Monday, October 21, 2013

I am a working mom.

This post is a preface to the post I wrote for Elizabeth at E, Myself and I and her "Making it work as a working mom" series. I wrote about Making Time for Yourself as a working mom and it should go up sometime this week, I will definitely link to it from here. 

It is funny to me to label myself that way because I do not know any moms who do not work. My mom did not work outside our home, but she worked her butt off every day to take care of us. I give a lot of credit to moms who stay home with their kids. It took me some time, but I have slowly come to the realization that it is not something I would be good at doing.

Before I was pregnant with Avery, I was positive I had to work. When I was pregnant with her, I had every intention of going back to work. (and I was told when I returned from maternity leave there was a bet that I would not come back- hahaha! I do love to prove people wrong) I took 4 months off after she was born and by the third month, I was itching to get back to my office, my job, my responsibilities outside of feeding, changing, clothing a baby and trying to keep our house from being condemned (thank you baby jesus for my husband). I don't know what kind of person that makes me and honestly, does it really matter? People will judge you regardless of who you are or what you do.

It was about a month into being back to work full time and I started to get this overwhelming need to stay home. And for a good year or so, it was a desire that consumed me. It made me resent my husband because I thought "if only he made more money" and it made me resent my friends that stayed home. I prayed about it daily, sometimes hourly. I asked the Lord to make this happen. I gave it to Him and worked very hard in keeping my faith that He would do what was best for me and for my family.

As you may have realized, this prayer was not answered. At least in the way I thought I wanted. What He did was reveal to me what I may think is best, isn't always. A real epiphany, I know. I think I need to work. I need something outside of our house and our family to keep me fulfilled. I love my child but could I spend 24 hours/ 7 days a week with her? No. Well, I could but I don't think it would be good for either of us. Avery loves spending the day with my sister. She asks for her every night. They are really close. My sister loves kids and has the patience of a saint.

I never want this to come across that my child is not enough, or being a mom is not enough, or those that do find complete fulfillment in being a homemaker and staying home with their kids are weird or wrong. Because none of that is true. Avery is more than I could have dreamed of or asked for and being a mom is the best thing I have ever done, hands down. I have a suspicion that most people would not find my job, working with cars and car paint, particularly fulfilling. And that is OK. Different strokes for different folks, or something like that.

The thing is, this "thing" we are doing, being moms, is every contradiction possible. But we are doing it, and doing it our own way, finding our way.

So a fist bump to you mamas that stay home and to you mamas that have a job outside your home. We all have one big thing in common, we are mothers.



kerwin said...

Fist bump right back at ya! I go through phases where I think I can't imagine missing another day with Annie by being at work. And then I am home with her for three days straight and I am jonesing for some data tables and maps and nerdy discussions and emails about all of the above. I am grateful I have a bit of a mix and can stay home with her some days and go to the office on others. I don't think I would be a great stay at home full time mom either. Those chicks are saints! I read a blog post about Mommy Guilt one time (I think it was Momastery, actually) where she said when she was working, she felt guilty that she wasn't doing enough with her children, so then she stayed home. But when she was home, she felt like she should be doing more home-maker stuff. I could see me being the exact same way. Mom Guilt is a real and insidious thing. So if I am going to feel guilty, I would rather be pulling a paycheck while doing so!

Katie @ Loves of Life said...

love it! I am supposed to write a post for E on work-from-home-mom's perspective. I have to think about it more, but...uhhh. It's gonna be a hard one. I am looking forward to FINALLY getting these thoughts down. Honestly? I thank God for preschool and the Y because I need to be away from my kids too. I think that's ok :) (and often I wish soooo bad that I had a job where I worked outside of the home part-time. I wish teaching could be part time, seriously.)

Ashley said...

I think we are all better moms when we have a little (or a lot!) of alone time. What mom doesn't come home from a weekend away more refreshed?! I love your perspective and love this post. :)