Working full time out of the home as a mom is a subject I'm incredibly passionate about. I believe in a woman's right to choose whether she wants to stay at home with her children, or work outside the home without judgement. I feel so strongly that not only is my decision to work outside the home the best choice for my family, it's the best choice for ME.
My goal is to never attack another mother for her choices, nor do I ever want a stay at home mother to feel that working outside the home is harder than her staying home with her children, but there's one theory I absolutely will not tolerate when it comes to working moms: We are NOT part-time moms. Up until last week, not only did I work outside the home, I was the sole breadwinner as my husband stayed home the first 8 months with my son. Being the sole breadwinner didn't mean I was ever less of a mom. That means I worked all day, and came home, and true to mom fashion, I picked up, I gave my son every ounce of attention I had, then when he went to bed, I finished the things that needed to get done for the next day. Being a working mom doesn't make you less busy than a stay at home mom, and it certainly doesn't make you a less worthy mother either. Yesterday, I found myself talking to my sister, who has worked so hard to provide for her family throughout the years. Her youngest daughter just started gymnastics and is a little behind in the class she's in. My mom mentioned that maybe they should take a "mommy and me" class so she could help build her skills. My sister responded with a phrase I have probably said a hundred times myself: "They don't offer classes like that on the weekend, only during the week for stay at home moms". Again, please understand that I'm not trying to take those classes away from stay at home moms, I think they're a wonderful way to socialize during the week and help build yours and your kiddos confidence in activities, but as a working mom...it's difficult that there seems to be some things that are just... reserved for stay at home parents.I choose to work out of the home because I love it. Some moms don't have the option to stay home and for financial or insurance reasons, they have to work. Does that mean I leave the house and forget I'm a mother for 8 hours? Do some people think working moms just get an "escape" from our children all day? What about working fathers? Is the general consensus that the person who works outside the home has the luxury of being a "part-time" parent, and should resume all childcare and household chores when they get home from their "vacation" all day? Alright, clearly that last paragraph might have been a little bitter, maybe a little too honest, but when we first adopted Marcus, I found myself talking to other women and reading on forums online about how stay at home parents just had it so much harder than the partner who worked outside the home. I'm going to say it, as a working mom, that is so UNFAIR.
Let me tell you about my thoughts that go through my mind while I'm at work:
I hope Marcus is okay(Call home) husband and baby are napping. Cue me being intensely jealous, even though he deserves it. I really need to close this sales call because it's all on my shoulders and we need to move into a bigger place, and we can't do that unless I close x amount of sales this yearI hope Marcus is doing okayWe need to buy his convertible car seat, if you close x amount of sales by this date, you can probably get the sales bonus and have it help towards that cost. I miss MarcusHusband took Marcus to swim class, cue me almost crying in the bathroom at work while I'm about to go into a meetingTry and find the courage to ask to leave early for his doctors appointment I understand the comments that it's my choice to work, but that's not always the case, and it's no longer the case for my family either since my husband asked to stay at home with the baby. "Well if you miss him during the day, why don't you just stay home?" It's not an option for us right now, it's not an option for millions of women in the US and it's completely unfair that we get accused of taking the "easy" road out for being working parents! I never stop being a mom! Even when work is a nightmare, or it takes me an extra hour in traffic to get home. When I walk in the door, I'm still my baby's mom and he needs me no matter how awful of a day I've had.
Someday my child will grow up too, and I might miss a PTA meeting because I'm working. I might miss his class play because I'm out of town for work, and I might be judged because maybe I'd miss less if I stayed at home. But I repeat, no working mother is a part-time mom. We ALL work hard to provide for our families, whether you stay at home, or you go into an office. At the end of the day, we just want happy and healthy children. We just want them to feel loved and cherished. We're all on the same side here. I am a MOTHER and no matter where I work, or where I am in the world, that will NEVER change. My time at work is spent constantly thinking about my family, trying hard to provide for them. I might miss out on Mommy and Me classes, and people might think that working mom's lives are just easier, but we know that's not true. Every minute of every day, we are mothers first and foremost, all just trying to do what's best for us and for our families. Please don't judge us for it.