Monday, August 13, 2007

Job Satisfaction

So, this has been a bit of a rough patch for me in mommy-hood. Charlie is starting to sleep enough (2 nights over the last 10, he's actually slept through the night!) that I am becoming cognizant of something beyond how I will manage to make it through the day. We're to a point where Charlie requires enough attention that doing anything else is less than successful but is self-sufficient enough that you get rather bored. He's adorable and charming and a delight but is lacking in conversational skills. He isn't old enough for crafts or games. Even play dates are still a bit out on the horizon. The park (when it hasn't been sweltering) is still a bit above his skill level although he does like to crawl in a nice patch of grass.

I decided that I would probably do better if I had a bit of a routine. Unfortunately, we live in a less than bustling area and the options are somewhat limited. Our rough schedule is rather heavy on Target and the grocery store and I had to really rack my brain to come up with 5 viable options that will occupy at least 2 hours. I watched with great envy, this NY City mom who takes walks with her kids where they can see all sorts of things and there is always another store to visit or another activity to do. She talked about how much she loved being a SAHM and I cried. I want to be her. I want to be fulfilled and stimulated and in love with my job of raising my children. But, at the moment, I'm not.

I suspect part of it is the stage we're in. I am hesitant to make strong moves towards going back to work as I think that things will change rather rapidly over the next 2 years. At the same time, I think Charlie is a child who would love group care. He thrives in the church nursery and other group settings. He is thrilled to watch and interact with other children. Finding quality, part-time care is always a struggle though and finding it when you are already feeling ambivalent about your decision is even harder. Coming up with a job I would enjoy is equally challenging. I think I would most like to find a very part-time office job. When I have subbed, I have always enjoyed helping out in the office. One summer I had an internship that had a rather large secretarial component and I really liked it. I love having tasks that you can actually complete; lists of things that you can check off. I like people and helping point them to where they need to go. I can schedule with the best of them and multi-task with a vengeance. At the same time, those sorts of jobs are scare here. And, I'm uncomfortable starting one when I don't know how the next pregnancy will go nor do I expect that I will want to continue after the next baby. I'm also a bit of a crafter and have a Stampin' Up demonstratorship but to grow it much more will take a considerable amount of effort and time that I don't presently have. This is also a rather economically depressed area and people tend to not be "spenders."

I learned about a mother's day out program a few days ago and plan to look into that. It sounds like it might be just right for Charlie. It's reasonably priced and would let him play with other children and is 5 days a week but you can enroll them for shorter periods. It's only during the school year though and they don't accept children until they are 15 months old. It is a shining light though. It would be so nice to have a morning or 2 a week that I could devote to doing something I find satisfying- something I can point to and say "I did that." If only I knew what the "that" should be...


Divinemum said...

The Mother's Morning Out program sounds like it could be the best option for you. Better yet, most of those programs (especially if there are other classes with older children) love it when parents are available to fill in as a sub!

You can always say no, of course, but you can probably make enough to work off his tuition.

Skyzi said...

Finding balance as a "new" mom is so hard.

Anne said...

oh hon, i know it. i struggle almost daily with finding things for the older girls to do while piper takes all the time inbetween. if you don't have to find work right now then don't stress about it. stay open. at least you know what you like to do! so many people have no idea. i think you know already that MDO will be good for you and for Charlie. I was ambivalent at first myself but having a few hours to do whatever is an incredible gift.