Kiss Your Miracle

motherhood after infertility

Work August 24, 2009

Filed under: Motherhood,Work — Linnea @ 11:37 am

Today is the first day of school in our county and my thoughts are on Forest High School, where I used to teach. Someone else now works in my old classroom, and it’s full of students I’ve never met. Instead of rushing around making seating charts, talking through procedures, and trying to remember names, I spent this morning sitting on the floor with Sky reading Goodnight Moon over and over and helping her shove little pretend cookies into a plastic, singing cookie jar.

I was reading Heather Armstrong’s blog the other day and her topic was the career-minded mom vs. the stay-at-home mom dilemma, and how it’s a conversation that will probably never end because many women feel so passionately right about their position in the debate. She then wrapped up her post by asking for feedback from her readers. When I last checked it, she had 935 comments. Yes, 935.

Armstrong is the blogger of all bloggers, in case you haven’t heard of her. Her site,, is one of the most visited blogs on the internet. She definitely doesn’t need any publicity from me, but I can’t help plugging her site a bit because it’s hilarious and well done and sometimes even touching, despite her frequent profanity. But back to my point – 935 is a crazy amount of comments, even for the champion of the blogging world. She’s right when she says that we sure do have our opinions when it comes to working and motherhood.

So I was thinking through all of that as I sat on the floor this morning with Sky. I’ve been a full-time at home mom for just over a year now and I can easily say it’s the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. I know without a doubt that I want to spend the majority of my day with Sky. But that doesn’t mean the daily reality of it is always enjoyable. I have to admit that I don’t usually lose track of time. In fact, I’ve been surprised at just how quickly I get irritated with the little things, and how easy it is to complain or lose my temper.

And that’s where the guilt comes in. So often at the end of the day I find myself wondering if I focused too much on getting things done. I hear Dr. Sears’ voice in my head warning, “It’s possible to be a full-time at home mom and only interact part-time with your child.” Then on other days I wonder if I’m spoiling my daughter. I wonder if she’s getting enough social interaction, enough outside time, enough healthy food to eat, and on and on. I thought being at home full-time would mean no guilt, but I’ve learned that it’s possible to second-guess yourself regardless of your working decision.

When it comes to the question of the ideal mother, I don’t have any answers other than it can’t just be one thing. I’m starting to learn that raising a child well will always require sacrifice of some kind. I feel no regret about my decision to give up my teaching position, but I do miss things about my old career. The good news is that I’m starting a new job in September, grading papers part-time for an online university. I’m also hoping to tutor a few students and develop my writing ability into something that might actually, eventually earn me a little money. It’s tricky – trying to find the balance between the work of motherhood and other work. But I’m hopeful that with time and plenty of trial and error, I’ll figure out what’s best for my family and for me.