Sunday, October 23, 2011

Where have the weekends gone?

Ever since school started I've felt like the weekends fly by too quickly.  I've never really felt this way since I've always had a 3-day weekend.   I've always LOVED my weekends and loved my Fridays with the boys.  A few weeks ago I realized why the weekends have felt so much shorter. Porter is in school.  He's in school... 5 days a week and this is how it will be for the rest of his childhood.  For the first few weeks of school I had Hudson in daycare on Friday so I could have a "work" day for photography.   THAT made the weekends seem even shorter as I didn't get that one on one time with Hudson.

It made me think about how, even though I've wished and hoped and wanted so badly to be working full time... that these past 5 years have really been a blessing for me to have a weekly "mommy time" with the boys.  It hasn't been until now, now that Porter is in school, that I've realized how special these Fridays have been to me.

My plan this year was to sub on Fridays (after the busy fall season in photography was over) so I could get my name around other schools.  However... I've never really had one on one time with just Hudson.  Porter had 2 years with me before Hudson was born, and after that it has always been the two of them.  Next year Hudson will be in "real" preschool, and then it will be Kindergarten.  And that will be it.  He'll be gone 5 days a week.  And his weekends with me, with us, will be shorter.

I'm so torn.  All of my "career" (aka... working life after college) I've felt so driven to work.  I've compared myself to my co-workers and friends who work and worried that I wasn't getting my career off to the right start.  I wasn't working full time.  I wasn't accruing time toward retirement.  I wasn't getting benefits (though this is unnecessary with Ryan's job).  However, the past year has really made me long to stay home with the boys.  I've felt so scared and nostalgic at how quickly the past few years have gone by.  I've worried that I made the wrong choices before having kids, maybe I should have lined things up better so we could have afforded for me to stay home.  Maybe I shouldn't have gone to college and racked up student loans.  Did I wish away my kids most precious, fleeting years?

And now, this year, I've felt I've been woken up to the gift that my job has been.  That it is true... God has a place for me and right now this is where I'm meant to be.  Sure, this job isn't where I want to be forever, and if I had a choice I'm pretty sure I'd have taken full time over where I am now. But, how is this job delay any different than moms who have stayed home until all their kids are in school and then returned to work in their late 30's?  Why do I feel compelled to compare myself and my job choices to other moms?  I worry that I'm not making the right choices for the future, for my future, but in worrying about that am I missing out on the gift that is my kids early years and the extra time I can have with them?

All these choices and feelings and thoughts and worries.  I hate feeling unsure of my decisions.  I do know, however, that I'm working hard to be accepting of what is on my plate at this given time and hope that I can feel at peace with where I am.  I am contemplating just staying in a part time position for the next two years so I can spend this time with Hudson.  However, I know once Baby #3 comes along I'll be longing for more time with him/her as well.  And I guess if that happens then so be it.  Maybe I'm meant to be part time until all my babies are in school.  Maybe this is my alternative to staying home full time... having Mommy Fridays.  Time will tell, I suppose, and when the time comes to make more committed decisions I guess I'll have to see where my heart lies.


  1. My Fridays with my kids are the reason I'll stay at my job (and it IS a job) as long as I can. They are what matters to me. The kids love them, I love them, they will remember that I found them more important than money someday.

    I will confess that on occassion I send them to daycare to hang with their friends and I clean the house or do a project that I've been wanting to do for me. It keeps me sane.

    I always tell myself there is time for a "career" later. If I even want one then. Something tells me I'd rather retire early :)

  2. i think you're really lucky to be able to have that flexibility, summers off, etc. you need to stop comparing! :) ugh, choices. i think everyone questions theirs constantly, i know i do. for about a year, when vivi was born, i worked .8 and had fridays off. i went back to 5 days a week about a year ago i think? work was INSANE and i didn't feel like i was doing enough. i'm happy now with my schedule, but if it works out, i'm considering going back down next year when max starts kindergarten, hopefully spread over 5 days, just less hours, so that i could possibly be there right after school. or maybe i'll decide that i want to stay home completely, and we'll make huge changes so that i'll be able to do so. i've stopped guessing at what life will be like more than a few months from now. :) we'll see.

    here is what i think really matters: are YOU happy with your working situation? not anyone else, not even your kids... because i truly believe that your kids will be happy if you are. and obviously, the answer to that question could change all the time. some days i hate the fact that i work at all, some days i think i should go down to part time, etc. i figure that if i feel happy like 90% of the time, i'm doing okay. or even 75%. i mean, i think every mom questions their choices, it's just about finding the one that feels right MOST of the time. maybe this year, it is right for you to stay home more, and in a couple years, work more. i know that's what you're asking yourself, but i guess i'm trying to say, i think everyone feels this way, but do what feels right for YOU and don't compare your choices to anyone else's.

    i think back to my childhood a lot now that i'm a mom... my mom always worked in some capacity, sometimes a traditional job where i'd go to a babysitter's after school, and sometimes a more flexible job (she owns her own business) where she'd be home. what i remember MOST about both of my parents and their working situation was not that i had to have babysitters... it was that they both loved their jobs. sure, there are hard days at any jobs (including being a SAHM, obviously) but i almost NEVER heard my parents complaining about anything related to work. if anything i remember them being excited about what they were doing there. i never felt like i didn't see them enough, or that money was more important, or anything like that. exactly the opposite actually - i'm very close with them and i'm super proud of both of them for what they did/still do. i grew up seeing what it is like to be blessed enough to be able to do something you love for a living, and so i know that i personally would do anything in my power to change my situation if i really hated going to work, or was completely miserable about not staying at home with my kids, etc. i think that would affect my kids more poorly than working at a job i love does. just from reading your blog, it seems like you really have a passion for what you do. i think when your kids grow up, they'll remember that so much more, and it will affect their lives so much more, than whether you worked fridays or not when they were three. they'll be proud of you for both your passion as a teacher and most definitely as a mom. just my opinion. :) good luck!