Monday, November 12, 2007

Here she goes...

Sorry I disappeared. A loved one had a very scary brush with a very scary medical diagnosis that turned out to be (praise everything) benign, so now I'm back and ready to celebrate! Or have an identity crisis, whichever comes first!

We all know which is coming first.

Friday was my last day as a working woman. I am officially a Stay At Home Mom. A Stay At Home Mom. A SAHM.


Can you smell it? The pungent, nostril-curling smoke spewing from my brain? That, my friends, is the heady scent of panic.

I'm embarrassed that I'm even bringing this up, what with all the women who'd love the chance raise their child instead of shuffling off to a crappy 9-to-5, but there's something about bringing in income - providing something tangible - that my ego won't let go. While this pre-baby period is awesome in many ways (free time! nesting privileges! sleep!) it's the first time in my life that I haven't brought in income and it feels very selfish. (Who am I to sit at home nesting while my husband works eighty-two jobs to make ends meet? Why can't I keep the house clean, just because I have a baby? Who am I not to put my child into daycare, even though it will cost as much as I bring in, negating my pay?) Sure, I've spent the bulk of my adult life unemployed but it was government subsidized unemployment which is a whole different thing. This feels... dangly. Obviously it works both ways (if you go back to work are you neglecting your child? If you stay at home, will you neglect yourself?) but I'm curious if any of you other mothers experienced this. And if so, how did you deal?


Laura said...

I have been a SAHM for over two years and I go through phases of that guilt/panic. I see my husband working really hard, I see our bills piling up, and I think that I should be doing something to help. But my husband reminds me that I am doing something, I am raising our son, I am the "domestic engineer" of our home, and I work just as hard as he does. The only difference is that he goes out of the house, and I work here. Once your little one gets here, you will see what I mean. You will be working your butt off, so enjoy your nesting time now. And don't beat yourself up. We all feel that way sometimes.

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Yeah, I've been there.

When I first decided to blow off the working for a living thing, my company made it easy to WANT to leave since they were being jerks and laying off thousands of my co-workers. The atmosphere that those of us that were left behind to work in was downright poisonous, so I just wanted out.

I didn't know what being at home full time was going to be like, but it was tough in the beginning. Kinda of boring, filled with tedious, repetitive tasks, with no one to talk to. Suddenly I was a SAHM and had no job to claim as the thing that made me "important" or "somebody". Or even just someone interesting to talk to at a party. Your identity is thoroughly tied up in what you do. Just think of the very first ice breaker question you're asked at any party?

"So...what do you do?"

I got over it.

Of course it helps that I do all sorts of things and am not a typical, 1950s haus frau. The internet helps a LOT.