I started my new role three weeks ago, I’m no longer addressed as Mama, Mommy (with various levels of whining added for emphasis) and Mom all day everyday. I have a name again, Amber, I have a title again, HR Generalist, and I have a place to go three days a week where no one spits, pees, or poops on me every day (well other than the proverbial kind 😉 ). I headed back into the work force three weeks ago. I’ve been here before, I went to this rodeo before, I know how it goes so I’m not going in with my eyes blissfully closed. I spent 3 1/2 years as a full time working mom, doing the crazy commute, the frantic pick ups, the crying drop off and the happy ones.
I thrive in HR, I love helping businesses be better and employees get stuff right that is holding them back both in life and at work. So yeah I could 100% have done another full time job. But moving to Sydney a few years ago taught me something valuable, and I didn’t want that lesson, that quite voice saying “find balance” to get lost in the roar of work demands again. But I’ve also spent close to 3 years at home as a SAHM and while I wouldn’t trade these past 3 years for ANYTHING, I have increasingly felt this need for something that’s about ME, not about my kids. Something using my skills, my…me-ness… from before kids. And since staying out til 2 am drinking etc is out of the question on the regular (there were no 6am wake up calls with warm little arms and insistent “Mommy get up”s to pay for that later back then), working seemed like the better call.
Anyhow back to the point of this musing. I’m less than a month into things, and certainly it’s still the honeymoon period in some ways. And so far I’ve had several moments when I’ve questioned if even going back part time was the right role for me, maybe I should stay home? It’s hard after all this time making our own schedules, and spending quality time with them both everyday to suddenly go back. It’s hard to use those skills that are a bit rusty in HR. Realizing that some things in my industry have passed me by in the past 3 years and it’s going to be a game of catch up for quite a while. Hardest of all is frankly just getting out the darned door every morning. Wrangling 2 kids, dressing, feeding, brushing teeth and hair and remembering to put sun screen on them (so that I don’t get the evil eye of death from daycare teachers, when I admit yes I forgot again to put it on), water bottles filled, and maybe if I’m lucky my own lunch too. Yeah I’ve yelled, I’ve pleaded and I’ve flat out ordered both them and my husband to help, for the love of god just help. It’s getting better, but there will still be mornings we forget the sunscreen, when I’m threatening to leave them all with daddy for drop off (a fate worse than death apparently, and a highly effective motivator), that I will feel I am pulled in too many directions at once. But let’s be honest as moms we ALL feel that way, no matter if we are staying at home or working or whatever. So that really isn’t changing, it’s a bit more chaos. But when my daughter made me a sandwich for my lunch as a surprise the other day I melted and remembered we are all growing and we will all get through this transition together.
We will see how working 3 days vs 5 goes long term. Can I get everything I need to do done each week and balance their wants with my reality? Is 2 extra days a week with my kids enough or will it still feel like I’m stretching to be more, do more, find more time, like it always did before? I don’t know… But for now I know I’m happier than I’ve been in months. I’m coming home with ridiculous stories of the day to share with my husband again so that we can both laugh at the absurdity of business, while also sharing the silly stuff our kids did. That I’m happy I’m finding a place again where I have a name and the conversation isn’t about craft, TV or how much someone hates me for not letting them watch more of it. I loved my life as a SAHM for so long, and I know for many it is a place they could happily stay forever, but I’ve also been fortunate enough now to get to try all the sides of motherhood, working, not, and now something in between. I will keep working towards staying true to that little voice that says “find balance”, dancing that tightrope dance to find the place where the scales balance, where I’m my working me AND a mom and hopefully better for both.