I love being a mother, but you know what else I love? My job. Given the choice between staying home full-time, and working outside the home, I would pick working.
There, I said it.
“But, how could you pick anything over spending time with your children?!”
“Why would you have children if you don’t want to spend time with them?”
These are just a few of the responses I’ve prepared myself for, following this post. And these responses to my working mom confessions, whether spoken (or written, in this case), or imagined, are the reasons why I keep many of my thoughts regarding working motherhood to myself.
A year ago, I spent nine months home with my toddler; four of those months were spent with a newborn and a toddler. My husband was working crazy hours at the time, so it was more or less all mom, all the time. We had some fun, the kids and I, but truthfully, I didn’t like who I became when I was home full-time; I was irritable, restless, and didn’t like being financially dependent on someone else, especially since my income was sorely needed.
During my temporary stint as a stay-at-home-mom, and the months that followed, I learned that I am a much better mother to my children, and a better partner to husband, when I work outside the home. I am more patient, I spend the time I have with my children more wisely, and knowing we’ll have enough money to cover the rent is nice, too.
Here are some of my other “working mom confessions.” Maybe some of you can relate?
I think daycare is awesome.
My children love going to their daycare center; they learn, create art, play with their friends, and are doted on by their teachers. I take time each morning (when I’m not running late) and afternoon to talk to the teachers, so I know them well. Some say taking children to daycare, or hiring a sitter, is akin to “leaving the kids with strangers.” Not so, friends. In my family’s case, our children’s teachers are just an extension of our village. They’re family.
Speaking of daycare…
I take the kids on days I have off (sometimes).
I have to pay for childcare whether my children attend or not, so I may as well use the service I’m paying for, right? Maybe some of you are lucky enough to have children who allow you to do things at home. Mine do not. Folded laundry quickly becomes a pile strewn across the floor; my attempt to wash dishes results in my 1-year-old wailing to “see,” and pulling at my legs. I use my “stay home days” to get the house in order, so I’m not up all night cleaning. A well-rested mom equals a happier, more patient mom.
I feel that I’m setting a good example for my children by working outside the home.
One of the things I hope my children learn by seeing me go to work each day, is that it is possible for a woman to have a fulfilling, professional career, as well as a family. By this, I don’t mean that women who stay home to raise children are any less of a positive example for children; it takes a strong woman to spend her days cultivating respectful, responsible people. What I think I’m teaching my children by working, or what I hope I’m teaching them, is that women have options.
Sometimes, I look forward to Monday.
My children and I have fun, and share a lot of cuddles and snuggles on the weekends. But I’m not gonna lie, when Monday comes, peeing alone is nice, and a lunch sans screaming and spilled milk can feel quite spa-like.
Any of these sound familiar? Is there anything you’re hesitant to admit as a working mom? I would love to hear your working mom confessions!