Why I Love Being a Working Mom (and I’m Not Apologizing for It)

Being a working mom is hard. Being a working mom is hard. I love my work and I'm not going to apologize for it—here's why I love being a working mom.
Let’s talk about what’s hard ladies.

Ahem.

Being a mom is hard.

Being a stay-at-home mom is hard.

Being a working mom is hard.

To be human is to be hard—and that’s ok. Hard doesn’t mean bad.

You know you can do hard things.

You um, pushed a watermelon out of a hole the size of a lemon. Or maybe your designer zipper installed and spent the next three days in the hospital.

No matter how your baby came into the world, you did it. It was HARD.

And you did it.

Then the rewards started flowing, and showing up in ways you never imagined – like the smell of freshly washed baby hair after a lavender bath, the feeling of tiny fingers wrapped inside of yours, and the sound of little giggles filling the air with joy bubbles.

Suddenly, things don’t seem so hard after all.

When I was on maternity leave with my first kid, I worried about how hard it was going to be going back to work, and having a baby at home. Yes, it was hard. I spent more energy trying to act like it wasn’t hard than finding ways to make it easier.

Now, I still don’t love throwing the term, “working mom” around, because all mom’s work. When I refer to a working mom though, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Professional mother, mom with a job, mompreneur – whatever you want to call her, it’s cool with me.

I’ve been doing the working mom thing for 7 of the 12 years of my professional life. At first, it felt clunky, awkward, and painful.

There were times when I actually considered having [wait for it], another baby so I could take a break, and maybe wouldn’t have to work anymore. Crazy, right? I just found work I enjoyed more instead and put that thought aside – for good.

It took me a long time to kinda, sorta, almost find my groove – 7 years, 2 babies, and 2 countries. Enough so that I just published a book just for working moms, which ended up being the best kind of therapy.

Once I found my groove, it was easier to keep going – doing work I love, finding simple ways to make it work, and even feeling unapologetically grateful for the work I do while refusing to feel guilty.

In case you need a little reminder, a refresher, or some new reasons to have a big slice of gratitude pie with whip cream on top, here's some reasons why I LOVE being a working mom.

In case you need a little reminder, a refresher, or some new reasons to have a big slice of gratitude pie with whip cream on top, here’s some reasons why I LOVE being a working mom:

  1. Keeping your brain sharp. Even if it doesn’t feel totally “on” all the time, it’s working.
  2. Silent car rides. Traffic? More quiet time.
  3. Talking to grown ups without someone pulling on your shirt or smacking your butt (and if these things happen where you work – I wanna know where you work!)
  4. Waking up a new part of your brain with every new challenge thrown your way.
  5. You actually look forward to Monday sometimes.
  6. If my husband lost his job, we wouldn’t be homeless and living on canned beans.
  7. Using work as an excuse for hubby to take over when I’m zonked. “Honey, I have to work tonight, can you put the kids to bed?”
  8. I get to show my kids that their mom gets to do work she loves.
  9. Kids are a really good excuse for taking sick days (whether they’re sick or not). “Kid is sick, not coming in today” is all your note needs to say – no questions asked.
  10. More money for soy lattes and expensive kombucha.
  11. A day at the office can be relaxing than wearing your supermom cape all day.
  12. Running, full bodied bear hugs at the end of the day.

What’s your favorite thing about being a working mom?

15 thoughts on “Why I Love Being a Working Mom (and I’m Not Apologizing for It)

  1. Jacqueline, nailed it. I don’t know any humans having an easy, adversity-free go of life. We’re all hopefully doing the best we can. I don’t like beans either, so I better keep working.

  2. Love the article Jackie! The most amazing thing about being a working mom is seeing my little girl look up to me as I leave excited and prepped for the day…she walked out of her room wearing “the same clothes” with confidence. Makes me feel 2% less guilty 😉

  3. Hard?? It’s impossible. An advice site that led me to this suggested it’s all about how the Mum has got to do everything! She’s got to organise it all, she’s got to ensure hubbie’s happy, she’s got to ensure kids are happy, she’s got to ensure she works hard at work, she’s got to ensure the house is clean and ordered and, apparently, she’s got to ensure she has some ‘me time’… I’m doing all this stuff and feel on the point of running away from home. These expectations upon me are intolerable, yet when anything goes wrong, such as having a self-harming ASD kid, while nobody says so, it feels that’s all my fault too – simply because I have to do everything anyway. How do I get off the train? I have to add that my job is stressful – there is never a quiet day at the office, there is a classroom full of big, stressed teenagers with some major mental health issues, there is marking until late every night, there is working every day of the week. I love my job. I love my kids. But I am letting both sides down. How can I not feel guilt?

