Thursday, June 2, 2011

Going Full-Time

At the moment JT is pulling another long shift at the police station jail, working fourteen hours, only to come home, catch a little sleep, and go to work graveyard at the hospital for the next few nights. Me, I just finished washing a ton of dishes after returning home with JY from grandma's house (wayyyy far away). Before that I was working 6 hours, and before that I was celebrating my graduation.

Today my coworkers threw a party for me because I recently finished my master's program (yay!!). One of them expressed polite regret that I will now be out looking for a better job. I would hate to leave them too, since they've been really good to me, but that's not all I'd hate to leave. I'm applying for a great full-time librarian job that recently came available in a nearby city. I was excited at first, but the more I think about it, the more uneasy I get. If it was offered to me right now, I'm not sure I would take it. I'm not sure I'm ready yet to surrender my dreams of being a stay-at-home mom.

Yeah. I know that last sentence sounds like the strangest, most upside-down, backwards sentiment in light of everything that the feminist movement has achieved for us... But it's true. I don't feel like I get to spend nearly enough time with my daughter. I spend a lot of time in the car, carting her around from one grandparent's to the next. (And they both live REALLY far from us which makes it harder.) I cherish my days off with the baby, and use them to get other things done, like taking care of the house, making dinners, buying groceries, doing laundry, etc. I might even spend one of those days with my husband (if I'm lucky). But even with all that time, it never feels like enough. If I work full time, most of the time I spend with my daughter will be spent in a car with her strapped in a car seat and out of reach. It makes me want to cry just thinking about it. Sure, there'd be weekends. There'd be bedtimes too. But I'd never be able to shake the worry that I'm missing out on her childhood, that her grandparents are raising her instead of me.

JT wants me to take the job. He is hoping to get hired full time in the jail (he is already in the background stage right now, just finished his polygraph). It would be a really great job, as I said earlier, and I'd be doing what I want to do. What I just got a master's degree to do. But I was never unclear with my husband that I wanted to work part-time and get a good hourly rate, and that I wanted to spend as much time as possible raising our kids. My plan, hatched early in our relationship, was that I would get my master's in order to enable me to make good money part-time and then maybe work full-time once our kids are in school. But right now while we're still in this transitional phase, I have to try for any job I can find.

So I don't know. Maybe some of the mommies out there can give me a shot of reality, remind me that it's not so bad working full time and being a mom. Tell me that you haven't missed out on anything, that your kids turned out just fine. Maybe some of my fear comes from the fact that my mother worked so hard--and resented it every day of her life. I don't want to end up that way.