How to Make the Most Out of Being a Working Mom

“I’ve never thought of my self as the type of mom who could stay at home.”

This is one of those things that you say before you have kids. Also: “I’ll never let my kid eat snacks in the car.”

Guys, I bought a minivan that has a vacuum in it! If that doesn’t say snack free-for-all, I don’t know what does.

Or, “I’ll never have a kid that melts down in stores and restaurants! I will take them out regularly and treat them like the small humans that they are, and dang it, they will behave!”

Can we roll the footage of me at Target desperately trying to open a bag of cheese popcorn while the tiny dictator yelled at me?

Yeah, exactly.

Now that I have these tiny amazing little people to raise, the world isn’t so black and white anymore. It’s not grey either, though. Let me tell, you it’s like a crayon factory exploded over here.

We wanted kids so badly, and we dreamed of this life. For some reason I thought I would just float through motherhood, working full time, never missing a milestone, never picking her up late from the sitter and she would be this model citizen and everyone would bow to me for my superb mothering skills while shoving microphones in my face demanding to know how I do it all.

What a joke. But, I wouldn’t change a thing… mostly. There is this fine line between wanting to stay home with my girls and wanting to desperately hang on to the freedom and identity of the person that I was before I had kids. The freedom to grab a drink after work without it meaning that someone else is “stuck” with my kids. The flexibility to accommodate my clients at the drop of a hat, or pick up hours to cover a tropical vacation. Every minute I am away from my daughters builds guilt. Every moment I am at home not making money builds anxiety.

How does anyone ever choose what is best?

Whatever you choose is best.

Whatever you do for your family is right.

If I didn’t work, I wouldn’t be able to spend money on dumb things just because, or pay for classes where my daughter can dance in a circle singing songs that will haunt my dreams on repeat forever. If I’m being totally honest here, sometimes I do need that minute to rest and have a breath away from my kids. Sometimes I need time without small bodies attached to me, which in the past has been my place of work. The bottom line, though, is if I am going to be away from my kids every minute, it better be worth it. That’s the hard thing: there needs to be some fulfillment from the work that we are doing that justifies being away from our kids, and I think that is the mark we miss a lot of the time. Let’s start viewing our time spent away from our kids not just as a necessity, but also as a time when we can fill our cup. Our happiness is important, too. We deserve to have home and work lives that we love–and it can happen, but it takes balance, and heck of a lot of work. 

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