“I am a working mom.” These words are the premise to my ENTIRE blog. I never thought about writing anything other than how I find sanity or the struggles of a working mom. Why? Because it’s just plain hard, and I wanted to share my story to resonate and connect with other working moms.
But a recent conversation changed my perspective…
Last week, my husband and I talked about different parenting topics for the this blog. And all of a sudden, he says…
“It’s great to make the struggle known about working moms and vent, but maybe you should write about how you ‘wouldn’t change a thing’?”
As soon as he said that, my immediate reaction was…
There’s a TON of things I would change! There is nothing perfect about being a working mom. There’s nothing glamorous. I would change parts of my work-life balance. I would change how much time I spend at work. I would change my inability to go to parent events at school.
But, he was on to something. Something that many of my working mom friends I know have felt and talked about (but sadly in shame)…
You see, I CHOSE TO BE A WORKING MOM. I didn’t simply become one out of financial necessity. I made this decision for many reasons, but none of which was because I felt that being a working mom was better than being a stay-at-home-mom or that I didn’t love my kid! I made the decision because, knowing myself, I felt I would contribute more to my family as a working mom than I would having stayed at home with Everly.
I know that there are plenty of working moms who would rather be a stay-at-home-mom. I completely admire that. Even though I chose to work PART OF ME STILL WANTS THAT. We toyed with the idea multiple times. My husband and I have discussed it at length. At the end of the day, we both decided I wasn’t ‘built’ to be a stay-at-home-mom.
WHY WAS I NOT BUILT TO STAY AT HOME?
First of all, I need to state this again. I have ultimate respect for SAHMs. They have to have the patience of a Saint to avoid freaking out in front of their kids much of the time. They must be constantly ON. There is no line between personal life and work. You cannot go to the bathroom alone- EVER! They have to be okay with having limited contact with other adults and adult conversations. And something I personally noticed when I was home during maternity leave…I had evolved to depending my worth and value in the hands of a newborn. I was not built for that.
And so…I CHOSE to be a working mom. The two options both have downfalls. They come with their own sacrifices. I had to chose for myself which sacrifices I was best equipped to handle based on who I was.
I miss my child terribly every day I go to work or travel, but I know that my personality would lend myself to deep depression if I didn’t get affirmation or value outside of my home. I knew that I would find myself unhappy and unfulfilled after spending a mortgage on my education (MBA) if I didn’t get a chance to practice it every day. I knew that I would be much better at teaching my daughter independence by the work I do outside the house than I would be by teaching her independence in other methods while staying home.
This is why I, truthfully, chose to be a working mom. And for all other working moms who made this same decision, that was not financially driven, I hear you. I often feel bad when people in conversation try to pity me that I HAVE to work. They say “you must feel so horrible that you’re missing this time with your kid.” And I do. I do feel horrible missing out, but the alternative in our life could be worse.
“There is no work-life balance, there is just making it work.”
To all who read this, I ask, let’s just support each others decisions to be whatever type of mom is best for you and your family. Sometimes that is financially driven, and sometimes it’s emotionally driven. Whatever your chose, there is no RIGHT path and no EASY choice. Let’s just be proud we made the best choices we could and work together to overcome the sacrifices we accepted. Thanks for reading!
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Why did you stay at home or why did you work? Share your story!