Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Career Mom - Selfish or Passionate?

So if you read my blog at all {hello all three of you?} you are quite aware of the transitions in our lives over the past few months. I have gone from a woman surrounded by friends, working a great job, having a nanny and house cleaner, and living a very comfortable life to...moving to a new home in a new town in a new state in a new time zone, quitting my job, becoming a stay-at-home-mom, deciding to homeschool, spending the summer with my kids and enrolling them in school the first second it was available cause I though I might be going insane.

This had been an EXTREMELY hard transition for everyone and left me on several occasions packing my bags and calling my old boss for my job back. Things have made a 180 and then back again, which I guess would technically be a 360...and then I guess I am just back where I started...kinda...but not, maybe.

But the choices I have made have been VERY hard and I doubt myself every day...Did I do the right thing? Are my kids okay? Am I okay? And honestly, I do not know the answers to those things. I just know that right now at this very second, I am doing the best I can and I really have the best intentions. Is that enough? Probably not. But I do not know what else to do.

I posted about the melt downs Middle Twerp has been having since his three days of Pre K. Now granted, of the three days, only two have been Middle Twerp melt downs. One day was a Country Girl melt down. Nevertheless, I threw it all out there and I got this comment...

Anonymous said...
Love ya, but why???? does he have to go there? Aren't you a teacher? Can't you teach him to color, his ABC's and all the pre-school stuff? Not judgin, just feel bad for the baby. Kids don't want to go for a reason. They aren't trying to make their parent's lives miserable. Just sayin..........
August 13, 2008 11:11 AM

Fist let me say to Anonymous that I do not think you are judging me and I appreciate your honest questions. I also appreciate that you said you love me....cause who cannot use a little love in their lives, ya know what I am sayin....cause if it said, Hate you, but why??? Now that would have made me grab the closest Sonic straw and stick it through my nostril into my inner global cerebral hemorrhage coniferous. I think that is the medical term {that statement should be proof enough that Middle Twerp should be in Pre K...I kid. I kid.}

But listen, you cannot question me any more than I have already questioned myself. And the answer...the answer to your questions...well, I know them and they ain't purty. They ain't purty at all.

And I am afraid to post the truth cause what if ya'll think I am awful and ban me from your bloglines and then I will really use that straw and all.

But the truth is ...I CAN teach him is ABC's and phonemic awareness and fluency and phonemes and blends and honestly, could probably do a better job that 90% of the people out there. {and I know that sounded very vain, and if ya don't know me, trust me...I am anything but vain. I do not think this song is about me.}

BUT...but, I guess when you get down to it...strip all the excuses away, the truth is...I don't want to. I tried this summer and between Eldest and Middle Twerp fighting over who got the blue pencil and Baby Twerp drinking all my coffee and peeing on my shoe and the neighbor knocking on my door and making passes at me and being homesick and not having a friend in the world -- I felt like what was best for ME was to send them to school.

YES-- I said what was best for me. I thought of ME ME ME. I need to have a profession outside of being a SAHM. Do I have the most respect in the world for SAHM and even more for homeschool moms? Why Lordy-Be YES. I just know, I am not one of these women, at least not right now.

Does this make me a bad mom? I do not think so -- wait, I know it does not. I have honestly been a MUCH better mother this week than all summer. I love my life to the fullest. We played hard this summer at the lake and mini vacas and zoos and aquariums and museums and parks and WE HAD FUN. But now it is time for them to have interaction with others. Honestly if I was in my same town with a support group, things might be different. But I feel all alone here and Indiana Jones is gone a lot and I ... just...can't {maybe won't} do it. I need to find my career again. I need to feel significant. I need to feel like I am making a difference.

And is making a difference with your children one of the most valuable and significant things in the world? YES. And I believe I can balance both. And it is only when I am happy with me, I can then be happy with others.

I am going to stay home a few more months to get Baby Twerp through speech and the kids settled in school and started in sports. Then, I will dive back into my career.

Does this make me selfish? Maybe. Probably. Okay, yes. But I totally believe everyone is different and it is not a one size fits all world out there. I think each person needs to decide what is best for them and their family -- for me, right now at this is to get through this transition and then go back to work.

People think because I have been in education that it would be easy to homeschool -- teaching others is NOT the same as teaching your kids....24/7. And I applaud the mothers and fathers who do this daily...You are amazing.

