Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thursdays are hard. I find myself dragging both physically and mentally. By Friday’s eve the week has caught up to me: the strain on my brain, the discomfort of sitting for the better part of the past three days, and the exhaustion from consecutive nights of non-restful sleep. Any energy boost I enjoyed from the weekend has worn off and I’m just plain whipped. Fridays are a little better only because the allure of the impending weekend (read: naps!) keeps me going.

Being pregnant and working is tiresome but this leads to (one of) my biggest fears of impending parenthood: becoming a working mom. I know so many women do it, but I often hear or read how exhausting can be. A few have even remarked they feel like a bad mother and a bad employee because they are never truly focused on the task at hand. If they’re at work, they’re thinking about their child and vice versa. I also hear it gets a bit easier when the child gets older and goes to school, but for the first few years when he or she is still so very dependent on you for everything, it’s a difficult challenge.

It’s no secret that I have always wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom. I was lucky to have a mother who was home with me and when I was older, worked in the school system so we had the same hours. I was never in full-time daycare or schlepped away to summer camp because there was no one to care for me. I have since affirmed I would give my child the same benefits of having a parent present. However, reality is a bitch. Leaving my job would cause a drastic blow to our income, and it just doesn’t make financial sense to go that route though I have run every possible scenario in my mind on how to make it work.

I’m a prime candidate to become a freelance writer but I still have yet to get my first paying gig. I work better on my own rather than being chained to a desk and made to think between the prescribed hours of 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. I think that is why I have never, and probably will never be truly satisfied with a traditional office job. This realization is hitting home even stronger as I contemplate my future as a working mom. Soon I will have one more – in truth, the most important – reason to want to drive my own schedule.

Thankfully, being a full-time freelancer isn’t just a pipe dream. It could happen one day, but it’s highly unlikely to occur between now and the birth of our daughter. That means I will be back at work a mere six weeks after her birth, missing out on what I believe to be one of the most crucial periods to be with and nurture her. I continue to have a hard time swallowing this fate, but I know I’m not alone; there are so many other parents with the same dilemma. I just have to keep looking for ways to eventually achieve my ideal situation of contributing to our livelihood, keeping my talents fresh and being a present mother. Tall order, but I'm not giving up on that dream any time soon.

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