For the past five years, I have referred to myself as a stay-at-home Mom. Although it was a difficult adjustment, I had no qualms about stepping away from my teaching career to take care of Robby. It hasn't always been easy, but I have never regretted this decision.
During the last few months, my professional responsibilities have been growing. Between writing insurance appeals, managing my prosthetist's patient outreach, and moderating the ACA Facebook page, I am now wearing a lot of hats. Add the fact that I'm still a mom to an active and curious part-time Kindergartener, a blogger, and a wife who is still expected to maintain the home, managing my time with all of my "duties" has become increasingly difficult.
Scott sent me a barrage of text messages yesterday while he was at work. He seemed to become aggravated when I didn't immediately reply. When he finally called, he remarked that I didn't seem "chatty." No, I wasn't particularly chatty. I was busy! Just because I'm home should not imply that I am always available.
I thought that I would be able to get a lot accomplished with Robby being in school, but three hours fly by so quickly. After I pick him up I try to spend time with him, work on the household chores, make dinner, and finish my professional duties. Opportunities to sit and chat are virtually non-existent as I flutter around trying to take care of everything. From researching insurance policies to not burning a grilled cheese sandwich to vacuuming the floors, I am spending at least 16 hours a day "at work."
It occurred to me yesterday, after hanging up from a conference call I completed while folding the laundry, that I am no longer a "stay at home" mom. My mounting professional obligations are now monopolizing a significant block of my schedule. Instead I have decided that referring to my situation as "working from home" is more accurate.
I am optimistic that my changing my label to "working at home" will signal some household changes. I am seriously considering hiring a cleaning service to help with the housework. It is no longer a matter of not enjoying cleaning; I now don't have time to do it.
Right now I think I'm going through the growing pains that working moms have experienced for decades. Although my professional adventures have been extremely rewarding, I realize that I cannot keep going at this pace. Working at home while trying to be a stay at home mom is draining. I think it is time to relinquish some of my "stay at home mom" chores!