In October our family went through a really big shake up. After 5 1/2 yrs of being a stay at home mom I went back to work full-time. I didn’t make this decision lightly or on the spur of the moment, I agonized over this for almost a year.
Growing up in a house with a stay at home mom I thought that was what you were supposed to do. Most of my mom friends were stay at home moms and I remember thinking how selfish those working moms were. Please don’t punish me for that thought. I actually thought that they were selfish for not spending every day, every hour with their kids. I have since learned that it isn’t true. I have learned so much about being a mom and myself since I went back to work.
1. I am a happier and therefore a better mommy when I don’t spend every waking moment with my kids. This was the hardest for me to learn. When I was honest with myself I wasn’t happy as a stay at home mom. I resented my kids, and would pick fights with my husband. I felt trapped, run down and depressed. The transition was not easy on our family but I am finding that me working I am able to deal with melt downs and struggles better because I am not dealing with them 24/7.
2. Adding fresh basil and cream cheese to a jar spaghetti sauce makes it taste like it has cooked for hours. One of the main things I have learned is that I don’t have time to always make a made from scratch meal, and that is ok. There are ways to make spaghetti taste like it was made from scratch in less time and with less stress.
3. Making myself a priority is ok. I know as a mom I forget to take care of myself or put my needs behind everything else because my job is to take care of everyone. In reality, if I don’t feel healthy, happy and taken care of, I can’t take care of others like they needs. When I make myself a priority I am better able to take care of those close to me.
4. I miss my yoga pants. I will say that it is nice to have a reason to dress up and leave the house but some days, I really miss my yoga pants.
5. I had no professional clothes. I had let the mom wardrobe take over my closet. I had let myself go. I didn’t have clothes that were right for an office setting. I got to go shopping but that in its self showed me that I really had forgotten what it was like to be a professional.
6. It takes time and energy but eventually you find a balance. I really struggled with this. I was upset because I couldn’t keep up. It seemed that I always had to overlook something. If I spent time with my kids the house didn’t get cleaned, if I cleaned the house then my family felt neglected. My house isn’t spotless but I have learned to let something go and that time with my family is more important. The house will always get dirty and that dirt will be there after my kids are in bed.
Those may seem simple to many but those lessons learned were big for me. Admitting that I wasn’t being the best mom I could be and it was because I was staying home with my kids all day was hard to swallow. What kind of mom was I to not be happy spending all day with my kids? Well, the short answer was an unhappy angry mom.
There seems to be a stigma among my generation that thinks you can’t be a great mom unless you stay home. Well, I can’t be a stay at home mom. Ok, I can, but I will be depressed, my house will be un healthfully dirty, and I will mostly likely get divorced because I resent the fact my husband gets to leave the house and go to work. So, I am choosing to follow my heart and be a mom that works outside the home and is happy over being a stay at home mom that can’t stand her kids.