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December 5, 2016 - Stacey Sacco
Moms tend to talk a lot about this strange concept of “self-care.” Probably, for most of us, motherhood is the first time in our lives we give much thought to consciously making space for it. Before that, it was just part of life. After giving birth to a tiny and needy human being, self-care often takes a back seat to fussy babies and clean laundry.
So often, moms are desperate for that little bit of time to relax or recharge. We beg spouses. We hire babysitters. We lock ourselves in the bathroom with a book. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
I thought as the kids got older, it would be easier to carve out time to pursue my own passions. Although they are more self-sufficient now than ever before, there are more activities, time commitments, and homework. We seem to be busy all the time. Self-care is still taking a back seat. And the last thing I want is to make additions to an already busy schedule.
However, this summer, a unique opportunity presented itself at what seemed to be the perfect time… and I jumped. I took a part time job. I wasn’t sure how this would turn out. We are so busy and my husband’s schedule doesn’t allow a consistent time for me to leave the kids in his care. A babysitter is a must. Would I just be adding to the chaos?
I wanted to try it. It’s a job I would love and just enough time and income to pay for some of the kid’s activities without dipping into the household budget.
So I started. And I LOVE it! Never do I “have” to go to work. I “get” to go to work. I enjoy what I do. I love being productive and having something tangible to show for all my work. I like talking to adults just as much as shutting the door of an office to work by myself. This is the single best self-care move I have made in ten years. I can’t remember the last time I felt more like ME rather than like someone’s mom. For several hours each week, I’m a thirty-something woman, pursuing a career I love, not a chauffeur, cook, laundress, tutor, or maid.
Some chores slip occasionally. Iris is getting used to it, but doesn’t love that I leave as often as I do (a whopping one or two days per week). The girls watch a little more TV than usual as I make phone calls. It’s not perfect, but it is great for me.
Several years ago, I think a job would have been just one more thing in the stressful chaos of our lives. Now, it is the bit of self-care I need. It’s a different kind of satisfaction and fulfillment. After ten years, I was more than ready for some validation from the world outside my front door. It’s the perfect mix of using my skills in a positive way. It’s not what I went to college for or always thought I would be doing, but it is what I love doing right now, and it just doesn’t get any better than that.
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