I think I am jealous. I am jealous of all the mommies that knew they wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I am also jealous of all the mommies who knew that they wanted to go back to work. I feel bad for the mommies who want to stay home, but have to work, and for the mommies who want to work, but have to stay at home.
I am none of them.
Tomorrow is the last day of my life as a stay-at-home mom. Well, a quasi-stay-at-home mom. My last day to plan out a day with my kids and not worry that I am using a vacation day for nothing. I have been riddled with emotion over the past several months, ever since I accepted a new position that requires me to go back full time. So many women tell me that I am lucky to have the choice, but am I?
I have been lucky in so many ways: I had a job that let me take a long maternity leave. I had a job that allowed me to return to work part time. I am also lucky for my work situation because my husband was a full-time student when I had our first baby and just graduating when I got pregnant with our second. If he hadn't been in school, I would have had to make the decision sooner. I also know what it is like to go back to work part time and to have my mom be our only childcare. I know first hand how difficult it is to be a SAHM. I know how much it sucks when your husband calls to tell you he isn't coming home/is working late, neither kid took their afternoon nap and you seriously considered driving to McDonald's for the cheesburger your toddler would eat so you didn't have to coax him into eating a dinner you created and the baby only wants to be held. But I also don't know what it is like to leave your six-week-old baby in the arms of a stranger at a daycare. I don't know what it is like to be up all night with a 3-month-old and then at your job with no sleep attempting to depose someone or to meet with a new client. I don't know what it is like to not worry all day that your baby is getting tummy time or your toddler is being hugged enough. I got to be there with both of my children for their first eight full months. I got to have the toughest job you'll ever love. I got to meet my friends at the pool with their kids, have lunch, albeit at McDonald's with a Happy Meal on one side and a spoonful of Gerber on the other. I got to pick up my son from just about every day of preschool and "talk" to him on the way home. I got to nurse my baby down for his naps and walk my children through the neighborhood just about every day. I never had to dress up for my job and I even got to have "PJ days" when I needed them.