I still remember my first day back at work after my maternity leave ended with my firstborn son. I had changed my schedule from the typical Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm to 7am – 3pm so that I could beat traffic and have some extra time in the evenings with our son.
My pumping gear was packed and by the front door along with everything else I needed for my return to work. When I left the house at 6:15am my husband and the baby were still sound asleep. It was in January so it was still dark outside and cold.
As I backed out of my driveway, I was overwhelmed with the saddest emotion I had ever felt. I had to leave my baby to go to work, and I just didn’t want to, but I didn’t have a choice.
At that time, my husband was working full time and starting a business with the hope to eventually quit his full time job and work for himself. We had just remodeled our entire upstairs and we still had some school loans to pay off.
Being a stay at home mom was just not an option for me. The value that I brought financially to our household far outweighed the impact it would have if I stayed home.
Not to mention that I paid thousands of dollars and worked so hard to get a Masters Degree so that I could have a career in Finance. I hustled to build a dream career for myself and felt like I would waste all that hard work if I just quit and stayed home. I still had goals that I wanted to pursue, career wise.
My husband and I talked back and forth for many months about this and it was a decision we made together.
I knew that once my husbands business would pick up that I would have the option to stay home if I still wanted to, but until then, I had to go to work – full time.
It was a hard decision, but it was the right one at that time and I am glad that I stuck through it.
When I arrived at the office, everyone was excited to see me and I jumped right into my work. I was so busy that the days flew by, but each day was still a challenge.
Every morning that I backed out of our driveway was an emotional battle of guilt and sadness.
I worked full time for about 6 months and then dropped Fridays, and only worked Monday – Thursday from 7am – 3pm. My husbands business was really picking up so I felt comfortable decreasing my hours.
That extra day at home with my son was everything for me. It was my day to catch up on chores, cook for the week and just spend one on one time with Charlie.
I worked four days a week for about 2 years until I got pregnant with our second, our baby girl.
I had adjusted to my schedule and got used to working and being away from Charlie but when I found out I was pregnant, I suddenly felt like I didn’t want to be away from both of them.
At this point I decided that it was time to leave my job and move towards staying home with the kids more.
My husbands business was booming and so I was able to make the decision to leave.
However, that is when I started to think about my career again – did I really want to give it all up?
The answer was no.
I started applying for super part time jobs and found one where I can work only Mondays and Tuesdays, so I submitted my resume and the rest is history.
Currently, I still work at this job and love it. I have found that working two days and then being home with the kids for the rest of the week has provided me the best of both worlds.
It has also allowed me to pursue other hobbies such as this blog.
Although I don’t have to work at this point in our lives, I choose to because it makes me happy and it makes me a better mom.
The goals and dreams that you have are part of what makes you unique, so when you pursue them it makes you happy – at least that is how I feel!
Getting to where we are now as a family has been hard work but my husband and I did all with one main goal in mind: to provide the best future for our children.
I could have quit my job when our son was born, but then my husband would not have had the financial flexibility to build his business. He would have had all the financial burden of providing and that would have taken all his time.
By me working almost full time, we had financial freedom and I knew that my son wouldn’t love me less if I had to work and help provide.
Sometimes in life we are forced to do things that maybe we don’t want to, but deep down we know it is the right thing to do.
Maybe we have other goals and dreams but they seem so far out of reach. Keep dreaming, keep working and they will eventually happen. Don’t give up.
I have really learned to be patient and trust God through my journey from career to motherhood because sometimes in life, it is all about timing.
By the time I got pregnant with our second child, we were financially stable on my husbands income, I had built a lot of knowledge in my career to where I could offer part time work and still bring value to a corporation in my role, and we all did it with less stress on the family.
There were days where I hated my situation. I felt that I was failing at motherhood because I was exhausted after a long day of work. Sometimes I would lose sight of our goals and just want to throw in the towel.
I am so, so glad that I didn’t. I am a true believer that hard work always pays off.
If this sounds like you, don’t give up. I know a lot of moms that are struggling with working and motherhood and trying to find a balance.
It is hard, but think about all of the good you are providing for your family, no matter your circumstance.
Whether you are a full time working mom, part time working mom, or stay at home mom, the decision to do either of these is never easy. I’ve done all three and have found that there are challenges with each choice. They all come with sacrifices.
Working full time comes with a non-stop fast moving schedule and mom guilt of being away from your babies 40+ hours per week.
It does not make you a bad mom. Sometimes you need to hustle to help provide for your family and that is admirable. Your children will always remember your hard work.
Working part time sometimes feels like you have your toe dipped in your career and motherhood, but neither get your full attention.
Staying at home full time can feel lonely and is hard when as a mom, it is a 24 hour job. You never get a lunch break or “vacation days.”
However, each of us choose one of the above for various reasons whether it be for financial support, for health benefits, or just because we want to pursue other goals; such as a career.
No matter the circumstance, you always have to remember that whatever choice you make in regards to your career or staying home full time, or just working because you need to provide, remember that you are doing it not only for yourself, but to provide the best possible future for your babies.
I wanted to share my own story about working and motherhood because I know there are many other moms who have shared and still do share the same struggles.
My friends and family would always encourage me to hang in there, work hard and persevere.
I’m really proud of my hard work. I am thankful that I was able to help provide financially so that my husband could pursue some of his own dreams.
Each of us have different situations but just remember that you need to do what is best for your own family. Don’t wish to have someone else’s life, because the grass is always greener on the other side.
Cherish the time that you do have with your babies. Do fun things as a family, unplug from social media and television more and take advantage of the time you are not working.
This will help you feel less like a working machine and more like a human.
Lastly, find people that encourage you. Find other moms that are open and authentic so that you can share struggles, joys and dreams with each other.
Good friends are hard to find, but they are so important in enriching our lives!
Keep up the good work mamas! We have the hardest, yet most rewarding job of all!
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