Wednesday, 14 September 2011

My dream job

First of all let me clarify, this is not about me comparing myself to other working or non-working mothers, or other full time working parents. This is simply about me. My thoughts on me and my choices.

I am extremely grateful for the opportunities working in a full time capacity has provided for me over the past 2 decades. I have been working full time since I was 18 years of age, fresh out of high school. I started off in a start-up clerical job and then at a friend’s recommendation moved into the gaming industry in casinos. This provided me with the opportunity not only to meet people from very diverse backgrounds and make lots of friends, but also to travel. I spent the most part of my 20s travelling. For this I am grateful and would not have wanted my 20s any other way.

Following marriage and motherhood as I hit 30 I decided the casino industry was no longer for me, so after 10 years I went back into administration. I feel as though I have been in the right place at the exact right time, the opportunities that have presented since going back into admin have been remarkable. I now co-own a business which I know, would not have ever been an option if I had not focused on my career in earlier days. For this I am tremendously grateful. I have also acquired skills that I know I would not have acquired had I not spent the past 20 years working full time. For that I am also grateful.

I do however find myself feeling serious envy at stay-at-home mums. I must also clarify at this point, I am not saying being a stay-at-home is completely rewarding or easy, nor am I saying it is a ‘dream role’ for everyone, but it is for me. I find myself dreaming of spending more time at home to be able to dedicate quality time to that which I love the most – my family, my home. When I am getting ready for my working week on a Monday morning after a tremendously amazing weekend with my family, I envy my friends that get to stay at home. I have recently had to adjust my timing and routine to tie in with a working mum’s demands, you can read about that here. There are moments as I have been crazily trying to get myself ready for work, my child ready for school, lunches, breakfast, bed made, dishes done etc etc etc all within an hour in the morning that I have found myself stressed out and wondering how I can possibly do it while keeping sane! But with a few tweaks here and there, and forfeiting staying up late and other small things I previously enjoyed (sleep-ins), I have found peace with the demands that come hand-in-hand with working full time. And myself. Although one huge part of me would love nothing more than to stay home and focus first on my home, part of me feels that it is my duty to contribute financially. My Mum raised us to be hard workers. She has worked full time since I was a toddler, for as long as I can remember in fact. In my 20s if I took a sickie I would get a drilling from Mum. She was born with a freakishly acute work ethic, and I guess that has rubbed off on me.

I thoroughly enjoy my job. I work with an amazing bunch of people and when I hear mums craving for ‘me’ time, I think myself lucky I get 8 hours of that every weekday. I am doing something I enjoy. I couldn’t wish for a better job or workplace or work colleagues. I do however find doing all the other stuff I enjoy – tending to my home, looking after my boys (son and husband), baking, gardening – get limited time, and therefore I am cramming tasks into 2 or 3 hours per night, which I could essentially be doing in that 8 hours I am at work. If only I could have both!

Before the collective ‘It’s your choice to work’ kicks in, I agree. It is my choice. In return for sacrificing time at home I earn a salary. My own money, with which I can do as I please (translation: pay our mortgage, afford to fill our pantry every week, take regular family trips). Without my job, we would not have our humble home. Without my job, I would not meet the people I do, I would not acquire the life skills I have acquired. I probably would not appreciate the times at home and the housework and the gardening and the baking.

I know that in 10 years when I am moving towards an early retirement I will be even more grateful for the opportunities working has provided me. I also know I will relish the ‘home’ time so much more than I may have if I had not worked with a young family. Sometimes choices are tough. But ultimately they are choices we make. And for that I am also grateful, that I had that choice.

As I was drafting this I came across BabyMac’s post on relishing in the less rushed mornings, take a look. Doesn’t that look enticing? Envy, serious (in a good way) envy.

Have you been a stay-at-home mum and wished you had the opportunity to work? Or have you had to work and wished you had the opportunity to stay at home instead?

{Image source: Pinterest}


  1. I don't know what to call myself, I stay at home with my son from Sunday - Sunday, but I slip off into the night 3 times a week & work a 10 hour night shift.
    Am I a working Mum, or a stay-at-home Mum? I am home every day, while Max is awake. But I do work at night, & earn that little something to fill the pantry, & cover the mortgage.

    So maybe I have the best of both worlds? And for that, I am so grateful. Grateful to the nursing profession who provide the flexibility of shifts so that I can work nights, & not feel like I am missing any of Max's day.

    But there is a sacrifice. And for me, it's sleep. Because after I've worked a night shift, I'm awake all day the next day with Max, & waiting for my husband to come home from work so I can go to sleep. And when I do the math, I've been awake for 39 hours straight. Sometimes I cope, other times I burst into tears, fall into a heap, & tell Dave I just can't do it any more.

    And I don't want a medal. Nothing like that :) Because at the end of the day, like you said, we all make choices.

    I tried to return to work during the days, but I missed Max so much my heart ached, & I spent most of my shift in the toilet crying.

    And I tried to stay at home full-time, but we couldn't make our mortgage repayments.

    So the compromise is doing what I do. And as a result, I try to focus on the positives. And I'm happy :) Because I mostly feel like I do have a taste of each world, working mum, & stay at home Mum :)

    You're beautiful Peggy. I admire your work ethic, your values, your family orientation, and your love of your Mother. Actually, there's a lot to like about you ... :)

  2. Thank you Cherie, you are way too kind!

    I think you are a working mum, who sacrifices sleep to be with your little man. I am not sure I would cope going 39 hours without sleep, you are amazing!

    It's great you focus on the positives, I too find I can either sit around moping about the fact I have to go to work on a Monday or I can enjoy a good cup of coffee and look forward to my day. :)


  3. I'm not nearly about to give you a comment that says 'it's your choice to work'. (I hate judgey comments like that.)

    I try and balance both the working mum role and the SAHM role. I'm about start working 3 days a week instead of just the two and I feel sad that I won't be able to hang out with my babes for that extra day, but I'm excited about having more 'grown-up time'.

    The whole balance and juggle between working mum and home mum is hard. I always feel like I'm slacking off in one area or never giving myself enough time to just be me.

    I'd never give a mum a hard time about the decisions they've made. We all do what we have to do to make it through. No one sets out to be a 'bad mum'. In the end we want what's best for our family. It's sounds like you're doing an amazing job :)

  4. Thank you Fiona.

    You're right about finding balance, I also feel excitement at the opportunities but sad at the fact I spend less time at home. When you put it like that it made me realise is ok to feel that way.

    I too don't feel it is my place to give any mum a hard time, I am sure I am lacking in areas but there is no doubt I give it my absolute best!

    Thanks so much for dropping in. Love your comment. :)


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