and in turn, I’ve seen them thrive in 4 short weeks.
I work for a major hospital here in Atlanta with the usual 8-hour day. But no, it’s never JUST 8 hours. I haven’t included the time the kids and I get up to start our day and the time spent in traffic.
By the time I’m finally home, I’m exhausted but there’s no off switch. My kids are active in football and gymnastics so we’re always at a practice or game. Let’s not forget about homework, dinner, bath time and finally bed.
But let me get to the point of this blog. I’ve seriously been contemplating NOT going back to work. I want and need to be more available for my kids. I want to be able to chaperone my daughter’s field trips, read to my son’s kindergarten class and participate in birthday parties at daycare with my 2-year-old. I can’t do that when I’m across town working for someone else. If the decision is made not to return back to work, that leaves my husband and I trying to figure out how to survive on just one income. Since we’ve been married, we’ve always maintained on a two-person household and honestly with 3 children, it’s necessary. But at what cost? Quality time with them? Lack of participation in their schools as a parent? It’s been a slow realization that it’s no longer a sacrifice I’m willing to make.
So, as my time winds down and it gets closer for me to return to work, I am burdened with sadness, frustration, and dread. I have to work in order for them to enjoy the lifestyle they’ve always known. But it hurts me to my heart as I see their eyes drop when I have to tell them “Mommy can’t go on your field trip because I have to work.” Or “Mommy is tired from work so I can’t play with y’all right now.” They’ve definitely enjoyed mommy being home and the lack of a strict tight schedule. They’ve enjoyed coming home to dinner already made, I can help with homework, and all of this before practice. Bedtime is now more of a sensible time but most of all I am more relaxed. I haven’t stressed all day at work and pitched a fit in my car because of traffic. My children sense that and they have responded positively.
I’ve prayed to God to give me a way out. Although, I’ve recently started my own business, it’s going to take time and work before my it replaces my income. My husband has always been accommodating and understanding to my dreams and desires but I would hate to feel selfish in this partnership and put all financial responsibility of our family on him. I do realize that I am blessed to have a well paying job but right now my kids are more important to me.