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Yesterday my friend Jen Singer (who, despite the fact that I didn’t know her all that well at the time, was the first person other than my husband who knew I was pregnant) posted a great blog about working from home with kids. I read it and couldn’t stop myself from talking out loud. Darn right, I said.

Her funny story, which includes an adorable video explains how — as a working-from-home-mom — she’s constantly pulled in many directions. (In this case to fix a pair of glasses.) I relate. I work from home. Usually it’s great. I have a sitter for my little one. The big one is at school. I have the best of both worlds. I can play with the baby in the morning and work in the afternoon knowing she’s with my mom, my husband, or a trusted sitter. But the schedule is definitely thrown off with two kids in the house. In fact, I have never been as unproductive as I’ve been this holiday break– including the weeks after I gave birth. Bottom line: The last ten days that Big Girl has been off from school have been really hard on me.

But it’s nothing compared to what my mom went through when we were growing up. My mom worked full-time at a bank. I can remember being home alone with my sister whenever school was out. Vacations were especially tough. Whereas we would call my mom once or twice when we got home from school, vacations were always good for multiple calls for help with our little fights and gripes. When we really got rolling we called her many, many, MANY times a day. I can remember one broom-chasing incident like it was yesterday. Can’t remember what the fight was about. I can remember my sister chasing me with a broom, and threatening to bean me on the head. (She never did, of course.) We would scream and yell and call my mom, who was trying to be a bank manager. She would plead for us to work it out. Quick editorial comment: Before you chastise my mom keep in mind my ten-years-older-than-me brother was probably there, too, but he certainly wasn’t getting involved. It was only after I was 10 or so that we stayed alone in the house.

I think back to those days now and realize how hard it must have been for my mom. She couldn’t afford a babysitter. We were so needy. We probably had a case of the Sad Children, too. We just wanted our mom to be there with us. I’m sure she would have liked nothing better to do the same. But we turned out okay. We did. All three of us are professionals. Married. Two of us have kids. And of all the reasons I’ve sat in front of a therapist, being the kid of a working mom wasn’t one of them. So maybe I shouldn’t worry so much about my kids, either.

Did your mom work? How about you? How did you handle the break? If you are a SAHM, how did you handle the break? (It’s hard for SAHM during a break, too!)

2 Responses to “Go Back to School — Please!”

  1. My mom, not only didn’t work when I was very little, but she couldn’t even drive. So, we were completely isolated. Home alone with her and couldn’t even go to the store when we ran out of milk. We waited for Saturdays when my father had to mow the lawn and shop with all of us and Christmas shop. Holy smokes, I remember one incident stuck in the parking lot of Roosevelt Field Mall in front of Gimbles because of massive traffic. My father screaming because “she” couldn’t drive. We had to do everything together. Then, like a light switch my world changed and at 12, mom not only learning to drive she went back to work from 6 am to 6 pm. She was never home and very devoted to her career and rose as a manager in the Insurance industry. It was all or nothing in my house. I grapple with going back to work outside of the house fulltime and leaving my little ones because I still feel somewhat abandoned on the inside. and I know I make sacrifices for them because as independent as I was kind of taught to be, I missed her and really resented her job because of it.

    Great post.

  2. kb says:

    Wow, from one extreme to the other. That’s tough. Thanks for sharing your story. Sounds like an essay to me! Have you ever written one about this topic?

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