Working Moms: Are We Getting it Right?

When my husband and I decided to have children, we never thought about how we would manage our home life with two jobs. We never decided whether I should stay home after my maternity leave, or how working may affect our children. I’m sure if I had told my husband that I wanted to stay home, he would have supported my decision in a heart beat, but I never could bring myself to make that decision. I had gone to University for four long years, and the thought of giving up my nursing career, even momentarily, was heart breaking. I felt like I had no other option than to become a working mom.

I completely avoided the decision, right up until my maternity leave was over. It wasn’t long until the reality of becoming a shift-working mom came to slap me on my colourless, sleep-deprived face.

The constant juggling.

The lack of time.

The mommy-guilt.

And I found myself wondering to myself, “maybe I should become a stay-at-home mom for a few years?”

My kids are still young, but I already know that I will miss out on major life events because of work.

I won’t be there for their extracurricular activities.

I will miss Christmas mornings and my husband will have to corral the kids at family events alone.

I worked on my son’s first birthday and it saddens me to know that I will miss many, many more.

I will never be that mom who chauffeurs all the kids to soccer practice, attends school field trips, makes cookies for the bake sale, or hand-makes Halloween costumes. Maybe I will try to doing all of these things, but invariably I will become overwhelmed and give up. Instead, as a working mom my kids will be lucky to be bathed semi-regularly and to have help with their homework on the way to the bus-stop.

There will be no gluten-free, GMO free, organic vegan muffins baked in this household.

But my children will be loved.

There are a lot of things I don’t love about being a working mom, but there is one BIG positive, that makes it all worthwhile:

Going to work, makes me appreciate my family life more.

I worry less and laugh more. We do more crafts, we go on walks, we have tickle fights on the floor and we eat Easter candy for breakfast. When I am at work, my husband or our parents watch the kids, and they are all better for it. I don’t order cheap kamagra need to take all the credit for raising our well-mannered, smart and adorable children.

My life is full and I feel blessed.

I love my kids, but parenting isn’t easy. It quite literally is the hardest thing that I have ever done. The very thought of becoming a stay-at-home mom makes my palms start sweating and my left eye start twitching. I would probably have a mental break down or start crocheting if I didn’t go back to work.

The fact that I look forward to standing on my feet for 12 hours, using every brain cell that I have available, helping others while they are in their most fragile, incapacitated state, all the while knowing that it’s a toss up whether or not I will get a break, really attests to how difficult parenting is.

Call me crazy, but I crave the occasional uninterrupted bathroom break.

It hurts my brain to play with dinosaurs and Barbies all day.

I don’t want to have a child’s body wedged directly against mine for every minute on the hour.

I need to listen to that new Justin Bieber song full-blast in my car once in awhile without having a preschooler, with hands to ears, shout at me to turn it down because it’s not country music.

I’m sure that many of you will think that I am wishing it all way, or that I am being selfish or irrational or not trying hard enough to do it all. Maybe I am supposed to want to be at home with my kids all day. But do I think I will be a better mom for it?

Hell no. I’m just not wired that way. I need space. I need stimulation. I need to make a difference in the adult world or else I will become stifled and irritated and enraged.

I will never accept a mom of the year award. I probably won’t be invited to mom groups and will barely have time to look after my family let alone have a life.

But do you know what I will have?

My sanity.

And that, my friends, is the best gift that I could ever give my children and husband.

No matter if you are a stay-at-home mom, working mom, work-from-home mom, or whatever-else mom, we just need you to be OK.

Do what’s right for you. Do it with pride.

That is how you will know that you are doing it right.

The Working Mom (4)

xo, The Mama Nurse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TheMamaNurse

Hi! I am a Registered Nurse on a unit that encompasses labour and delivery, postpartum, medical, surgical and palliative care in a rural hospital in Ontario, Canada. I am a mom of two and am passionate about women's rights, mom and infant care, parenting and nursing. I hope to create an educational, entertaining and highly relatable resource for women around the world. Thanks for stopping by! Xo, The Mama Nurse

36 thoughts on “Working Moms: Are We Getting it Right?

