Monday, August 22, 2011

Dreaming...or how it should be

I didn't know what I wanted to do when I grew up so I picked a college course I knew would interest me. Within three years I landed my now full-time career in what I always felt was something I was good at and enjoyed.

A few years later I became a mother. And like many women experience, my focus shifted to my son. My passion and commitment to being a mother grew and my passion and commitment to my career suddenly escaped me. And new passions were realized.

I've been back at work since the end of my one year maternity leave and for 16 months now I have struggled. I have a full-time responsibility in being a mother and a full-time career outside of the home and it's nearly impossible for me to do both to my full potential. I know I'm not alone. I don't know a mother out there that isn't looking for that elusive balance in life.

I feel like I am slacking at work because working late isn't possible any more with day care pick-ups. I've felt a big difference in my work ethic and my attitude. Putting in exactly eight hours has never really been my style. If I had deadlines approaching I would work through the evening at the office. Now, I don't have a choice to stay late. I don't like my attitude of oh well, it will get done tomorrow. My career has clearly taken a fall from one of my top priorities. It feels lazy and it's stressful because I feel like I'm always a step behind. I no longer feel like my career is what I was meant to do.

I've always believed in doing what makes you happy. If you don't like what you are doing, do something about it. I could never work in a job that I hated no matter the pay. Even though my pay isn't great, I've always enjoyed most of my responsibilities in my job and they compliment my strengths but...

It's hard for me to focus when I am at work; day dreaming about where I would rather be or what I would rather be working on. I feel like I am trying to escape my current reality. Every day I daydream about how I could make it work without having a full-time career outside of the home. Everyday I escape the thought of approaching work deadlines and dream of more ideas for my business plan and of self-employment.  I don't know whether I should slap back to reality and tell my self to shape up and get back to work or whether I should be following my dreams and following through with my escape plan.

I'm joining Capital Mom today by blogging about a moment from my life based on a theme she has provided. This week’s Monday Moment theme is Escape.


  1. This is a topic that we, as mothers, could write about constantly. That elusive balance between working out of the home and having children. I have passed up career opportunities because they involved travel or working extended hours. I have never resented my children for this, but know people that do... Even my photography - yes, I work for myself and can set my own hours, but the editing takes hours... and not everyone is available ONLY during the day... tough tough.

    Good luck to you!

  2. That is a really hard situation. I don't think balance really does exist. I think we juggle our order of priorities all the time, every day.

    Have you talked to anyone else in the field you are interested in being self-employed in? Maybe that would help you decide if it is really what you want to do, or if you should keep on the path you are on.

  3. I don't know if it will make you feel better or worse to know I'm self-employed, an at-home mother, and still struggle everyday with feeling like I should be working when I'm with my kids and with my kids when I'm working. The push-pull seems to follow us wherever we end up.

  4. I'm there, too. Wish I knew the answer...

  5. would your employer let you take a sabbatical? take a year, try to establish your self-employment plan. what can it hurt? if you can take the chance financially, then do it. you are still young and have your current career to fall back on if it doesn't work the way you hoped. i say take the leap.

  6. Oh man, I struggle with this every day. I think I spend 2-3 hours at work (my desk job, not my doula work!) daydreaming and wishing I were somewhere else. Then I berate myself in the evening, and say "I'll work harder tomorrow." I think this is very normal and natural, and I wish we were allowed to talk about it more, and not feel like we always have to "pretend" we're working super hard at our jobs. In an ideal world, we would be allowed to work full-time jobs that were from 10am to 3pm, with summers off to spend with our kids!!