I am a working mother and wife. I am an auditor with an amazing local accounting firm that truly takes care of its employees. I love my company, I love my coworkers, and half the time, I love my job. Oh, and I definitely love the money I make and not having to be so dependent on my husband to buy the things I want and pay off my debt (credit cards, student loans, etc.). But there are some days, or weeks and months, that I question if I am actually happy working and wouldn’t rather sacrifice everything else to be a stay at home mom?
I have always wanted to be a powerful career woman, someone other people would look up to and wonder, “How does she do it?” But the more and more I work, the harder I find it is to juggle having a career with having a child and husband. Don’t get me wrong, my company is very understanding. If I ever have to call out because my daughter is sick, no problem. Or if I have to leave work early so I can see her before she goes to bed, that’s fine, just get back on once she’s in bed to finish up. Anyone who knows an accountant has probably heard them complain about the long hours that are required with the job. I don’t work at a Big 4 firm, and our required hours are significantly less (50-55 hours/week during busy season, 40-45 the rest of the year), but when considering the commute time and the total time away from home, it gets to be a lot. Especially when there’s a child and spouse to consider.
The time away from home isn’t just a strain on my emotions. I also don’t have time to help out around the house (cook, clean, etc.), hang out with Olive or Zac as much as I want to, and a lot of those traditional motherly responsibilities fall on my husband, who also works full time, but significantly less hours. While yes, sometimes it’s I don’t have the time, but other times, I’m so tired after work that I only want to sit and zone out. I also don’t have time to work out, unless I want to get up at 5 a.m. every morning, and quite frankly, I need my sleep. In short, not being present also puts a strain on my marriage every once in awhile.
I’ve been considering taking a reduction in hours, but I’m not sure how that would affect my salary or if it would affect my ability to get promoted, which I’m due for this coming summer (2018). I know my work would say it wouldn’t, but I don’t think I 100% believe that. Do you? I guess I’m just a little overwhelmed in life right now. Maybe all I really need is some sleep (hahaha, like that’s possible with an infant).
Am I being lazy? Should I just suck it up and get to work? Is work-life balance really a thing? Stay at home moms—do you ever wish you were in the workforce? Working moms—do you have the same “mom guilt”? How does everyone handle this? I’d love to hear your thoughts!