Real Life Motherhood

Working Mom vs. Stay at Home Mom

Last month I took a jump into a new adventure. I became a {part time} working mom.  And lets just say the jury is still out on how I feel surrounding the whole situation…

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In theory I still consider myself a stay at home mom.  My job is less than part time, only 8 hours a week separated within two days.  However, I find myself loving it!  I find myself wanting more, not wanting to leave at the end of my time and looking forward to my next shift.  I love the work and I love the idea of doing something noticeable with my day.  I get to talk to adults.  I get to accomplish tasks (start to finish in one sitting!)  I get to dress up and put effort into my appearance, more than a Target versus Walmart shopping day!  I get to feel accomplished.

But all I’ve ever known in my motherhood journey is staying home with my babies.  I haven’t “worked” since I was pregnant with my first, nearly five years ago!  And it was always my dream job to be a stay at home mom.  When ever I was asked what I wanted to be, even in college, my answer was always, “mom”.  I was lucky to marry a husband who encouraged my dream from the start.  He has always loved having me home as the care taker and house wife.  And I loved it too….

Until I didn’t.

I started dreading every day.  What tantrums would I have to defuse?  How much poop will I have to wipe in the morning?  Will the kids nap?  Will I get food thrown at me today?  Will I make it out of Target without tears (mine not excluded)?  These were the thoughts that now ran through my head.  This is what my life had become.  And it had become too much.  My dream job of being a stay at home mom to lots of babies was now a reality, but it was no longer a dream.

I felt (and feel) like I failed.

I achieved my dream, and now I am throwing it away.  The going got tough and I feel I’m quitting.  Typically you hear of moms who quit work so they can be home with their babies.  Not moms who pick up jobs to run away.  I feel like I’m running away.  Running away from my kids and my real job… being their mom.

Me working outside the home is not needed for income.  It will bring in mere pennies after paying a nanny to cover my actual full time duties as homemaker and mom.  And we have managed to created a nice life within my husbands income just fine for years.  I did not take the job for money.

When we had our first baby I didn’t have a great career I was itching to get back to after maternity leave.  I didn’t have a career at all.  I never felt I left something behind to pursue raising kids.  I did not take the job to continue a paused career or preexisting job.

My job, my working outside of the home, is completely selfish.

I have witnesses my two oldest every step of their life.  I was the one who taught them how to crawl, walk, and eat.  I was there to potty trained them, sleep train them, I did it all!  I was able to do it all.  I wanted to do it all.  I still want to be able to do that for my youngest, but I’m being pulled to something more this time around.  Im being pulled away from the home, and away from my kids.

Where do I find the balance?  A little voice inside my head is telling me to go for it, the kids will be alright (it is only 8 hrs after all!). But the voice in my heart is saying don’t you dare leave your babies!

I need advice mommas!  Part time, full time, work from home, work away… I need you!  Are any of you like me who started working or striving for a career after being a stay at home mom?  Am I crazy?  Am I running away from the bad years or striving for the best me?  The line has become so blurred I don’t know anymore.

If the job is doing no one but myself any good, is it good?

However… it is doing myself a lot of good.  I have found myself more present with the kids while I’m home every other day.  I now have a release in my week to let go and get out of the house.  I get to hit the pause button on the chaos and walk away from diapers, dishes, and tantrums.  I un-isolate myself for just a little every week and converse with adults about the real world.  I am happier.  I am calmer.  I am better.

There are many more items in the pro column than there are in the con.  My husband assures me till he is blue in the face that this is good choice.  But nothing speaks truer to my heart than the voice of another mom.  Anyone in my shoes?  Anyone thinking of diving into a new adventures and leaving babies at home?  Anyone loving working life and feeling a little selfish over it?

To work or not to work (outside childrearing)… that is the question.

 

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8 thoughts on “Working Mom vs. Stay at Home Mom”

  1. Hey Jen!

    Part-time working mommy here! I don’t really have anything substantial to say other than I totally get you. The days I get to work are truly a break (and that’s with only one, might I add very needy baby). I think I would be a crazy…err crazier person without that time away.

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  2. “However… it is doing myself a lot of good. I have found myself more present with the kids while I’m home every other day. I now have a release in my week to let go and get out of the house. I get to hit the pause button on the chaos and walk away from diapers, dishes, and tantrums. I un-isolate myself for just a little every week and converse with adults about the real world. I am happier. I am calmer. I am better.”

    Sounds to me like you already know what is best for your family in this case! 😉 And it may or may not be forever. It sounds like for now, you need a break and adult interaction for 8 hours a week. It will be an adjustment, but it sounds like it is helping you be the mother you want to be… feeling happier and calmer.

    I work part-time outside of the home, and also blog, and to this day I still feel ambivalent about whether I would rather be at home full-time or whether it would be too isolating and too hard. These decisions are so difficult. Best of luck to you!

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    1. Thank you for your comment! Even as I wrote those words I’ll be honest I only half heartedly believed them. With a few more weeks under my belt though I’m starting to “walk the walk” in this working mom life and I go into it with more confidence and belief that it is what’s right for myself and my family 🙂

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  3. I am a full time working momma with 40 hour plus weeks. However I find myself ready for work some days more than others. Your babies know that you aren’t selfish but you’re teaching them work is great! Keep your head up momma! You’re doing great.

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