WOW. Is an understatement - listen up....
10 months ago I was laid off and I decided I would take advantage of the time and re-evaluate my career, finish up my degree and spend embrace the role of a SAHM as well. I used to envy those moms driving the SUV's taking up all the parking spaces at Target during my lunch hour and now I was one of them! I knew eventually I had to go back to work, after my unemployment insurance ended, we would not afford to live off of one income. Why? More on that later.
I started looking for work after I met my 6 month mark of being home. My brother and dad had been unemployed the previous year and it took them months to find a permanent job. My husband worried it would take me longer to find a job as the economy had gotten worse since then. Plus we live in California where the unployment rate is one of the highest in the nation. I wasn't ready to work yet but I figured by the time I found a good job, it would be 2012. I found a job almost immediately. After several weeks and interviews, the position was mine.
I just completed my 1st week at work. Guess what? I hate it. I cry every chance I get. I have no reason to hate it though. Everyone is great, the job is great, the pay is great, the location is great, benefits will be great. This would have been my dream job had I transferred from my old job to this one. So why do I hate it? I miss being a SAHM. I have been working since I was 16 years old, even went back to work after being on maternity leave with my 2 kids without a problem. What was different? I was on maternity leave for 4.5 months and 3 months later I was laid off and then spent 10 months at home. So literally I have been with my son since he was born to 17 months. I got to experience him in a different way than I did my daughter.
I have lots of feelings of guilt and regret. The main one is that there are many people out of work or forced to take jobs that are less than ideal and I should be happy that I was so fortunate. I am thankful but sad. I dont know if that makes sense, but it's the truth. I was very fortunate to find a job so quickly with great pay and benefits. In addition, with a great supervisor who lets me pick up my daughter from school and drop her off at her sitters'.
And the one that makes me cry. My kids. I mourn the time I've lost with them. By the time I get home its 5:40 PM and we rush thru dinner and homework and it's off to bed for my daughter. Half hour later, the baby is off to bed. Then I rush to pack all their things for the next day and before I know it, its time for bed for the adults.
My biggest regret is not realizing how I felt until I started the job. Maybe I had to start a job to realize I had changed. I regret not putting more time into making my online selling an organized, planned out job as I always said I was working towards. The last month I grossed $1200 in sales. This was only selling 2-3 days per week. What if I had worked every weekday for 3 hours per day on eBay? Maybe I could have afforded staying at home? Or What if I took a part time job that allowed to me sell on eBay after work all while being at home with my kids?
So what's going to happen? Well, this position is 2 months temp with a huge possibility of it becoming permanent. The woman I am covering for is on a medical leave and is unsure when or if she will return. Most of the office is in agreeance that she will not return. This entire week I have been praying she does come back. My friends and family say my feelings may change after I have been here a few weeks.
I would welcome any advice from moms that have felt the same feelings of sadness and anxiety by going back to work after an extended time.
Thanks for reading up to this point! Phew!