I didn’t know how difficult the transition from SAHM (stay at home mom) to WOTHM (work outside the home mom) would be. I had nine years of waking up and wondering aloud to the kids “What shall we do today? The world is our oyster!” (As long as we remained within our budget and worked around nap times.)
It was not a cakewalk, staying at home. I hate to cook and planning what four people had to put in their mouths to nourish themselves daily nearly drove me mad. But when posed the question from outsiders of what my days consisted of, I would entertain them with stories of how one little girl could perform every song from Wizard of Oz or how one little boy could collect enough sticks to build his own fort if he chose to.
When my 2nd child entered the first grade, it was time for me to return to outside work. The problem was, the field I had been in for ten years (film) now saw me as an old dog. I no longer could (nor wanted to) work 17-hour location days or keep up with the LA pace. My kids had made me soft (in a good way). My 9-year respite had put me behind the curve and knocked me down the ladder, but neither the curve nor the ladder was relevant to me anymore.
My passion for my own career ambition melted into my desire for what would be best for my kids, thus I chose a job at their school to keep the same hours as them. I still write for a kid’s travel site (when all are in bed), allowing me to still follow my own personal passions.
The transition has not been an easy one. My husband and I are still figuring out what household chores look like now that we both work. Fortunately, we have two more set of hands now to add to the help.
There was no manual for my return. As a lifetime latch key kid, I hadn’t watched my own mother to see how this is done gracefully. My sister has been able to be a SAHM with all four of her children, so her experience has been different than mine. But I’m trying and I’m failing and I’m trying again to balance both home and work and homework and career, while still showing my kids that the world is our oyster.
This piece was submitted to The Village Magazine.