I missed a post last week as I had to work, so I'm getting in early and doing a Sunday night edition :-)
I've just had the pleasure of spending most of the weekend with my little guy all to myself. He is just such good company at the moment that I want to spend every minute with him. He started crawling this week and I almost missed it. I was supposed to be working on Wednesday but, thanks to a typhoon, I got to stay home. J has been sitting up and leaning forward, ready to crawl for a couple of weeks now. We had been watching and waiting, praising him every time he got close to getting up on all fours, and I was thrilled when he finally did it. If I had missed that milestone it would have been my last day at work. I did still go to work on Friday though and was in complete turmoil about it all day Thursday. Even though I really enjoyed the one day of work I've done recently, it still felt wrong to be leaving my little man at home for a whole day.
I had to drag myself out of bed on Friday morning and was so miserable I contemplated calling in sick at the last minute. I was teaching PE for the day and I knew it would be fairly easy; the kids love sport and are generally very well behaved if you promise them a game of dodgeball at the end of the lesson. I also got to wear comfy clothes, so it was an ideal day really. Despite that I was almost in tears as I waved goodbye to J and vowed I wasn't going to work again. But once I got on the ferry I was fine. I had my ipod, a cup of tea and a book, and the best part about it was that for a brief time, no one demanded anything of me. The rest of the day followed in a similar fashion. I had an hour for lunch, and I got to read the paper! I was sitting in the gym waiting for the next group of kids to arrive, relishing the quiet and the fact that I was completely alone, when I was overcome with guilt. I was enjoying myself just a little bit too much. I found myself volunteering to do more work and I momentarily considered maybe applying for part-time jobs!
I felt disloyal, like I really should've been missing J a lot more than I was, and I wondered if all working mothers feel that way at some point. If you have to work because your family needs the money, do you spend the whole day wishing you were at home? If you have the luxury of being able to stay at home, is it ok to want to work? Am I going to have this great internal battle, and feel torn between my need for time out and wanting to be with my son, every time I go to work? Or will I eventually accept that I'm allowed to do something for myself occasionally? When I finished up on Friday, rather than being exhausted at the end of the day like I usually am, I felt elated and recharged. Granted, I didn't work very hard, but the whole day had been good for me. J got to spend a whole day with his dad, and his mum came home happy, it's a win/win situation as far as I can see. So, I've decided that I'm going to keep working while it suits me, or at least until I miss a milestone or two.
I'd love to hear from other mums trying to balance work and family. Have a good week x