I equally applaud those mothers and fathers who chase their dreams -- who make the hard decisions...who show their kids that anything is possible and who live to their full potential - whether that be in a corporate office downtown or in the PTA office or in the classroom in their basement. Either way, a child can learn a lot from a woman of passion living it out to the fullest.

This, this is why Middle Twerp is in Pre K and I am going back to work. This is why I tip my hat to all the women and men out there living out their dream. And this is why I thank God that we all have a different path in this world. I think I have found mine for this season and I pray you also find yours. I wish you the best and many blessings. Thanks for caring.

Big Pink Fuzzy Heart with Glitter and NO Judgement,
Country Girl


Tin Man said...

I remember the great OZ once saying we should follow our dreams!
I also know when I received my heart from the OZ I received a whole new understanding of life. We should always follow our dreams, but we must also accept our responsibilities. After reading what you posted, I must say from my "heart" I agree exactly with what you said. The twerps need guidence from their parents in a very signifent way but, they also need substantual interaction with the outside world. Don't put them in a box. Give them a good mixture of life. Watch out for their well being until it is time for them to watch out for themselves. (Just like it happened to you once upon a time in a far away land) And I must say. Look-you turned out very well! You're doing great-stop being so hard on yourself. From the heart of the Tin Man.

Jenn said...

Don't be so hard on yourself. You have to have YOUR life too. You have to maintain YOUR sanity as well, or you will never be good for your children. So I commend you for doing what you believe is right for EVERYONE involved....the kids AND you. Middle Twerp WILL benefit from this experience - it may take awhile, but I believe in throwing your child into the throws of social situations. It will help them better deal with LIFE. Don't be so hard on ARE doing the right thing and there's no reason whatsoever that you need to justify anything to any of us. :)

Cynthia said...

Everyone needs to make decisions that are best for their own families (which includes adults, not just the kids).
Sounds like you are right on with what is best for you and yours.

A Christian said...

I usually lurk, but now had to come out and comment.

First of all, let me just say that this day and age of "giving in" to kids drives me up a wall! I have a niece who is 2 1/2, and my sister gives in whenever she cries. Guess what? Kids are going to cry. Of course it's not as fun to go to school versus staying home (and going to Target) with Mama. But each of us had to do it.

Trust me, your child will not be a delinquent just because he cried during his first few days of school.

Secondly, YOU do what you feel is best.

And that's all I gotta say about that.



Bekah said...

if its best for you to not be home with children all day, then chances are it is best for them as well. That is NOT meant to be a slight in any way..if a homeschool mom doesnt have her heart into on earth would that ever benefit her child? Ive seen too many children neglected that way. Just because their parents are always there doesnt mean they are receiving the attention they deserve. Im not saying homeschooling is great, it is, if the parent is making is great. If not, the child is just being dangled along because the parent wants to do whats best for them, but is misguided in the assumption that they are actually doing that.

not sure that made any sense at all. what im saying is, its not always wrong for a mom to work, nor is it wrong for a mom to stay at home, it all depends on what fits...who are we to decided that? thats your call. you love your children, we can see that much.

Jenifer said...

A happy mom equals happy kids. Do what is good for you first and the rest will fall into place. My 8 year old doesn't want to go to school and she cries because she misses me. That doesn't mean I will start homeschooling.
And most importantly, don't compare yourself to other moms. We are all equally jealous and miserable for each other. We all have issues. I think you are a great mom and I've never even met you! You can just tell. :)

SaraJane said...

I'm a stay at home momma to 2 and can't imagine working and missing so much. My sister-in-law is the opposite, she went back to work at 4 weeks and can't imagine being home so much. You know what? All the kids are wonderfully balanced, happy and healthy. To each their it was said above, if Mamma ain't happy no one is happy. God's blessings to you and your family in the up coming months.

Working Mom said...

i cried rivers and my 1st grade teacher had to peel me off her like a banana on the first day of school b/c i wanted to be with my mom. i literally spent the whole day on her lap sobbing. every single day of 5th grade i went to the counselors office in tears b/c a girl was bullying me and i wanted to go home and be with my mom. she stayed home til my sis & i were in HS and bro was in jr hi. i survived. i learned to love school and i miss the heck out of it now!

i could not and don't want to be a SAHM either.

just b/c you are a teacher doesn't mean teaching your own kids is a perfect fit. your kids have YOU at home when they need help w/homework, other kids out there may need YOU during the day. obviously God put you on this path for a reason, and you are aware of that.

