I have written previously about my inner battle with working outside the home while raising my son here and here. The comments I received on those posts were so encouraging and uplifting. So THANK YOU for that.
I wanted to do an update post to let you all know how I am doing.
First let me say that this is not to meant to argue for one choice over another. All family situations are completely different, all work situations are different, and all family needs are unique. So I am not really wanting to start a debate on working moms versus the staying at home moms. That is not my intent.
My intent is to help you see (and focus on) the positives for whatever choice you did make. My heart goes out to other moms like me who struggled with the decision. I have struggled with this choice, and I know I am not alone. No matter which choice you ended up making, I think a lot of moms can relate to the struggle and feeling torn.
I would say that the first year of my son’s life was very, very difficult for me to return to work. I am happy to let you know that I have felt much more of a peace lately with my decision to continue working.
I do not name my employer on this blog. But I will say that I have a stellar work situation. I am very blessed. My employer allows me to work from home 100% of the time. I have pretty standard hours, but there is lots of room for flexibility (within reason). I have fantastic benefits, and I know that the work that I do aligns well with my skill set. I love my boss.
I get to travel about once a year, which is perfect for me. It is nice to have a short trip and see my coworkers face to face, eat some good meals that I did not have to cook, watch bad TV for a couple of nights in my hotel and sleep without a baby monitor next to my head for a few nights. But I like that I am not gone for too long. I miss my husband and my son when I am gone, and thankfully I don’t have to go very often.
I am loving that I see my son start to LIKE school. He loves his teachers, and it is such a joy to see him reach for them with a big smile in the mornings when I drop him off. I love that he has his friends that he loves to play with. I love that he is learning so much. I love when he does a new sign language word, and I have to look it up to know what he is telling me!
I am relieved and thankful that the separation anxiety is getting so much better. Yes, he may have a morning here and there where he gets upset when I leave him, and that is still tough on me emotionally when it does happen. But those mornings are (thankfully) few and far between at this stage.
Also working itself takes on a whole new meaning when you have a child depending on you to provide. You just want to try harder and do better at your job. Because it is not just about you anymore. It’s for them.
If you chose to put career on hold and stay home, that choice was made for them, obviously. But I am learning that my work day is very much for my son as well.
My advice for other moms struggling with this would be…
- Make the most of whatever hand you have been dealt and/or whichever role you have chosen.
- Try not to second-guess yourself too much.
- There are drawbacks to both options. But remember that there are benefits to both choices, so try to focus on those.
- Also know that if your current situation is not working out, it is okay to consider other options. Even if you need to work, there are part-time and more flexible options out there. Circumstances often change, and we just have to adapt as best we can.
Did you struggle when deciding to work versus stay home when you first became a parent? Did you find peace with your decision eventually?