Shortly after giving birth to my son (sleep deprived, sore, and an emotional mess) a dear friend shared some words of wisdom which saved me.
“The way it is now, is not the way it will always be.”
Those first few days as a new parent are overwhelming. I can remember feeling like I would never sleep more than two consecutive hours again; and then her words would pop into my head “this is not the way it will always be…I will sleep again.”
Now that my son is 8 months old, and sleeps through the night (sometimes) I had forgotten what it felt like to not see an end in sight. To feel as if you will be stuck in your current situation forever. For the first time since those early days of parenthood– last night I felt isolated and overwhelmed. Panic set in, and my husband had to remind me that “the way it is now, is not the way it will always be.”
June 1st our daycare bill increased $50 a week. With Boston having the highest child care rates in the country (yes, higher than California or NYC) we now pay close to $30,000 a year for someone to watch our son (post tax of course). I am now in a unique situation where I can’t really afford to work, and yet at the same time…can’t afford not to. I want to work. I enjoy putting on actual clothes each morning, having adult conversations, and feeling as if I contribute to my family financially. However, when literally every single cent of your paycheck goes to daycare it makes you start to wonder…what am I doing?!? Why do I sit at a desk 40 hours a week to make just enough money to pay people to watch my son—-so I can work?
(He is so cute it’s hard to be away from him)
I had a breakdown. Like many moms I struggle daily with finding balance between a career and family. Having just read Sheryl Sandberg’s new book Lean In she hits the nail right on the head: “All mothers have to make choices and we’re judged differently.” Decide to continue working and you are a bad mother for not spending enough time with your children. Decide to stay at home with your children and you are considered “lazy” for not working. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
The point of my post is not to complain about my current situation, or to have a pity party wishing for things I cannot have (In a perfect world I would like work part time, a few hours a day to keep my sanity and then have the entire afternoon/evening at home to be with my son). It’s simply to remind everyone that whatever your current situation is, it is only temporary and things will get better! It can’t rain forever. You will sleep again, your child will eventually communicate their problems in other ways than crying, they will walk, and they will be potty trained… “The way it is now, is not the way it will always be!”