No matter what your situation, the working mom vs. the stay at home mom debates can get pretty heated. We all feel strongly about our role and want to feel valued for what we do, so the working mom debate is not an area I want to dive into today. Moms of every variety are giving it their all on a daily basis. Selflessly they nurture little ones and support the family, often sacrificing of themselves to do so. But for a moment, I want to lift up the working moms. Especially the moms who would much prefer to be home with their babies because this is the group where I find myself. As much as I love my job, and try to remind myself that working is a privilege that not all women can enjoy, I’d still rather be home with my kids. So if those feelings resonate with you, then read on.
You Have to Look Presentable
Don’t laugh, it’s true! When you have to step out of the house every day and take your place in the world, you typically do it with makeup on and your hair done, right? Be honest, would you really spruce up so nicely (and so early in the morning!) if you didn’t have to go to work? I’m a teacher, so I’m off during the summer. On those days you’re more likely to find me in yoga pants and flip flops – and no makeup!
You Have Extra Income
The real blessing of working, even part-time, is that you do have a little more wiggle room in the budget. Even with my husband and I working three jobs between the two of us, we’ve got enough in the bank to cover the bills and and have some left over for fun stuff. I’m really careful with the budget, and always make sure that we allow for some “no excuses” spending money for each of us.
You Get to Talk to Adults!!
Every time I start feeling crabby about having to work full-time when I really don’t want to, I remind myself of the fact that for at least 8 hours I get to talk to adults. People who don’t use words like “potty” and (hopefully) won’t erupt into a fit of giggles if someone says “poop”. Yes, coworkers can be dramatic and difficult to deal with at times, but you know what? I can avoid these people if I want to because I’m not their mom. Of course I miss my kids terribly and would always prefer to “watch this” one more time than sit through a staff meeting. But it’s pretty nice having a balance of adult time and kid time in my daily life.
I know there are a lot of women out there who are proud of their independence and prefer to work than to stay at home, and I applaud them. I am thankful that my job of being a teacher combines all my favorite things: learning, creating, and helping kids. There are still many days when I’d rather be home with my own children, but on these days I reflect on the impact I’m having on young learners and how much I love teaching. That, and the blissful lunch with adults when nobody’s trying to poke anyone with a fork and I get to for-real laugh at adult humor.
You are doing a great job, Mama. Hang in there!