I had a rough day with the boy today. He was being a very typical toddler, defiant, bratty, not listening to a word I said, being exceptionally loud, whining for and about everything, stop me if you've lived through one of these days! I know that it is nothing unusual, and there'll be lots more days like this, and that the tantrums and their nature will change as he grows older. I'm sure there will be yelling, slamming doors and the silent treatment, there's probably at least 16 more years of ups and downs ahead.
It was while we were in the midst of a particularly bad moment that I was really re-thinking my decision of being a SAHM. I'm often envious of hubby when he leaves for work in the morning, dressed in nice clothes, heading off to an office to interact with other grownups, with the ability to go out for lunch if he wants, or go to Starbucks and grab a coffee if he needs a break. Some days I can't even get 2 minutes of peace and quiet to go pee!
I started to wish that I could go out to work, and maybe have the boy in daycare or preschool, but then I wondered, is the grass really greener on the other side of the fence (or the snow whiter in the middle of winter)? I look at my sister-in-laws who are both back at work, or my friends who have returned to their jobs, and I see how good, but also how hard they have it. Some of them have returned to work out of necessity, some because they have good work-life balance with their jobs, some because they truly love what they do. But whatever reason they went back to work they don't have it any better, or worse than me. There are positive sides of working, a sense of satisfaction, time outside the house, time not to be a mum, but they also have the downsides, less time with their kids, a rush to make family time, and more.
While I have to deal with the crap and the junk that goes along with spending all day with the boy, I get to spend all day with the boy. I don't have to worry about rushing home from work to do a million and one chores and try and cram in quality time with him as well. I get to be the one who's there for all the milestones (good and bad), so while his face may not light up at the end of the day like it does when he sees hubby, I'm the one who's a part of all of his stories. I'm the one who'll be a part of all the good memories that we create every day. And that's worth more than a grande peppermint mocha, at least on most days it is.