4/04/2012

Working Mom

I never had a set opinion one way or the other on what I wanted to do once I had kids. I grew up with a working mom who did a swell job at raising us while working a full-time, busy paced job. Dan grew up with a stay at home mom with 6 kids. Both of us had pros and cons to our lives growing up in each situation.
Had we planned on having a child when we did, we would have discussed all the pros and cons and what we felt we should do. But that's not how life works in our home, we are more of the "SURPRISE!" kind of people when big events are happening. Not planning our pregnancy made my decision for me, and it came to going back to work a few days a week. In hindsight, I am very thankful that I was "forced" to return to work, because otherwise I might never have realized how perfect it would be for me and my little family.
I recently read an article in TIME magazine on working mothers that felt so true to me and my life. And in light of recent comments I've heard from some other mothers, it made me feel a little better. In the article it talks of the research and studies done on part-time working moms:
"The most significant differences arose when comparing moms who weren’t employed to those who worked part-time. The part-timers were less depressed, had better health, were more sensitive to their children and were better able to provide them with learning opportunities. That may be a function of employment, which improves people’s social skills and increases awareness of what’s going on in the community."<

“Part-time employment is not such a time drain that moms don’t have time to do other things that are important to parenting, and it’s enriching their own lives in ways that enrich their mental health."
It then talks about ditching the idea of "supermom" in order to avoid depression. Saying, “You can happily combine child-rearing and a career, if you’re willing to let some things slide.”
{Read more here.}
I am happy to work because I have a good job with a flexible schedule.
I am happy to work because I have a tendancy to become lazy when given the oppurtunity. Take naps, have no motivation to clean the house and do the laundry, and maybe even get a little depressed when I'm stuck in the house too long. Not to mention I hate cleaning.
I am happy to work because I feel accomplished and appreciated in my time spent at the office.
I am happy to work because my husband is the best, and he contributes around the house so that it doesn't all fall on me. Cleaning, cooking (since neither of us cooks, that counts right?), and taking care of Jace are balanced responsibilites in our home.
I am happy to work and contribute to our income and paying bills, so we are able to live in a nice home, get out of debt, and splurge on shopping and doing fun things with little man.
I am happy to work because I have the best sitters for my little guy, where he is able to socially interact with other kids and play with grandma and grandpa.
I am happy to work because I find that I don't take for granted the time I do have with my son. We have so much fun together and I have yet to ever get tired of hanging out with the little guy!
I know everyone is different. Some wish they didn't have to work, but they don't have a choice. Some are happy working, and some are happy staying at home with the kiddos.
I know that you stay at home mamas get crap sometimes for staying at home. Well don't think it's any different for us that work, we get our fair share of crap for working. And although my advice isn't much, it would be: do what is best for you and your family, and don't stress what anyone else says about it.
Everyone wants different things out of life, but I think it's important to remember in these situations there is no "right" and "wrong". Live, let live, and don't worry so much about what everyone else is doing. Because how you feel, how you act, who you are, how you dress, what you think...doesn't mean that's how it should be for us all. I think if everyone remembered that, the world would be a better place.
I've sure got a lot of learning to do and I don't know much, but I do know that I am incredibly blessed. I love my family. I love being a mom to my sweet little guy. I love being married to the man that is my best friend, the man that makes me laugh every single day.
And I do know that right now life is pretty darn great just the way it is.

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