Friday, April 13, 2012

52 linked: work.

52 linked: work
Work. (Long post ahead. You've been warned.)
So many thoughts on work - the work I used to do, the work I currently do at home, and the work I will do again someday when I go back out into the workforce.
The work I used to do  - I earned a BA and an MA only to end-up working a string of admin jobs I wasn't happy with. And I do know that someday when I go back to the work world I will not go back to being an admin. As Bush would say, "Not gonna do it." I served my time as an admin answering phones and making copies.

The work I currently do - I'm a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) I am so very lucky to be able to stay home with Max, especially during these early, formative years. My mother stayed home with my brother and me, and I can't imagine my childhood any differently. I knew I wanted that for my child even before I was pregnant. Being home all day, everyday, and working 24/7 is tough. Toughest job I've ever had. Hands down. I struggle with being a SAHM. I won't lie. After my maternity leave, I went back to work for a little over a month and then quit to stay home. I was 99% sure I was going to stay home, but I needed to go back just to be sure. I needed to try doing double duty before I just left the work world. Part of me wishes I had just kept working. Or at least found something part-time. I miss the intellectual stimulation. A ton. I don't miss the work, but I miss really using my brain. I don't mean to say SAHMs don't use their brains. No way. We use our brains alright! We are always "on."  But I think you all know what I mean. I long for challenge and deadlines and meetings. My mom was a SAHM who slowly earned her BA in Business over an eight year time-frame. Then she found a job when I was in Junior High and worked until I was finished with my MA. I remember her telling me that she loved staying home with us kids, but that there was something differently rewarding about being part of the workforce; about being part of something "bigger". It was a "something" that was worlds apart from the work of nurturing and teaching little ones. I get that now. I can't put it into words, but I now know exactly what she was talking about. Don't get me wrong though - I know I made the right choice staying home with Max. I can't imagine any of it playing out any differently really, even though I day-dream about what it might have looked like if I had kept working. I know my limits, and trying to balance a family and working outside the home would have put me over the edge. 
I love my job. I love waking-up to my Max alarm clock. I love that I got to see most of his "first" in life. I love that I've been able to watch him grow and learn on a daily basis. I love that because I've been there every day, he knows he can always count on me. I even love that he comes to get me in the middle of the night (even though it drives me CRAZY!!) I love that I know him better than anyone else because of all of the time we've spent together.

The work I will do again someday - My dream would be to go back to school and get a degree in "fill-in-the-blank" once Max is in school full-time. Pharmacy tech? Nursing? Phlebotomy?...I don't know for sure. I know I've always been fascinated by the medical world. If there was a way to write any college paper about something in the medical world, I did it. My Master's Thesis was all about the emotion management of medical students and how that shapes the doctor-patient relationship. (Want to read a copy of that bad-boy just let me know and I'll mail you a copy!) And then at some point I would like to be working again, doing something that intrigues me. I want to be one of those people who loves what they do. I don't mean in the sense that you love going to work each and everyday, and the long hours. But the person who really is passionate about what they are doing. My husband is a good example. He works construction (construction management) and loves that he gets to build things. He's built bridges, and marine facilities, and now light-rail. Sure, the long hours and endless meetings and changing deadlines and travel get to him, but he honestly loves what he does. (He just wishes he didn't have to work the long hours.) That's a rarity these days.

But right now all that really matters to me is that I love what I do now. I never really refer it as "work" because it isn't really (even though people always remind me that I actually do work when I mention that I don't work.) 
Being a mom or a dad isn't a "job." It's not just a series of tasks to be checked off a list: dinner - check. bath - check. teeth brushed - check. diaper changed - check.
Being a mom is the privilege of a lifetime. It's an experience that will last a lifetime if you really lean into it and absorb it all - good and bad.

Being a mom is like love at first sight

52 Linked 2012 A new theme every week.
A few other friends are joining-in on the adventure.
Please stop by and see their interpretations of our word of the week.


Jessica said...

You said it. I do love this job, even when it's frustrating. I love being a homeschool mom, too, and still staying home as my kids grow and mature.

I'm Veronica said...

What you are doing now is the most important. Love these monotone shots.

LIza said...

I can relate to every point you made. No one ever mentioned the challenges of staying at home to me. You're lucky that you had your mother for advice and that she can understand how you feel on your most challenging days. My mother had to work 98% of my childhood. It's hard to go to her for help and a shoulder to cry on. She thinks I have it easy.

{Amy} said...

great post, love this! and i agree with so much you said and i, too don't want to go back to my previous "job"...what on earth will i do? so much to think about. beautiful picture of your little guy.

Naomi said...

I love these shots. Oh how i long to be a full time sahm....being a mom is tough but so rewarding. It truly is a privilege isnt it? I understand why youd love to go back to work too though. Sometimes it is nice to have some grown up talk :).

Just Rhonda said...

I am lucky that I get to be a sahm too!! And I am curious about your thesis :) My husband just finished residency and is now in practice!

Anonymous said...

You last paragraph gave me total goosebumps. There is something in me that gets annoyed when sahm's get up in arms when people say what we do "isn't a job." And they yell and fight to make it be labeled a job. I never knew why that bugged me but your posts defined it. It's so much more than that. To call it a job is to disrespect what it is. I totally understand your thoughts too on the stimulation of work that is outside of running a house and raising people. You described it perfectly. I love getting inside your brain. ;)

tracy said...

a privilege for sure! and i love the b&w photos... :)

Simply Sara said...

absolutely and amen :)

i so get you.

loved this. your heart, your words, your sweet max.


Carla said...

Staying at home is hard work. I don't know that I could do it. I love my kids with all my heart but I need to be working outside the house. I do wish that I could maybe have something a little more part time. It is really nice that I take my kids to work with me though. (Until the little one throws a fit because thinks I need to be with him when I have work to do.) Love the pics.

Marvett Smith said...

Max is adorable and being a mom is the best job ever!

JennD said...

So so true. I went back to my corporate job too for 6 months after Gracie was born. Same thing, I was 99% sure I needed to stay home but wasn't sure if it was right for our family. It so was. :)

I miss being really good at something and other people appreciating my efforts but wouldn't trade my time at home with my littles.

stacey said...

I think these photos are my favorite that you've taken, Andrea. Love them.

Thanks for sharing your heart. :)

Tracey said...

I loved your words, but seriously loved these photos. Like, they are my favorite photos ever that you have taken. :)

Bunch of Barrons said...

Yes! So true! :) Great post.

Heather M. said...

sorry i haven't commented yet! totally forgot to.

love your words and your photos. they are both awesome and i totally get exactly what you are saying.

Heidi said...

I'm late with my Work post, but I feel the same as you. I kind of talked about it tongue in cheek in my post, but you said it so much better than I could. It is definitely a privilege!

Meagan said...

Being a mom is the privilege of a lifetime....I love this!

I think it is too.

I currently stay home and try to "work" from home too. Veeery part-time, but still. It's a little tricky. It helps that my dad is my boss. :)

Beautiful photos of Max, as always!'re not posting much these days! Let's see some more pretty photos! :)