This week’s guest post is from… me! Check out my triplet blog here!
3 months ago, just before my triplets 2nd birthday, I felt a certain… itch. As much as I have LOVED being with my children every day for the past two years, I just had this feeling like something had to give. My husband works long and constantly changing hours to support us, we had no babysitters, our budget was stretched to the max, and I was starting to feel like I was cut off from society. My energy was sapped. Then one day, while scrolling through Facebook, I saw that one of my friends had posted something about my old place of employment needing help. It was not for the management position I had when I left, but it would work even better for me since it was fairly flexible position. I jumped on it, starting out part-time. I had to work on my husband’s days off, so we never saw each other anymore for a while, but at the time it was a tradeoff worth taking- I was out of the house on my own for a few days a week, and could help to bring in some money again.
Soon after, a fulltime position opened up which would allow me full medical benefits. Since we were purchasing our insurance privately (which was ridiculously expensive, for very little coverage), this was something I just had to find a way to make happen. It would make the difference between us struggling all the time to make ends meet, and arguing over finances to being able to take a deep breath, and know that we are going to be ok. It all depended on us finding reliable, trustworthy childcare, and we ended up finding a wonderful au pair from Thailand, who is with us now. (This is another post in itself, yes?)
It’s been a few weeks now that I have been back to work fulltime, and so far, so good. I thought I would struggle with a lot of guilt over going back to work, but the truth is, I don’t have time to feel guilty. I get up, go to work, come home, play with and take care of the kids, put them to bed, clean up the house, do laundry- then get up and do it all again. Being back at work makes my days even longer, but my job (and most jobs on earth, I’m betting) is so much easier than taking care of three two year olds, that it feels like a huge break. And I am earning money while I am there, so that I can save for my kids future; family vacations; and God forbid- to get my hair done!
Mentally, going back to work has been really good for me. Being able to drive places by myself now, talk to other adults, and reconnect with my work friends made me realize how isolated I really was as a SAHM. Not to say that all SAHMs are this way, but my particular situation was very difficult, with my husband working such long hours, not having any family in the state, or any babysitters. (If I didn’t have my MoM friends that shared my experience, I would have probably been thrown in the loony bin a long time ago.) I know I am probably preaching to the choir here- but it was hard!
These days- well, it’s still hard, but now I have a chance to go out with my husband once a week. I have joined a gym, and am working out again. I have lessened the financial stress that is on my husband, which makes me feel better too. I still have lots of time with my kids, and although I do miss them terribly when I am away, I come home to them refreshed and energized.
If there is one thing that I have realized since my kids were born, it’s that what worked yesterday, may not work today. Just when you think you have the perfectly-tweaked system, the kids change and we have to figure something else out, and our working/childcare situation is no exception. We just have to be willing and ready to stay on our toes and make adjustments when necessary- that’s all we can do!