I have been on both sides of the SAHM and working mom fence as a
parent. I actually don't find one better than the other, they both
worked great for me depending on the needs of my family at that time.
What I do find interesting is the feelings I experienced in each role. I
went back to work when Chase was just 9 months old. It was very part
time, just 10 hours a week for about 6 months then 15 hours a week.
That worked, the balance felt great and I was a happy mom which meant our home was happy too. As Chase got older, I upped my
hours more, eventually working 32 hours a week which really was more like
45+ hours a week when all was said and done. That felt horrible. I
felt like I was completely stretched thin and nothing could have my full
undivided attention. That was definitely NOT working for me no matter
how hard I tried. Then I realized Chase had a year left before going
to Kindergarten and I completely freaked out about how fast time was
really flying. I wanted more time with him before Kinder and more time
home with the kids and Dan. So, as most know, I quit my job and am now
home full time.
I've been home for about 9 months or so now and
it's been mostly really good. Our house is less stressed, we eat more
home cooked meals together, I can work in the class as needed and don't
feel guilty if I or one of my kids get sick. I get to see a lot of my
kids and I'm thankful because I can't get this time back. Then a few
weeks ago I had a moment. I freaked out at Dan over something
ridiculous, so ridiculous that I can't even remember what it was about.
Then 30 minutes later these words came out of my mouth. "I just feel
unseen". I didn't mean by him. He's great at thanking me for all I do, so let me be clear when I say it's not him making me feel this way.
It's bigger than that. It was the first time as a mom I really felt
like no one really gives a crap in the universe about the work I am
putting in. Moms who stay home don't always get a lot of recognition.
We get stuck in the routine of it all. The routine is day in and day
out, very cyclical and it can drive you mad at times(as it did me that
night) but this was nothing new to me so why was I freaking out so
much? I then went on to think I was a bit crazy so I asked a lot of mom
friends that no longer work if they have experienced this and
every.single.one said yes. I mean one big unanimous YES!! I was
shocked, not that everyone I talked to felt like this, but mostly that
no one had ever really talked about it before to one another.
what is it exactly that makes one feel unseen as a mom? Is it just the
routine of it all? Is it my age(nearing 40)? Is it that the universe
seems to place more value on one that works full time and makes lots of
money? I guess I just don't really know the answer, at least for me in
particular. I'm really lucky and mostly really happy. Dan appreciates
me, the kids still seem to like me, there isn't really a way to give me a
financial raise so then how do we conquer this feeling so many moms
have of being unseen?
- Courtney Powers-Graff
- Married mom of 3 not so little ones anymore but they still keep me grinning and giggling(most of the time). Kendall, age 12, Brady age 8 almost 9 and "baby" Chase who is 7. I have been married for 14.5 years to Dan Graff, who I think is the best dad ever to our kids. He certainly makes me grin and giggle to this very day. I have spent my non mom career working in recruiting on and off over the years recruiting Software Engineers. Other than my kids my most favorite thing to do in the entire word is ride horses followed by Kung Fu, where I earned my purple belt last year. I have been riding since I was 8 years old, with some time off here and there but I always go back to it. As Winston Churchill said, "There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man"(or woman in this case)!
- ▼ 2014 (4)