I went back to work because my self esteem was suffering.
When I decided to write on the topic of this blog post, I intended it to be a 6 month check in on how life as a stay at home mom has been and the insecurities I had in my decision to stop working and be home full time with my little – at least for a little while.
Weelll, I didn’t last long in that new position so I have decided to modify this post a little and tell you why I am back at work and how my insecurity as a stay at home mom played a huge role in that.
You can tell from the title that my biggest insecurity was being financially dependent on my husband. As the months rolled by I started to struggle with relinquishing my financial independence and autonomy especially because I hadn’t had it for long – I have been in school most of my adult life with little-to-no financial freedom. I will tell that story some other time.
I was legitimately petrified about the implications of not working and making my own money. I didn’t know how it would affect my relationship with my husband especially because he would be solely responsible for all our bills. I didn’t have a great example of how this dynamic could be successful or healthy for a marriage. I only saw it take a toll on my parents relationship and I didn’t want that for my marriage or myself.
Now, don’t get me wrong, my husband is a literal SAINT and has given me no reason to feel insecure in any way. In fact his actions since the VERY day we met proved the opposite would be case. However, I was still very unsure of how this new dynamic will affect me, my self esteem, and my pride in the long run. I wondered if the money he made will always feel like “his” money and if I would ever feel comfortable spending “his” money freely.
I wasn’t sure I wanted to find out either.
Unfortunately (or fortunately) for me, I am a product of my environment and you don’t realize how much of an impact your childhood experiences have on you until you have to deal with them on a very personal level.
What I realized, after weeks of battling how I was feeling, is that I have subconsciously placed the value of my worth on the dollar amount I am able to contribute to my home.
I started to feel worthless and less than and taking care of my son full time was not sufficient to alleviate that feeling. Sad but gospel.
So, after almost five months of staying home, struggling with all of these thoughts, I eventually started a new job. Obviously, I weighed all the pros and cons and determined this position, that came at a really imperfect time but literally fell into my laps, was totally meant to be. I have not regretted yet.
Truth is, I have been waiting for the other shoe to drop and to start to feel guilty about choosing my “needs” and “pride” over my sons “needs” but that hasn’t happened yet (I’ll tell you why in another post), so I’m walking on sunshine right now. Plus, I couldn’t resist the benefits it offered and I love being able to provide our family with even more financial freedom to do things that we have always wanted to do.
I hope this post is not misunderstood – staying home and watching a child , even if they are yours, two four seven, is no task for the faint of heart and I commend those who do it and love it. Although I am grateful for being able to have done that, I didn’t always enjoy it. It took an emotional toll on me that I hadn’t planned on or foreseen. I am grateful to have had that time with my little munchkin, but I am grateful to be back at work.
What I have realized since becoming a mother is that I will constantly have many factors to consider at different stages of my life and that of my children. At least for the next eighteen years (oh boy!). I am learning as I go that I choosing my sanity does not mean neglecting my child. It does mean that I have to plan better and learn how to efficiently use the resources that are afforded to me
As I write this, I am grateful for many things but mostly, I am grateful for choice.