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Mommy Mid-Life Career Crisis

When I decided to quit my official “9am-5pm” day job, which was actually more of a “6:30am-7:00pm” all day/lots of evenings/sometimes weekends type gig, I really thought I was making the right decision. I felt like I was missing precious time that I’d always regret. I wanted to be the one to witness the first time my son rolled over, the first steps he took, and his first word – not his daycare teacher. When I took him to the pediatrician and they asked me about his schedule and his feedings, I hated that I wasn’t really sure considering he spent more waking hours with someone else over me. Especially since I was the Director of his daycare – I mean, it was like he was so close but I couldn’t be with him. I could hear him crying from my office, but I couldn’t be the one to console him. It was torture. So after five months back at work, I gave up my education career (temporarily) to spend more time with my son. I want to clarify – I didn’t give up “working.” Trust me – if anything – I am working harder now than I ever have in my life.

In order to leave my position and to supplement our income, I took a job nannying two other children 28 hours a week in their home, with the condition that Greyson could come with me. When I left my “full time” job, I didn’t realize that I had no idea what full-time meant. Motherhood is not a full-time job. It’s all day, all night, every weekend, and every holiday. No personal time, no vacation days, no sick days. And when your husband works 10 hours a day and travels often, you are number one. There’s no under study, no back up dancers in this number. You are the star of the show in the eyes of your little one. I don’t have the luxury of family nearby, so a lot of the time, I am on my own. Not to mention that everyone considers nannying a side job – just “babysitting,” which makes me cringe. If I hear one more person make a comment about how nice it is that I don’t have to work, I might lose it. Just to clue you in, caring for three kids 28 hours a week is definitely work. Try it – my guess is that you’d throw in the towel somewhere between toddler tantrums, non-existent naptimes, and baby blowouts.

So here I am. Having a Mommy Mid-Life Career Crisis. Was it the right decision to leave my job? To trade in my Master’s degree to be on 24-Mommy Duty? To give up a teaching career in order to change diapers and clean up toys? I read the title of an article the other day that asked, “What would it mean to you to have it all?” As a mother, I honestly don’t think it is possible to have it all. No matter what you choose you are going to sacrifice a small part of something else. I think I just have to remember that giving up a little bit of me right now is going to mean gaining so much as a mother in the long run. And maybe, we just have to accept that “having it all” isn’t realistic. A little time at home, a little time at work, a little time with your partner – maybe having it all is really just finding a way to have a little bit of everything.

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