Why I Stopped Being a WOHM

Heather Chaet

work life juggleAfter you gave birth, you had a plan. Whether you would go back to work or stay at home or go back part-time. You figured out that work-life juggle. You imagined how the day-to-day routine will go with a baby, you looked at the checking account, the savings account. You figured out what you need to do for your family versus what you want to do ... and then how those two things (and 83 others) shall be juggled.

Me? I went back to work full-time. I had to: my job was the one that provided us with health benefits. I worked and worked and then switched jobs to another full-time job. It was all groovin' right along ... I thought I had it figured out.

But recently something wasn't working. Kiddo was now almost 4. The hours of the job, the hours my kiddo needed a parent around, the demands of getting her into kindergarten in the craziness of NYC ... things just weren't jiving. Things weren't groovin' anymore. I was dropping most of the 1,238 balls in my work-life juggle.

So, I quit.

Say you are at the playground or waiting for pick-up at your kid's preschool. Look around at the moms there. I bet every single one of them struggles with the work-life balance crap. No matter if she is WAHM, WOHM, SAHM, or something with other letters I haven't heard about, every mom has re-evaluated the home-life situation probably as many times as she changed her kiddo's diapers.

Surrounded by all of the dropped balls, so to speak, I looked at my situation and made the change. Went from full-time to part-time. I'm now a freelancer. It is scary. It is hard. It is the first time in my adult life I don't have to be at an office. I never thought I would be here. Wasn't what I had planned back when she was a baby. It is weird ... but it is also fantastic ... and frightening ... but, at some point, I had to push that aside and trust my instincts.

As we tell each other all of the time, as every parenting book, as every self-help book on the shelf screams at us, the greatest thing you can do is listen to your gut, your instincts. Change is scary. I don't do well with change. I like routine. I like consistency. But sometimes, you have to do what is scary. I mean, having a kid is scary -- it is also the most amazing, fantastic, awesome, a no-word-can-describe-it kind of thing. 

My gut also tells me that I have to get used to this. That the change of my juggle is now the constant. Change is constant? That doesn't makes sense ... but neither does Life sometimes.

How often does your work-life juggle change?


Image via david.orban/Flickr

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