    1. Lydia, thank you for sharing this. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thrown my hands up in the air and said “I quit” only to realize, I can’t. I also can’t tell you how many times I lose my cool on my kids and my husband.

      What really helped me is turning the guilt into something productive. Me feeling guilty, and trying to make everyone else feel guilty for how much work I was doing wasn’t serving me. It was only stressing me out and leaving me feeling totally hopeless. For example, if I felt guilt about not seeing my kids that night, or yelling at them for not doing something right away, I’ll make sure the next day, I spend less time in the kitchen, less time cleaning up and just sit with them and let them have my full and undivided attention (this is just one way of course).

      My home is also a mess most of the time – I realized just the other day that the kids don’t care if the house is a mess, they just want me and my attention. Mess eats at me and makes me feel like a ball of wound up yarn inside – I do what I can, a little each day, and go to bed knowing I did the best job I could with the tools I have.

      You’re not letting both sides down. You’re doing the best you can right now – please feel proud mama!

  4. Here, here! Sometimes, I feel guilty admitting that I prefer working outside the home to staying home, and I shouldn’t! I ADORE the kisses, cuddles, and the “Mommy, look at the pictures I made just for you today” from my oldest when I pick up each day. I also like having tasks that have a definite start and finish. Raising humans is not so cut and dry, and I need that simplicity sometimes to keep me going. Yes, to all 12 reasons! 🙂

  5. I know this is old, but I’m about to go back to work full time and I am excited and nervous! Its a job I will love doing, an hour commute each way though. (but for yay for quiet time and drinking coffee while it’s hot!) I’m not the pinterest, productive mommy when I’m home all day with my kids and I know I’m a better mom as a working mom. Iknow this will all work out even though I’m feeling anxious! My husbands father passed when he was young and his mother told me how she only had money for corn and hot dogs…God forbid something happen to my husband, I don’t want to be living on corn, hot dogs and beans either!

  6. Thank you for this. About to go back to work after having my third and I think this is the hardest one yet. I’m actually debating staying home and if we can afford for me not to work. But if I really am honest I know I’m a better mother when I’m away from my children for part of the day. I lose my temper less and I feel more self fulfilled. But boy do I sure have major guilt, anxiety and sadness over it! I just keep telling myself with time and adjustment to a new routine it will all come around. Articles like this remind me of how I truly feel!

    1. Sara, I feel you, and all of this. This is a huge part of why I work… but these days with the kids being 5 and 8, more home time is needed… if you can work out some kind of a flex schedule, this will be gold!

  7. I am really glad I found this article. I work 12 hour shifts and on days I work, I am very stressed out! Those 12 hours are go, go, go and I barely eat lunch sometimes. We are blessed that my daughter stays with a family friend who is a stay at home mom. But sometimes it makes me crazy. Her house is perfect, dinner is home made every night and she has extra time to volunteer with her kids school and church. I constantly find that mentally I am measuring myself next to her and failing. I show up to get her at the end of a shift and I am in my dirty scrubs with no make up and my hair in a messes up ponytail and shes standing there in a a designer outfit with perfect hair and makeup. Some days I want to throw my hands up and quit. But in the end I know my daughter gets a strong working mom role model and if anything ever happened to my husbands job, we would be ok. May not go on extra vacations but the bills will be paid. I feel guilty alot though and I am mad at myself for finding so much joy to being alone in my car jamming out to my favorite song at max volume!!! I just needed to know other women feel the same way, although I am sure I will still feel guily and beat myself up. Oh yeah, and I will try to let go of my worry that my house is never clean enough.

    1. You are definitely not alone Cindy! Rememer that mom who you think is perfect, feels guilty about a million things of her own and probably feels like she’s failing too – just like the rest of us 🙂 Carry on mama! xo

  8. I know this is an older post, but I am glad I found it. I am having baby fever. I currently have no children but desperately want a baby. I work full-time, and I need to continue to work full-time to help pay bills. I always envisioned being a stay at home mom but I don’t think it is realistic for my situation. Plus, I went to school for 6 years and received a master’s degree and I feel like I need to use it. I am finding encouragement in reading that working moms still find fulfillment in their work and being a mother. Thank you all, ladies.

    My mom was a stay at home mom and honestly I developed separation anxiety that was crippling for many years and I think it has contributed to me feeling “entitled.” I am currently working through these issues as I grow as an adult and find myself.

    Again, thanks for sharing. I feel better!

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