Life as a working mom …

Posted by  | Thursday, April 1, 2010  at 6:39 PM  
Hello, all! My name is Mary, and I’m happy to share again here on POH!

I work as a full-time teacher at a year-round charter school, and I really do love my job: I’m home by 3:30, and every 9 weeks, I’m home for 3 weeks, with 4 weeks for summer. It’s a great balance for me to have so many breaks throughout the year.

Right now, I’m still on maternity leave with our second child, so I’m not sure what it’s going to be like working with two children at home. What I do know--having been home for almost four months, now—being a stay-at-home mom is HARD WORK! I personally think it’s harder than working a job outside the home, so props to all you SAHM’s out there!

I do believe that being a SAHM is not for everyone, just like being a working mom is not for everyone. While I do need to work so that we can make it financially, I would not do well being home all the time. All the same, feeling conflicted about working is something I struggle with from time to time: I like working and feel that it’s something that I need to do, not only for us financially but also for me emotionally. Then, I also feel the pull to be home. Usually, when I start feeling conflicted, it’s time for my three-week vacation, so that’s really nice.

I think women who have that conflicted feeling all the time should really evaluate their situation as a family. The important thing is having all members of the family content. I can honestly say that I am content being a working mom, and I suppose that’s why working is “bearable” to me. My sister’s situation is the exact opposite, and she’s constantly looking for a way to be home full-time. This is why I really believe the decision to work or stay home is not cookie cutter, and one is not better than the other. I feel like a better mother because I work, and my sister feels like a weaker mother because she works. It’s definitely a unique situation for each family.

ANYWAY, our childcare situation is also really nice and makes being a working mom easy. My husband is off one day a week, and my mother-in-law comes to our home the other days, so we don’t have to worry about waking up children and packing them up in the mornings. It’s also nice to be able to come home without having to pick up kids and make that transition. My mother-in-law also helps out with the laundry and dishes, and that’s a huge help. I also know that she loves my boys, so I don’t worry about them getting enough love.

We did have some issues at first, however— a mother-in-law situation is different than dealing with your own mother, mainly because we tend to mother like our own mothers. I had some difficulty “convincing” her of the importance of keeping a schedule, especially with naps, but she really has been so gracious to do what we ask of her. I think she has struggled at times with not feeling like grandma, so we’ve had to be intentional about giving her other experiences outside of the day-to-day.

Things I do to help myself juggle work and home:

*I have a cleaning schedule—one household chore every day!

*My husband helps out A LOT. A LOT: he packs my lunch, goes to the grocery store, helps with dinner, etc. I couldn’t do it without him.

*I used to go to the gym before work—5:30 am. I’m going to try this again a few days a week at least because my older son really loves to go and play while I work out.


Thanks for letting me share, and feel free to comment with any questions or insights!

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