MT will be aight! in 2 weeks he'll be having the time of his life and will be lovin life again. i'm sure this has everything to do with the fact that he also left behind the only life he knew and moved to a new place, and has spent every waking moment with you and the other twerps. its all new to him, all over again.

keep on keepin' on country girl!

CATHY said...

You could be a sahm and volunteer in their classes at school. There is always plenty to do and you get to meet their friends. I loved when I would walk in his face would light up and he would say "This is MY mom." That was very rewarding.

Ansbaughmom said...

I was going to say a little bit from everyone above but the bottom line is that it is your life and they are your kids and you know what is best for them and for you. I totally understand that at this point in your life this is what YOU need to do. Who knows what the future holds next year. Don't be so hard on yourself-you are a great mom!!

Jenifer said...

I'm back. What is up with someone making anonymous comments? It just so much meaner when you don't even know who it is. They have no courage. They must be jealous of your fab life. Once again, I think you and your kids are great. Don't let it get you down.

Becky :) said...

Country are so amazing. I hope you do realize that. For someone who has worked and then decided to be a SAHM {which isn't easy at all} I give you props.
I agree with Jenifer, a happy mom makes happy kids. I don't know that I could ever be a SAHM let alone homeschool my kids. I have much respect for those who do. My Aunt homeschooled all 3 of my cousins and they are fine outstanding adults now. But it isn't something I could do mentally, emotionally or financially.
Shoot for your dreams. Your children will respect you for doing so. MT will eventually love school so much he won't want to go home at the end of the day.
You're a great Mom and don't let anyone or yourself say differently.

feather k said...

First of all...I heart you and miss you :O)...secondly...I do know you and know that you do make wise decisions, love your children, have a call on your life and are a difference-maker...oh...and you need to stay busy...from one wise one to another xoxoxo

ptamom3 said...

I stood in front of 80+ staff of my daughters elementary school up on stage last week (day before school started and told this story, which is absolutely the truth)..this summer someone in the store came up and asked my 8 year old daughter what she wanted to do when she grew up and she said "be on the PTA like my mom"... (I'm the president for 2 years now).. my heart melted at that moment and like I told the group I was speaking too, in that moment, I knew that what I was doing was making a difference in the life of a child (it just happened to be mine) and that if I could encourage just one child out there to do what they love and be happy doing it, then I was fulfilling my responsibility to be an advocate for children (by being on PTA). anyway my long point is, that what you are doing is absolutely what you should be doing. You are making yourself happy which in turn will make the children more happy in the long run. It's difficult sometimes because we do feel selfish in being glad that school has started back up or that we have a job (full or part time) away from home, but like others here have said, if you are happy then they will be much more happy as well. My children have had a total turn around in their attitudes since school started a week ago. It's much more pleasant at my house all the way around now that we are all not at home together 24/7. And that is what works for us and if that's what works for your sanity then it's what is best. I applaud you for responding to that "anonymous" response because when I first read it, I was hoping you'd have a good comeback. You have such a great way with words and that is why we are all addicted to your blog- we will cry and cling to your leg when you tell us you have a full time job again and have to abandon us bloggers for most of the day :) Take care and stand your ground- you are a great mom!!

Dana Jones said...

I am and have always been cool with your decision re: work, school, silver sneakers, etc.

thumbs up CG!

Dana Jones said...

p.s. I thought I'd tell you how Middle Twerp's melt down inspired my post at Calico Cat today.

3SonsAreMyLove said...

Hello Lil' Sister...

Sending you a "virtual" hug from one
working mom to another soon-to-be working mom and a link to a great article.

Nicole said...

you're fine. i teach preschool and they cry to stay home because who would rather go to school if they can cry and get to go home?! i'd cry if it meant i could go home! but i cant, we all have to grow up and do things we dont want to but that are good for us and they are not beating him there. he will adjust and make freidns and love it and learn how to be a social human being . you're all doing fine

The Rose Fam said...

Country Girl ~ I've been reading your blog for afew months now and I absolutely admire the mother that you are to your kids! You have really been an inspiration to me this summer! I'm a SAHM and I couldn't keep up with you if I tried! Sometimes I'm guilty of cleaning, cooking,volunteering,etc. instead of spending quality time with my kids like you do! (And I'm at home!) We are all different and that's what makes the world go round! No mother is a perfect mother! I love staying home or working part time, but I have close friends that are BETTER mothers because they work fulltime!!! I look at them and ask, "How do they do it?" They look at me and ask the same thing! Be encouraged! Hang in there! You have a fan club here in our town...wanna come visit? We will all chip in!

cynthia said...

amen...and amen.

