I work a full-time, 40+ hour a week job outside of my home. I don’t have an office, but I have a nice, open cubicle that has pictures of my family, drawings from my daughter, and other mementos plastered all over it. I have a fantastic group of people that I work with that usually make my days fly by. But still—every so often—someone will say, “Why don’t you stay at home?” or, “Oh, I bet you wish you could be home with your daughter right now.”
I love my daughter more than I can put into words, and I cherish every single moment I have with her. But…I don’t want to be a stay-at-home Mom.
There. I said it.
I don’t want to be a stay-at-home Mom.
Don’t get me wrong—the SAHMs I know are awesome. They work harder than I do between the hours of 7:30-5, for sure. They do fun trips, educational pinterest projects, and all sorts of great things—every day. These are things I only do on weekends and Federal Holidays.
And that’s ok.
I want to work. I enjoy the level of financial freedom that we have because I am able to provide a steady paycheck, and my husband now doesn’t have to work a zillion hours of overtime and miss out on more with our family than he already does. I like that we are able to “splurge” on things that some of our friends with one working parent cannot. I like that I can have adult conversation on a daily basis. At this point, even if I had the opportunity to stay home, I don’t think that I would. Maybe if some of these factors changed, I’d change my mind, but for now—I like being a working Mama.
With that being said, I ADORE the time I have with my family. I look forward to my few weeks of vacation and the holidays and weekends I have off work. I feel like I value the time I have with my husband and daughter so much more because I don’t have that every day. I cook every night, and we have dinner at the table together. We have movie and game nights. We cuddle and play and interact and nap on the weekends, and I live for every moment. I love my job as a mother and wife; but likewise, I love my job as a member of the workforce. For me, it’s a great balance.
A lot of SAHMs say they are looked down on by working mothers. I speak from experience when I say that many Mamas who enjoy working outside of the home are also looked down on—by men who feel like women should be home AND by stay at home mothers. I can’t tell you how many times someone has asked me why I work when I don’t have to do so. It’s as though they can’t believe I could want to be away from my family and actually enjoy working—like it’s making me less feminine or motherly.
I used to carry a lot of guilt about this. I would question myself often: How COULD I want to be away from my child? Am I a bad person for enjoying being a working parent?
Working Mamas everywhere: this is NOTHING to feel guilty about. It is perfectly OK to like being a working mother, just like it is perfectly OK to want to be/enjoy being a stay at home Mom. The only thing that is shameful is for any Mama to look down on another Mama for something like working (or NOT working)!
At the end of the day, we are all Mamas, trying to provide the best for our families and do our best in ALL our many roles.