thepigeoncoop

Musings about life in the Pigeon household

Working Girl

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A few people have been interested in how I’ve been doing with my transition from stay-at-home mom for almost a decade into working-momma.

My youngest started grade one this past September and our plan was always that once he was in school full time, I’d head back to work.

I enjoyed my time being home with my kids. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life and to this day I still don’t know what I’m doing. Am I scarring them emotionally for life? Am giving them the tools they need to be strong, happy, independant, loving, humorous men who know how to cook a half-decent meal once in a while?

There were days when it seemed all three of them were ganging up on me. I knew they weren’t, but if it wasn’t one talking back and screaming, then it was the other hitting their brother and still the other throwing a tantrum in their room or making a mess or needing a snack NOW.

I’ll admit that once in a while you could find me locked in my bathroom with the fan on so that they couldn’t hear me bawling my eyes out.

And so that I couldn’t hear them either. Just for two minutes.

But this was our plan. I wanted to be home with my kids and be the one raising them rather than carting them off to a day home. And there are a lot of other moms who choose differently – they want to be out in the work force and they have a passion to contribute and make a difference. There are some moms who would like to stay home and can’t.

I’m just saying this is what we always talked about and wanted to have happen for our family.

And it was tough. Emotionally, physically, mentally… and especially financially.

Being a single income family is scary nowadays.

There were a lot of things we weren’t able to do and there were a lot of things we did anyway and probably shouldn’t have.

We ended up buying a second-hand trailer and a seasonal spot an hour and a half away from where we live.

It was during a bit of a slow time for hubby’s work and we weren’t sure if this was a great idea or not.

But to raise free-range kids for a summer, every summer… how could we not do that? For them? And for us?

It was one of the best things we’ve ever done.

In fact, I don’t have too many regrets over things I’ve done in my time at home with my kids.

Yes, they watch too much TV some days and play too many video games probably most days. And there was a lot of yelling.

I still yell.

The yelling just won’t stop in this household. It’s a fact of life.

Most times it isn’t out of real anger.

It’s just so I can be heard in my own home!

I find we’re all getting better. I’m controlling myself a bit and they’re listening a bit.

But it will always be loud and rambunctious in the Pigeon Coop.

I gripe and complain some days, but I really am so very lucky and wouldn’t change much of anything.

And then this past summer, the idea of working downtown again started to loom in the very near future for me.

Taking public transit, having to buy dress clothes, conversing with adults, – who is going to hire a person wanting to only work three days a week, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.?

Apparently there was a company out there desperate enough to hire me after almost 10 years out of the work force.

It was a great opportunity – perfect for me to get my feet wet in administrative work again.

It was a project doing some clean up for a big oil and gas company based out of Houston.

It was right up my alley and they ended up paying a bit more than I asked for, they were also super-flexible with my hours and the people I work with are just fantastic.

But alas, it was too good to be true.

The contract ends this Thursday and I’m pretty bummed out. I’ll miss the people and I’ll miss the work.

Houston – we have a problem. The home base in the U.S. is refusing the extend the contract and I’m out pounding the pavement again, once more dredging up all the worries over who will hire me…

I find I’m a bit surprised to be missing the work. Being in the office.

I actually don’t mind getting out of the house and using another part of my brain for a few hours.

And the kids? I think they’re adjusting (just as it is all coming to an end – doh!).

I’m usually home when they’re off school, so their routine isn’t really disrupted that much. And there are some days where Dad is the one taking them to school and doing the morning routine. I like having that break.

I think it makes the boys realize I’m not their slave and maybe they are beginning to understand just how much I do for them. Maybe they’re starting to appreciate me more…

Nah.

I do notice however that the hugging and cuddling and joking around with mom have increased exponentially this year. Is it because Mom and Dad are less-stressed financially?

Less stressed all around because I’m out of the house once in a while and the boys are in a new school where the pressure on them to excel and get homework done every night is next to nil?

Is it because we aren’t running around every night trying to get to activities? That’s another thing that has really changed this year. No hockey, no soccer, no swimming. We’ve done bowling, curling and karate instead. It makes a huge difference on the demands for our time and we’re all hanging out way more than we ever did before.

Which I really like.

Because the time I had at home with my boys is over and I could cry writing about how fast it all went. And how sad I am to move on to another part of all our lives.

And you can probably tell that none of them are around me right now as I write this. That’s why I’m being all syrupy and lovey-dovey over my wonderful children.

The curse of a mother – miss them when they’re gone, go crazy while they’re around…

They’ll be home in a couple of hours and I’ll once again realize why some animals in the wild eat their young.

And then I’ll start wondering what I’ll wear to the office tomorrow and where we’ll go for lunch… and I’ll find that while I’m still trying to strike a balance between work and home, I’ve got it pretty darn good with this whole work thing.

That is, until the work actually comes to an end…

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4 thoughts on “Working Girl

  1. Tracy, this is so well written and SOOO true. I think all of us that work, not work and then go back to work all have these worries, fears and happy dances. You are a wonderful person with lots to offer an office, you will find something in no time. In the mean time ENJOY CHRISTMAS!!!

    • Hey, Liza – thanks for taking the time to read my blog and to make a comment – love hearing from you!
      All us Mommas are just trying to wade through the guilt, the joy, the stress of it all – nice to hear it is a very universal thing – thanks for backing that up!
      Take care & have a wonderful Christmas with your family! All the best to you in 2012!

  2. It is a bit of a yo-yo, roller coaster ride, isn’t it? I am reading an interesting book right now called “Hold On To Your Kids” which I am going to blog about soon that is messing with my mind. It is all about parent attachment theory which states that the best way to parent is to stay completely attached to your children and do what ever, at all costs, to maintain your connection relationship with your children. It is a bit extreme but has some good points. And makes me feel like a terrible parent…

    Hang in there! Soon they will be moving out and getting married themselves.

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