CindyDianne said...

I have a friend that is a home schooler. She has five kids. She is my hero.

I am not like that. It never occurred to me to home school. Part of that is because I was a

single mother for so many years and it wasn't a choice. But, honestly, even give the opportunity I wouldn't have taken it. I couldn't have done it. I can't do it.

It doesn't make me bad that I couldn't and didn't. It won't make you bad that you can't and won't. We're all different with different strengths and weaknesses. God made us that way. He certainly won't judge you for making the best decision for you.

In short - it's all good.

*J said...


Chris said...

First, big HUG to you.
You do know why 'Anonymous' posted anonymously, right?
Well, I have a hunch that she/he posted anonymously because she/he was afraid that you might track her down and find out that all of her kids go to public school making her the worst of all hypocrites.
That has to be the reason OR it just may be that she/he was afraid that you may approach her to HOMESCHOOL your kids seeing how she/he is all gung ho on teaching kids her/his self.
Yep, that's right.
So don't be so hard on yourself. There isn't enough money in the world that someone could pay me to teach my own kids. Don't take that the wrong way. I love my kids more than most....and that is exactly why they go to public school.

Nicole Mc said...

I like you even more after this post. I dont know why, I just do. I'm getting ready to start my very first year of homeschooling and i'm scared s*&tless. I am afraid I will lose my mind and myself. Unfortunately my 3rd grader needs my help in a bad, bad way. I commend you, and agree with everything everyone else has said. Not only are you going to inspire your children, your inspiring all of us!!

Kila said...

"Can't you teach him to color, his ABC's and all the pre-school stuff?" Anonymous obviously has no clue what preschool is all about.

You won't get any bashing from me. Growing up, my main goal and ambition in life was to be a stay-at-home-mom. Then I became one, for several years, and I was miserable the whole time. In many ways, it wasn't good for the kids, either. If I could do it over again, I would keep working. Yes, I stayed home, and actually regret it. Most of the stay-at-home moms I know are on anti-depressants. We all love and enjoy our kids, but to be with them 24/7, and home and alone most of the time, is a bit much.

Sending my kids off to preschool, crying and clinging to me those first days, was one of the best things I ever did for them. They grew and blossomed so much, in many different ways (yes, they already knew their ABC's, and how to color, etc.).

Some mome are happy being home all the time. Some aren't. You have to do what it best for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

wow CG. All these comment should really have made your day :) Hope you feel warm and fuzzy inside!

Army Wife

Adrenalynn said...

I hear you! You have to be true to yourself to be a good mom, and there's nothing wrong with that! If mommy's happy, everyone's happy... Go get fulfilled and take care of number one a bit, and the rest will fall into place!

Anonymous said...

Wow! First of all-CG, your are a darling, and I mean that very sincerely and you have the right to do whatever you feel is right for your children.

There are lots of feelings and opinions out there. And they usally get pretty heated between SAHM and working moms.

My VERY STRONG opinion is: decisions need to be made based on the needs of the children. My motto at the shelter is: "children don't "ask" to be born, therefore be a responsible mother" based on these facts in my life-
A. coming from a mother that neglected then abandoned me
B. having my masters in child Psychology
C. having founded a homeless shelter for teen mothers and their children

Again, cannot I state this enough: You are awesome and I'm sure a great mom. But when you blog to the world, you are going to get all kinds of responses. Not just warm, mushy and supportive ones.

Giddy Grandma

Tara said...

I really loved your post. I have always been a "career girl" (in fact started working since the summer after 8th grade). My mother was super mom with the whole natural childbirth to us 4, breastfeeding, staying home, etc. So, I had the same expectations because childhood was generally happy for me. I wanted the same for my children. So far I just have one - she'll be four next week - and it nearly killed me when breastfeeding didn't work, daycare came too soon at 11 weeks, and I practically begged for the epidural as soon as I hit the delivery room. Again, we did what was best and she is turning out to be bright, sweet, and oh so cute. Yours will be fine too. You are active and present in their lives, and that is what molds them into the little people they are becoming. They spend 6.5 hours with their school teachers, but the rest of the time is yours and I have found that mine still thinks I'm smarter than her teachers. In other words, what I teach her at home through daily life is shaping her more than ABC or 123. Sorry so long. I just really identified with this one. Go girl!