There’s No Place Like Home

I love being a stay at home mom. I can go to the bathroom whenever I want, I can drink water whenever I want and I never have to say ‘excuse me’ unless the children hear.

I haven’t let myself go. I just don’t have to answer to anyone and that’s a definite drawback especially when you return to the workforce.

Once I held an office job after having spent the previous five years alone with three little ones. I hadn’t realized how I’d morphed from a shy person to one who speaks her mind until I was hired as an administrative assistant.

My boss said, “Let’s do a little less talking and a little more work.”

I blurted out, “I can talk and work just fine.” Then realized what I’d said and recovered with, “But you’re the boss and what you say goes. Yes, sir!” It’s not easy being the boss at home and not being one at work.

The hardest thing about having kids and working outside the home is not having enough time to care for the house and my family the way I want to. I want to be there and be in charge. My hat is off to those women who do it all, but I can’t.

While I’m stuck at a desk hiding files of work I have done for the rest of the week (to slowly dole out to a boss that will hyperventilate if he sees me more than five minutes ahead of him with my work) I’m thinking of all the things I could be doing at home that are piling up while I pretend I’m working.

Laundry is multiplying by the nanosecond. Dishes are breeding in the sink and on the counters. Toothpaste is oozing down the bathroom cabinet. Dust bunnies are plotting a siege. Weeds are securing the perimeter of the garden and are poised for an all out war.

Worst of all I’m not there for my kids’ firsts or when they’re sick or when they need me around just so they can ignore me. It’s my job to be there and say, “I told you so,” or “Because I said so,” or “Don’t touch it, that’s gross!”

And then after adding it all up, I discovered that my entire job paid only for my work expenses (clothes and gas) and daycare for the children. In other words, I was working to afford to work. Does that make sense to you?

I’d rather be home where the kids can take me for granted in person. I’m there for them, they get the best care in the world (me) and it doesn’t cost me a dime… just my sanity.

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  • Claire

    There is a lot of truth behind the humor in this article. The title says it all. As a mother who works outside the home, I do not recommend it unless absolutely necessary (which it is in my case). Babies change so fast; it is torture to have to miss so much of their waking hours while at work. We have it better than many: my husband and I work opposite schedules so we don’t have to use daycare, and I work flextime so I am home every Wednesday and never have to work more than two days in a row. But it is still heartwrenching to have to separate from my baby.

  • It’s also worth one’s while to do the math that Lisa did, and see if work pays more than the expenses associated with working.