I’m a homebody. I’ll admit it. When I was younger, though I still wasn’t a social butterfly who relished going out every night, or staying out all night, I had a more active social life than I do now. Having a baby does change a lot of things.
When I was pregnant for The Princess, that is when my true homebody tendencies kicked in. I didn’t want to go out to the bars with my friends, because I didn’t want to be around the smoke, and I definitely wasn’t going to be drinking. Not to mention – pregnancy fatigue! I was lucky if I could stay up late enough to watch E.R. on Thursdays!
Of course, once The Princess was born, I still stuck close to home. There was the factor of a whole different kind of fatigue. And once I returned to work when The Princess was eight weeks old, I became even more of a homebody.
Probably the biggest factor in why my social life has been fairly non-exisitent for the past few years is the fact that I was working outside the home. There is a whole debate between working moms and stay-at-home moms, and pros and cons of both. Having seen both sides of the coin now, I can say that the worst part of being a working mom is the guilt. Guilt that someone else is caring for your baby 40+ hours per week. Guilt that you are “choosing” work over being that person to care for the baby. All of that plays through a mom’s mind on repeat. At the end of the work day, I would race to the sitter’s house to pick up The Princess, so as to not be away from her a second longer than necessary. If my car needed gas, I would go out at lunch to fill the tank, so as not to have that stop to make on the way home. Pathetic, right?
But for how crazed I was during the work week, it was harder on the weekends. I didn’t want to go out because my time at home with The Princess felt so minimal to begin with. In my mind, I dumped her with a sitter all week for work, and how dare I even consider doing it on the weekend, with the little time I had? We would go to visit friends and family, and I didn’t want to let anyone else hold her, because it was mommy’s time.
And eventually, it became that I hardly went anywhere or did anything without The Princess with me. And when I did – guilt.
Probably the most amazing aspect of working from home is that I am with the girls daily. With Pumpkin, I’ve never had the feeling of “dumping” her with anyone. When Hubby took me out for my birthday dinner , when Pumpkin was nearly 2-1/2 months old, it was our first night out since her birth. I fully anticipated feeling how I did that first day I dropped The Princess off at daycare: tearful, sad, and guilt-stricken. But I didn’t feel any of that. I know that my girls know I love them, and I know that they certainly get more than their fair share of mommy time – more than they want, probably, and I don’t feel the least bit sad or apprehensive about letting Grandma and Grandpa have a bit of kiddo-time.
Today, a friend called and we made plans to go out next weekend. I also got an email today from a co-worker who is home with her newborn baby and we’re trying to put together a plan to get together as well (with four kids between the two of us, I have a feeling we’ll be picking up Starbucks and parking ourselves in someone’s living room!). Feels good to be able to reconnect and not feel guilt or feel like I’m short-changing myself or my children. Sometimes, it’s exciting to have something on that calendar that has nothing to do with being a wife or a mom.