I am a lucky woman. By the time I gave birth the KK and Hew, we were in a position to allow me to stay home full time - only I didn't. After six month maternity leaves, I went back to work part time after each child. I rationalized that the extra money allowed us to begin college savings and to travel home twice (and sometimes three times) a year to see family.
Right now with the career change, I am home full time until July and then I will go back to work. I love the time with my children, but I am reminded of how terrible I am as a stay-at-home-mom. I can't mange my children like I do my workload - they refuse to fall into order and it drives me crazy. There are great moments - like this morning when we made purple play-dough. And then all hell breaks loose when someone touches someone else toy, someone touches/hit/kicks the other, or someone sticks the purple playdough in the bedsheets. Most days I can laugh or take it in stride, but some days I get angry and frustrated and I feel like a failure.
Before our children were born, PerfectHusband and I agreed we would never discipline our children with a spanking. Although we had both been spanked and we didn't believe it hurt us, we believed that you can't teach a child to behavior by hitting. And that was all well and good until the kids learned the word NO. Normally, we use the time-out stool or we take away a favorite toy, but we have spanked our children (I feel the need to explain and say that we use a hand to the butt and have never left a mark). After I always feel as though I have failed at some Perfect Mommy standard that I will never meet.
I feel guilty that I don't want to be home full time - I don't want my children raised by nanny or daycare, but sometimes I need a break. My family is 1500 miles away and have their own lives. Work is my break - I'm in control there. Most days I am fine with my choice to work - I rationalize that I gave up full time work, changed jobs, and then careers to better fit my family life, yet I wonder is that enough? How much do I have to give up? And how horrible am I that sometimes I feel resentful?