Monday, March 21, 2011

I'm Jealous of SAHM's

It's true. I admit it openly. I am jealous of Stay-At-Home-Moms (SAHMs).

When my children were little I worked a late night shift at Delta Air Lines so that I could be at home with my babies during the day. And although I know that the "quality time" with my children was hindered by many catnaps on the sofa while they played during the day, I enjoyed being there. I loved making their meals and reading to them in the afternoon and then having time to fix dinner from scratch before I'd head off to work. It wasn't "perfect" per se, but it was perfect for me at that time. And, my children didn't have to be in daycare.

As they got older and in school, my schedule allowed me to be the room-mother for many of their classrooms and to volunteer to run the class parties or help out with field trips to the zoo or the air force museum, etc. I even subbed for some of their classes too.

Then came a time I knew in the back of my mind that divorce was on the horizon. I knew I could not work until 3 or 4 in the morning and leave little children at home by themselves. I knew that I couldn't be a single mom and keep the job I had. So, I began to look for other jobs; get my ducks in a row. However -- I did not have a college degree. Finally I decided that Real Estate was always something that had interested me and that I didn't need a degree to get my license. I took the necessary classes and within about 4 months I passed the exams and was licensed.

I loved the flexibility of being a real estate agent. I also loved learning about the industry. This job allowed me the flexibility to work from home and even if I had to go show properties in the evening, I was more often than not, home before 9pm. It was perfect. I was still room mother. I still organized the class parties. I still volunteered for the field trips. I still participated in field day and volunteered at the school carnival. I even continued to sub-teach once in a while. But I also discovered something else I loved. By this time all of my kids were in school during the day. I didn't HAVE to work from home. And many times I would go into the office for an hour or two. But I discovered I enjoyed being at home during the day by myself. I accomplished so much more without little ones underfoot. And I had the freedom to come and go as I pleased. I went to the gym every afternoon. I loved my job and I loved helping my clients buy and sell real estate. I finally felt that my ducks were in a row and that I could proceed with my divorce.

But then something happened. The market had started to slow down... And at this point I had only been doing real estate for 2 1/2 years; not nearly enough time to build a steady clientele in this "niche" of a market where I live. As my business began to slow way down and as buyers started getting cold feet and as listings went from an "on market" period from 7 days to now an average of 30, 45, and 60+ I knew I needed to once again figure out a different job. If I was going to be a single mom, I would need a steady paycheck. And something with insurance would be even better.

The title company next door talked to me about a position, but then hired someone else the next day. The following day my grandmother died and I scrambled to make plans to go to Indiana. Well, while I was gone the girl they had hired wasn't exactly working out. After I came back, about 10 days later, they told me that if I still wanted the job, it was mine... that they wouldn't even interview anyone else. I felt that this was the answer I needed so I said yes. Things have changed a little here and there, and I've moved up twice in position since then. But I am still there. Looking back I know that the Real Estate Agent gig was just a stepping stone to get me to the title company. It was the knowledge and experience I needed to get my foot in the door.

I also knew that I never wanted to be in a position again wherein my options were limited because I didn't have a degree. So, about a year and a half after my divorce was final, I started going back to school. And it's not even that I am hoping to change jobs anytime soon. But I want to be able to have options somewhere down the road should I ever be faced with a situation like that again.

So, this has been my life that past year and a half. Work and school. School and work. And trying to squeeze time in my my kids, church and my own social life somewhere in between. It's not been easy. And more recently I've come to the realization I am burning the candle at both ends, and quickly running out of wick.

Well, back to the title of the post. Last week was Spring Break at school. One entire week without class! W00t! It was much appreciated. But I wanted to feel rested and not rushed trying to get other projects done that week. So, I decided to take one full day off of work too. My kids still had school all week, because their Spring Break isn't until next month. So, there I had it. 1 day of no work, no school and no kids. Of course I love my kids and all. But a break I desperately needed.

It was a day of bliss. And even though I woke up with a headache, it was still a great day. I took a verrrrrrrry long nap. I cleaned a little. I baked a little. I soaked in the tub. I even worked on some of my writing. I felt so great to be at home with no pressing schedule. I decided right then and there that I was completely jealous of SAHMs. Not the ones with little children under foot. But the ones that get to have their own personal time during the day. And I was even thinking how I missed the days I worked a night shift, because even then I had quiet time during the day. I even considered how nice it would be to not have to work at all. Just do school! That would really be something. To study during the day in quietness. To go to class without worrying about my kids left behind and whether or not they are eating the meal I prepared for them or if they are getting their homework done.

I know it doesn't do any good to covet. And I suppose the grass is always greener on the other side, right? But if someone asked me to describe my fantasy world, right now that would be it. to be a SAHM. I don't need riches. I don't need a fancy house or brand new car. Just a little time to relax and write and soak in the tub... without someone on the other side of that door calling me "mom"... Haha.

That's all I really want.


greenolive said...

I agree that the grass is always greener on the other side. I am a SAHM with little ones at home still. I pretty much do the same thing day in and day out. I don't get to take long baths or naps. I don't get to go out to lunch with the girls. Sometimes I feel bogged down and unpreductive but I find solace that children grow up and eventually it will be time for me to do something else. Right now this is where I should be. I liked hearing about your past, and the thoughts that you had. You made tough decisions that seemed to lead you exactly where you should be. That's pretty cool.

Charlotte said...

I am currently jealous of my sister, the SAHM. She was planning on going back to work after having her baby, but just couldn't do it. They are in a financial situation where they can make that work.

We've gotten ourselves into a place where we will not have that option. And even though I don't really want to quit working, sometimes I just want a break, or at least to know that I could take a break if I wanted to.

Cassie the Sassie Lassie said...

I have to agree with you for the most part. I could NEVER be a SAHM... I think I'd go crazy with people screaming at me for attention. I just don't work that way. But some time for myself? Yes, that is a definite yes.

Ruthykins said...

i am a sahm and i love it. when my child gets sick or hurt at school i don't have to worry about leaving a job. i just go. most of my days are unproductive. i still have one at home all day with me. my alone time happens at night. i'm not really alone, but it's close enough. like greenolive was saying, we don't get to go out to lunch with the girls, but eventually i'll get there. in a few more years both kids will be in school all day. my husband asked me what i'm going to do with myself when that happens. i really don't know. maybe volunteer work. i just know that i don't want a job.

Susie said...

Being a SAHM is great but it takes a lot of work! My husband has the only income so he works long hours. That means that all the housework, inside and out are mine to do. Blizzad, I plow snow. Growing grass, I cut it. Broken table, I fix it. No soaking in the bath for this SAHM:-)