When I decided to go back to work this year and start a new career, I vowed to not let my marriage or my relationship with my kids suffer as a result. With a few exceptionally trying moments, I have held fast to that vow and together we have navigated this new path with fairly smooth results.
That being said, life sure has changed. The biggest difference in my life, after having spent five years at home full-time, is my complete and utter lack of time for getting together with friends. When I was a stay-at-home-mom, most of my mornings were filled with play-dates or activities where I would get the chance to connect and visit with all of my other mom friends. Now that’s done. And it’s kind of hard. I feel like I am clawing for a free hour here and there for a harried cup of coffee with a girlfriend and it’s sad and stressful and not how I want it to be.
I have many other friends who returned to work after many years of being stay-at-home-moms and I recall this being a hard part of the transition for them, and now here I am, living it for myself.
It’s one aspect of the balance I am not totally pleased with, but it’s hard to know how to deal with it. Obviously, saying “yes” to a new, demanding career means saying “no” to unlimited free time to hang out with my lady-friends. But I miss those lady-friends!
The tough part of the equation is that I don’t have to be working right now. (I am endlessly thankful for my hard-working husband and the stable jobs he works for our family.) We were (just barely) keeping our heads above the water of mortgage and bills and expenses, so of course the extra income helps, but it’s not necessary. I feel so much more rounded and whole now that I am working, though. (However, that’s another post for another day.) I think my identity really floundered during that half-decade I was at home full-time and I have enjoyed rediscovering the little pieces of me that got covered in cobwebs for a while. (Again, this is not to insinuate that I am not thankful for the opportunity I had to be home with our girls. I wouldn’t trade those years for anything, even though I found them tougher than I ever thought I would.) (Are you getting tired of all these parentheses?)
Anyways, that’s where I’m at. I miss the regularity with which I used to see my dear friends. And I don’t know how to find a realistic balance in this area of my life. I often feel guilty for choosing to work and I sometimes wish I had been completely fulfilled staying at home with our kids.
Anyone else in this same, kinda lonely boat?