When I was a kid my Mom was part of the generation of women who went from stay at home mothers in the 60′s to working mothers in the 70′s. I remember becoming a latch-key kid at the same age as my kids are now because there was no such thing as an afterschool program. I came home alone, got a snack, did my homework, and chores alone. My siblings are 13 and 9 years older than I am and by the time I was a young kid they were both not living in the house anymore. It was awful. I think I had too much time alone as a kid. I remember as the winter wore on I would grow increasingly depressed and when I was in 4th grade I had a severe depressive event because kids are not meant to be left alone from 3pm till 6pm everyday for years. In the 70′s kids were to ignore bullies and kids could not be depressed. I think it is a reason why I chose to live collectively for so many years, having many roommates at times, and having a roommate until two weeks before Ryan was born. I also love my job talking to people all night but I digress.
I remember begging my Mom not to work. She said it is something I do for me. It is something I do to be my own person. At the time I had no clue what she meant and all I really wanted her to be is my mother. My kids don’t have to come home alone for me to work. I am either working from home when they are at school or asleep and the days I work out of the house they are awake only three or four hours after I leave. On Thursday my husband is here to take over the parenting duties and on Friday they have a sitter for two hours before their Dad comes home. They claim to miss me but they are cared for and happy in a way I was not.
What I now understand is going off to work allows me to just be a person. I get to make my own living. I go to work and I am me, not a parent, not a wife, not a homeowner, I am a person all my own in the world. Although my mother had issues balancing parenting me and working I get her sentiment of having to continue being a person before you can be a mother or any of the many other hats women wear during a week. I just wished she allowed some balance in her life. It would of kept me out of the psychologists office for most of my 20′s.