Maybe plight is a strong word, but there is a dissonance that exists between the need to contribute financially to the family and the desire to self-actualize, versus the maternal instinct to always be there for our kids. I would anticipate it is different for everyone. Maybe there are some who love their careers so much and appreciate the balance that work provides to parenting. And, I definitely believe there are SAHM (stay at home moms) who just feel a tremendous (albeit tired) sense of purpose and fulfillment being part of almost every waking hour with their children. Me? I’m a juxtaposed mess somewhere in between. Here is my story so far.
I’ve officially completed my first week of YTT (Yoga Teacher Training). Leading up to it, I had found my motivation at home was wavering. I adore my kids and thoroughly enjoy taking on each day with them, but found the confines of each day in our home were beginning to weigh on me. We would get out, but as my husband and I share a car, our regular jaunts had been come way too regular. Yes, I love to craft, explore, challenge, and engage my toddlers in whatever way I can dream up or that Pinterest may suggest. Still, I find myself craving adult interaction and mental stimulation. And so, I can get lost in social media, reading articles, commenting, sharing… Cleaning the house has always seemed almost futile. I tidy almost endlessly, only to have everything undone by two sets of hands as I go. So, I’ve found myself lately doing the bare minimum. Feeling a lack of inspiration when it comes to household duties and outings, this yoga training could not come at a better time.
The day of my first class, as expected, I was very excited, but nervous about what was to come. Being that that day was only 7:00 until 10:00 pm, I left after an early dinner, and only really missed bath and bed time. Easy peasy. The second day of class was the same schedule, and therefore was totally reasonable. The following two days were on the weekend, and, as a result, were longer. They also were preceded by the most time I’d spent away from my kids in a given week. Though my mom was taking care of them, and they both love her dearly, I could not shake an immense feeling of guilt for having to leave them. My kids were thrilled to wake up to Nana in our home. And even still, my gut was telling me I was forsaking them. By mid-Saturday, I was feeling as if I had put both of my kids in a cardboard box and left them on a stranger’s doorstep, never to be seen again. I kid you not. Even though rationally, and based on my litany of texts to my mom, I knew they were loving life. To rub salt in it all, this particular weekend’s series of courses was held at a local tourist hotspot. Because it was gloriously sunny, seemingly every family and their stroller were out to enjoy Granville Island. And I had basically abandoned my children. It felt like every fibre of my being was aching for them. I survived. And once home, couldn’t hug them tightly enough. Fortunately, they were willing participants in my “Mama can barely live without you” spectacle. Sigh.
The thing is, I love yoga. I so totally, completely, and utterly love yoga. If we didn’t need me to get back to work, this would still be on my bucket list, and high up there in priority. As a result, I can’t help, but feel grateful that I am doing something that I have such a fondness for. Otherwise, I would be an absolute weeping mess (as is, I’ve been borderline). I do anticipate it’ll get better. I will adjust, and my maternal instincts will stop being so darn hyperbolic. Still, I have this overwhelming appreciation for every single mother who has gone back to work, has dropped their kids at daycare for the first time, and/ or has returned to work to a job they don’t love, or even like. To all of you, I wish I could give you the biggest hug and tell you how impressed I am that you survived it, and do it so well. Because clearly, I’m a borderline mess!
Please share your own back-to-work stories, thoughts on eventually going back to work, or any tidbit of insight you have on missing your kids less 😛