Sunday, April 14, 2013

Let's Talk About Working Moms...

Being a working mom seems to be a hot topic lately...with lots of opinions.  Very few of those opinions are in that imaginary "gray area" where we pretend to respect stay at home moms and working moms alike.  I'd like to share my feelings on the subject...from a working mom's perspective.

Note: I am in no way ranting...just observing...and sharing...

I am a working mom.  A hard working mom.  I have a high stress sales job.  I'm good at it.  I love it.  I travel a minimum of 2 weeks out of the month; sometimes 3.  It's hard.

When I tell people about my job, I get one of four reactions.
1) True Interest - Wow, that's interesting.  Tell me more about it!
2) Pity - Oh, you have to work?  You poor thing.
3) Judgement - Oh, you decided to work instead of stay home?  Hmmm....
4) Assuming I Teach - That's great, what school do you teach at?

There really are not any in betweens; that's pretty much it.

Here's the truth.  I like working.  I enjoy my job.  Do I think it might be nice to not have to spend time away from my sweet little boy each day, sometimes for days at a time?  Of course.  Do I miss him?  Duh.  Do I cry when I've been on the road a lot or sometimes when I just drop him off at daycare on a random Tuesday?  For sure.  Would I like to not have the extra stress of worrying about meeting a quota and being successful in my career?  Sure.

BUT - 

Working is good for me.  I get a huge amount of satisfaction from success at my job.  It's healthy for me, which means it's healthy for my family.  It makes me a better mom and wife.  There is nothing like that rush of making a huge sale or meeting a quota....or leading your team.  It rocks.  It doesn't compare to hugs and kisses from my son, or hearing him say "Mommy" for the 411th time that day.  Not even close.  But, there will be a day when he is grown up and I will need something to do.  So I will still be working.

I don't believe that working makes me a less devoted mom.  I love my little boy just as much as any stay at home mom.  I stayed home for the first three months of his little life.  I breastfed him for over 4 months.  I would do anything in the world for him, including quitting my job if that was what I felt he needed.  Hands down, no question.

Am I selfish for working?  Maybe.  I choose to see that I work hard for my family, and that it makes me better to the most important people in my life - my family.  I trust GOD completely.  My job is a blessing from him, and I pray each and everyday that I am in HIS will. And that if this is not HIS will, that he will remove it.  And I would be okay with that.

Being a working mom is hard. You miss your little one.  All of those errands and projects that stay at home moms can do during the day?  You have to squeeze those in during the weekend.  Which is the only time I have to spend quality time with my child.  That means that chores, laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, and cooking for the week are crammed into 2 days.  It can become overwhelming at times.  So, sometimes our quality time is spent running errands and grocery shopping on Saturdays.  There are no MOPS groups that meet in the evenings or on the weekend.  There are no playgroups or little gym classes that I have time to make.  I don't fit in with most of the women in my church because they all get together during the day while I'm working.  But - that's my choice and I understand that.

I know that staying at home is difficult.  I get social interaction at work, and lunch breaks.  They don't until their children go to school.  The standards seem higher for stay at home moms too.  Like they are expected to have everything together since they stay home.  I can't imagine the pressure they put on themselves to get everything done while keeping up with multiple children under their feet all day.  I'm sure it's hard.  

BUT - please don't make me feel badly for my choice.  Please don't judge my choice to work on the level of love that I have for my child.  Don't think that I work because I'm money hungry and want to buy designer clothes.  I am not and I do not buy them.  I bought a $13 dress at Ross today for goodness sakes.  

I have a huge amount of respect for moms that stay home.  I think it takes a very special woman to devote her life to raising her children.  It takes tons of patience and self disipline.  I admire that so much.  

Please do not thinking I'm ranting...I just feel like this is something that I am starting to discuss on an almost daily basis, and frankly, I am curious to see why people get so upset about moms that decide to work.  I wanted to share my perspective and gain some knowledge from all of you.  Please feel free to share your opinions in the comments below, or share a similar post on the topic with your point of view.  I am open and excited to seeing how you feel on the topic.


A tired working momma.


Nicole-Lynn said...

You do a great job and are a wonderful mom, so don't feel bad about anything. I'm glad you are standing up for what you believe! Keep working if it's what you enjoy and need for you and your family.

Kristi said...

Hey Michelle. I've been on either side of the fence, working and stay at home, and I have to say that they're both hard and rewarding. I also, like you, love working (for me as a teacher) outside the home, and believe it or not, I am looking forward to the day when I can go back to doing so. It doesn't mean I don't love staying home with my boys, because I absolutely do. I am totally the type of person to be in the moment and enjoy the time of life that God led us to, knowing full well that that will change at some point. So when the day comes that I can't stay home with my boys anymore, I know that I've taken advantage of this time and made the best of it, and when the time comes for me to be working again, I'll be in the moment and enjoy that part of my life too. Not that it matters, but I think that momma knows best. And if you feel like what you're doing is fulfilling for you and good for your family, I say go for it girl! You know the saying....When momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. :) So be happy and blow off the judgmental people. xoxo