As a mom working outside the home, I have learned that there are challenges I did not expect.
1. I actually socialize with my parents and in-laws less than I'd sometimes like. At first I thought it was great because I was seeing so much of them, since we are blessed to have them as our full time child care providers. Then I began to realize that it was like living in proximity to a grandparent that isn't quite far enough away. You get frequent visits, but not lengthy ones.
This is due in part to their having taken care of a child all day, I imagine, and partly they don't want to "keep me." These are valid, but I miss actually sitting down to talk.
2. (not unexpected, since we feel busy in every age and stage of life) I often feel rushed and if I stop for too long I'm being selfish or missing something I should be doing. I don't handle this well.
3. I am starting to really feel the effects of not being with friends. People think, because I work full time, I need all my free time with my husband and daughter. I agree that time with my family is important and I don't get as much as I'd like, but we need time with other people, too. If we are left in isolation then we are left to parent alone and we need others to help us be better people, better parents and a better couple.
I enjoy my time alone with my daughter, and the times we get to hang out as a family, but I also enjoy time with my daughter when I have friends and family around. So I am thankful for the friends we do see and the times we get to spend more than five minutes with our families.