As I sit to write about the good and the bad about being a working mom, I kind of just want to scream at the computer. Like, is this a real question? I’m basically a hamster stuck on the spinny wheel of chaos and sometimes I wonder if we get water breaks.
But I made this choice. Well, actually the choice was made for me. I can’t say that I ever saw myself being a working mom. I never really saw myself being a SAHM mom either, though. I guess I had blank tunnel vision into my life with kids. But it happened while my husband was nursing a start up and that meant I needed to work. Then my career just kind of took off so here I am. However, as far as choices go, I have chosen to dial it down a bit and regather my sanity for a hot second.
Truly, I see my position as a working mom as mostly “good.” Hard, like man handling a crocodile kind of hard, but rewarding. And I would find challenges with either choice, right? While I can more naturally make a longer “bad” list, the irony is that it only takes one or two “good” things to offset the whole bunch. So don’t take my bad as negative. We’ll call them opportunities for growth.
Does that sound corporate or what?
So yes, what do I consider the good and the bad? I’ll start with the good!
- While in school my kids play with toys I don’t have to buy and do crafts and science projects that I don’t have to clean up. I could honestly stop here; this is enough for me.
- I get interaction that doesn’t somehow turn to talking about my kids.
- Two words: financial. freedom. And lest you think that we dual incomers are actually all swimming in G’s…. just don’t. K? Thanks.
- The opportunities I’ll have once my children go to elementary school are infinitely greater than if I put a pause on my career.
- I can’t describe the adrenaline I get when I close a deal or the feeling of empowerment I get from being good at putting out a major fire for a client.
- I get a break from my kids. I realize that there are nicer ways to say that but I’m going for efficiency here.
- From 9-5, I can eat and pee alone. So there’s that.
- Mornings are pretty much WWIII. No one can ever find their shoes, blow outs are perfectly timed and it’s a miracle if I don’t forget the back packs.
- Outsourcing costs like childcare and house cleaning really do add up. At some point, dual income families have to determine if that makes sense.
- I always wonder things like: do babies actually take their first steps at home or are teachers nice to make us think they do?
- My options for working out consist of 5 am, lunchtime sweat sesh, during the three hours a day that I see my kids or after bed when we are all zombies. Or just not at all.
- Reading? What’s that?
- Church is a struggle. It’s a dark, quiet room and I’m trained to call that naptime. Further, it eats half a day in all of two days we get with our kids.
- Meal planning? Picking my own produce? Cooking every night? Psh… I have to be okay with curbside pick-up and a Lean Cuisine every so often and that breaks my little organic heart.
- Pumping. I don’t even think I can elaborate on this one without succumbing to heart palpitations and emotions that range from slightly offput to raging fem. All you need to know is that every working mom just asked why this wasn’t at the top of the list.
- Maternity leave, for most of America, is kind of a joke. And once the kids enter childcare – those sick days are a real kick in the pants.
- Forget about the children’s museum (or really, any public space that gets crowded on a weekend).
- We don’t do all that well on play dates with my friends and their kids. The kid friendships just aren’t there like with their school friends. But play dates with school friends means I’m just kind of winging it and hoping I end up liking the other moms. Or hoping that they like me.
- Packing lunches is the bane of my existence. I don’t mind the chore itself. What I do mind is that half of it comes home every day. I swear, I could send a donut and it’d come home. I cannot win.
- I envy the SAHM summer tan.
- Being a mom is a full time job. Working full time is …well… a full time job. So somehow I’m working double shifts and then there are dogs, a husband and a house that could use some attention. Basically, a working mom has 3 full time jobs and doing them all, right and well, at full capacity, just isn’t possible. Something is going to always get the shaft.
But on a serious note – each working momma could come up with their own list and while many would be similar, some would be totally different. I do encourage some consideration for one another in conversations where we celebrate or vent about our chosen path, though. When we working mommas say things like “I get to use my brain,” how might that make a SAHM feel? With her mom hacks and negotiation skills. And SAHMs, I’ve got news for you, there is zero chance on God’s green earth that you love your babies more than working moms just because you spend more time with them.
We’re all making choices for our families and for some, working is the loving choice and for others, staying home is the loving choice.