A Bird’s-Eye Perspective on Role Reversal

October 17, 2009 at 8:21 pm 5 comments

I’ve only been working outside the home for three weeks and I’m already wondering how other working moms do it?! For the past six months, I’ve been working from home part-time while my husband waits to be allowed to return to work at Frontier Airlines after his bout with cancer. My work has been irregular, to say the least. So, when a short-term contract position came up working on-site full-time, I had to take it. Not only for the regular income, but also because I knew it would be good for both Danny and I to have the complete role-reversal experience. I had to see if I could handle it, and, it gives Danny the opportunity to be the full-time caregiver for our daughter; something he has both enjoyed and grown from. It has been a great learning experience for both of us. But, in times of health, we have never been so exhausted! Well, there was that first three months of round-the-clock feedings as new parents…

My work day typically starts with long hugs and kisses from my baby, followed by sliding out the door while listening to her wail “No, Mommy, wait!” It is gut-wrenching. I think about her all day… wondering what mischief she’s up to now and how potty-training is going. My husband texts me the highs and lows: new playground friends and crib accidents. By the time I get home at night I am craving just to hold her. It is like a little slice of heaven when I come through the door to my baby running into my arms, yelling “Mommy!” with a huge smile on her face. The embrace doesn’t last long before she’s telling me her most pressing need: Dora or milk.

Until 9:00 p.m. when I can finally get her down to bed, my evening is all about Reagan. We play together, watch Blue’s Clues; there’s bath time and books. After that, I have an hour to eat dinner with Danny and relax before it’s time for bed. Never mind my exploding e-mail in-box or the fact that I haven’t posted to my blog in over a week. It is rare that I actually make it to bed by 10:00 p.m. Okay. Never. Come Friday, I am barely conscious. I’m TGIF’ing like never before! The weekends are all about family and squeezing in as much of my freelance work as I can before Monday rolls around again. Quicker than I’d like.

So, while I have put in more than 25 years of my life working in some capacity (in my 20’s I even managed to hold down three jobs at once) nothing has prepared me for the pace of balancing a full-time career and family at the same time without losing my mind. Unless you’re fortunate enough to have family near, can afford help, or have a domestically inclined husband, chances are, there is still a lot left to do when returning home from work and on the weekends as there is in my house. I am heartened by the fact that this is only a temporary situation for us, and thankful for the perspective it has given us for when we return to our “traditional” roles.

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Entry filed under: Career. Tags: .

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. A.J.  |  October 18, 2009 at 8:38 am

    If I had the capacity to make as much money as my husband, I would totally go to work and let him quit and take care of the kids and house, and most importantly, COOKING. I think we would both be happier. I’ve been a SAHM for almost 8 years and I’m ready to move on.

    Tea and bonbons

    Reply
    • 2. Mama Bird  |  October 18, 2009 at 8:01 pm

      Both jobs are tough. I hope you can find the right balance!

      Reply
  • 3. Lori in Denver  |  October 18, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Reading this gives me new appreciation for my husband. For all my complaining about being the “in” one, I sometimes forget the difficulties of being the “out” one.

    Reply
    • 4. Mama Bird  |  October 18, 2009 at 8:03 pm

      Yep. I know it’s going to be hard on Danny when he goes back to work. Especially since he won’t be home every evening. The plus side of his evenings away is that he gets them all to himself so he can recharge for when he is home!

      Reply
  • 5. Brandie  |  October 19, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Hang in there. I know it is tough. I only work part-part-time and it is still hard. My baby still cries sometimes when I leave and my older kids just get annoyed with me. I hate it but know that it is necessary. I keep telling myself the same thing. It won’t be like this forever!

    Reply

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A half-hatched role-reversal takes flight on a wing and a prayer.

Life is a misadventure mixed with mayhem.

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