I planned to do a book review, but that will have to wait....
Last Wednesday, I started a new job.
Today, I'm going to quit.
My former boss rang me and asked if I'd be interested in working with her again, at a different organisation (she left our old place of employment five months after I did), doing admin work for the equivalent of one day a week at home. It sounded like a dream opportunity, especially when we've been limping from payday to payday each fortnight. It would only be for six months as I'd be filling in for someone else who is on sick leave.
But I can't cope.
In the past week, my depression has risen as have my stress levels. Working from home with a toddler in tow is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I've been madly trying to get things done while he sleeps, but there's never enough time. I've been staying up to ungodly hours trying to catch up, I've had less time to spend with Duncan, I'm starting to get cranky with Rory....everything I feared.
Last night was the lowest I'd been for a while. I was crying, couldn't sleep, having panic attacks, shivering (even though it wasn't cold), experiencing vertigo. Yesterday I had to go to the doctor due to some other 'symptoms' which have arisen and I'm sure have been caused by stress. One day a week is never just one day a week and, like study, there are no boundaries. It's so easy for the work-life balance to become non-existent.
I'm angry at society and I'm angry at myself. I'm angry at society for putting so much pressure on mothers to go back to work when they don't REALLY need the money, saying they need to do something else for themselves, to use their brains. Well, my brain is now overloaded thanks to this job and I can't think straight. My house is a mess, I'm eating crap food because I'm in a rush, I don't have time to read my Bible, I'm thinking about work when I'm trying to spend time with my son. His nap times are filled with work instead of resting or cooking for friends in need....I hate how everything has become about me and my job, and God and other people have become a distant second. I don't want to use my daycare day for work. It'll never be enough time anyway and it's the only time I get to myself.
I'm angry at myself for being so weak that I can't even manage one day a week of work from home. I could never be that working mum with multiple kids in tow. I'm angry that I thought I needed to prove myself somehow. I enjoy being a stay-at-home mum and domestic engineer. I don't want to go back to work. I just want to write. I'm about to write a cover letter and synopsis for my book and send it off to a literary agent.
This has been a very humbling experience. I'm not as well as I thought I was and I have a lot more limitations than many other mums. We can manage on one wage. We just need to budget really, really well. Last night I received the welcome news that Duncan is getting a pay rise.
I'd just like to say to all the working mums out there....do you really need to work? REALLY? Do you really need the money? Do you enjoy your job, or can you manage on one wage? Are you working to buy things you could live without? Would you rather 'do something for yourself' meant doing something you really like instead of advancing your career? I know some people really do need to work, so I'm not having a go at anyone here.
I just want to ask the hard questions of society...and of myself.