Sunday, March 13, 2011

Working Mom

Should I be staying at home or should I be working? I’m so torn by this question. I go back and forth about how I feel on almost a daily basis. Before I had Sydney, even when I was still pregnant with her, I just knew that there was no way I could ever be a stay at home mom.  Then this amazing little girl came into my life and changed everything. Now, there are days, many days, that I long to stay home with her.

My reason for wanting to stay home with her isn’t a great philosophical reason. I don’t believe she will turn out better or worse one way or another. I am really blessed to be able to send her to a friend’s home daycare, where I know she is showered with love and attention. My reason is much simpler and much more selfish. It’s simply that I want that time with her. She is growing up so fast, too fast. And there is so much I want to show her, so much I want to do with her. I want to eat picnic lunches in the backyard, I want to show her how to plant a flower, I want to teach her to bake, to play dress up, to finger-paint, make crafts, go to the library, or the park. I feel like her childhood is slipping away from me while I am at work. I know I’m being over-dramatic, but the reality is that she spends four rushed hours a day with me during the week and eight hours a day with someone else and I guess I’m just jealous of that time.

This longing always seems to hit me especially hard this time of year, with spring and summer approaching. But as much as I want to stay home with my girl, the truth is that I will probably never quit working outside the home. Jon and I have talked about it a lot, and we could probably make it work. Things would be tighter than we are used to, but we would figure it out. I’ll probably never quit in part because of the fear of the unknown. Will I miss work? Will I miss having my own income? Will I lose my independence? What will happen when the kids head off to school? Will I start to resent being at home? Will Jon start to resent being the only one providing an income? How will our relationship change? But also, part of me really does like working. I like the social interaction, the sense of accomplishment, and the challenge of work. I like where I work, I like the energy and the people at the University.

The decision to be a stay at home mom or a working mom is a tough one. And it’s different for every family and every situation. I know that for many moms staying home isn’t even an option and some moms might be desperately looking for work.  I’m lucky to have the options that I have and I know that. I don’t take that for granted. It’s just hard sometimes, wondering if I’m making the right choice by working. Will I look back one day and regret it? I don’t think so, I think I’ll be happy with my choice, but there are today, as warmer days loom on the horizon, that I wonder and I long.


  1. These early moments, they aren't there later. Work will be.

    When I look back at my kids there isn't anything I wouldn't give for more of those moments, and my oldest isn't quite 10 yet.

  2. Have you thought about seeing if you can go to working part time right now???

    That way you would have more time with her.

    I know a few people that have done that. And then when the kids start school, they are able to work full time.

    I'm sure the University which is hurting for money would be all for that! :)

  3. And I think every parent looks back and wishes they had more time with their kids. . . even when they are at home with them every day.

  4. Chad, I can't belive your oldest is almost 10!Thank you both for the advice. Part time would be awesome! The best of both worlds, right?! :) I’m just not sure if they would go for that or how it would affect my benefits. We’ll see, maybe one day I’ll pursue that option, but not just yet.

  5. Part time work is the best! I love getting to have time with my kids and adult interaction in my job (well, not always adults...). Definitely the best of both worlds!

    Visiting from my3boybarians...loved the shots of your daughter. I really need to do that, but now it's going to have to be after I take down the tree!


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