  • April 13, 2016 at 10:03 am
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    Wow you said exactly what I feel!!!
    I am definitely a better Mom for working in the adult world! I appreciate my family more and enjoy being home when I’m at home.
    There are definitely times when I feel sad missing out on something, but there are still perks to being a working mom that might even outweigh the negatives!
    Thank you for being honest and saying what a lot of moms feel!

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    • April 22, 2016 at 8:50 pm
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      Thanks so much for your comment! I’m glad that this post resonated with you! That’s what writing is all about 😀

      Reply
  • April 13, 2016 at 11:00 am
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    This is brilliantly stated and so true. It is so hard to miss out on milestones. It is so hard not to be there with the little one all the time when he wants me to be there. But, like you, I went to school, and I put in a lot of effort into my career so far, and giving that up just doesn’t feel right either. So we balance, we juggle, and we do our best. XOXO
    Julie S. recently posted…Tea Lovers Rejoice, and Celebrate my Birthday with meMy Profile

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    • April 22, 2016 at 8:48 pm
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      Thanks Julie! We do our best, and that’s all anyone can ask including ourselves!

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  • April 14, 2016 at 2:52 pm
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    I am with my children 24/7, and because of that I’m not sure they get the best of me. I’m always tired and frazzled, and there are no breaks. Everyone needs to do what makes them happy. For you, that’s working. You get to help other people and make the world a better place, and then go home and be an amazing mom. That’s wonderful! The SAHM vs. working mom decision is tough for every family. As long as you and your family are happy, that’s all that matters.
    Samantha @ Momma Wants Java recently posted…Sweet & Spicy Lettuce WrapsMy Profile

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    • April 22, 2016 at 8:47 pm
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      Agree, agree, agree! I felt the same way when I was home with them on mat leave. Don’t get me wrong, I still have meltdowns and burn out as a working mom, but it is nice to have a bit of a break from the mommy life… Since our social life is seriously lacking since becoming parents!

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    • April 22, 2016 at 8:45 pm
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      Thanks for sharing! I hope my kids feel the same in 18 years 🙂

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  • April 15, 2016 at 8:11 am
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    I remember thinking I wish I could play girl games, like dolls and house, instead of bad guy, pirates, etc.! It’s normal to have moments where we’re not enjoying every minute of being a mom, right? I used to feel guilty that I wished I could pay someone to take care of my baby so I could clean!
    kid can doodle recently posted…Doodle Bomber : mirrorsmeMy Profile

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    • April 22, 2016 at 8:44 pm
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      Yes, to pretend that we’re happy 100% would do our children a disservice. Life is messy, and we are messy!

      P.S. I’m totally thinking of getting a house cleaner, and put our kids in daycare so I can do neither 😉

      Reply
  • April 17, 2016 at 8:17 am
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    I often think I’m an incredibly selfish mummy, because I like my things, my personal space and my freedom, and despite having a daughter I wasn’t ever willing to completely sacrifice ‘me’ to be a mother. My daughter and I have had some hardships but because of decisions I’ve made about working in the past she doesn’t have any trouble or issue being away from me. I now work from home and she’s at school so I have plenty of time to be me, and plenty of time to be mummy. At the end of the day the decisions we make will always be based on what is best for the family, and a sane, happy mummy is always best for the babies. #kcacols
    Kat recently posted…Jadu Tea London – ReviewMy Profile

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    • April 22, 2016 at 8:38 pm
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      Thank you so much for sharing. I can relate to this a lot, as I too have a difficult time giving myself to my kids 100%. I have thought I am selfish too, but like you said happy mom, happy babies!

      Reply
  • April 17, 2016 at 9:15 am
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    I love this SO much. I’ve worried that people will think I’m selfish or not a good mum because I work full time and my other half is a stay at home dad – but that’s what works for us as a family. I love the time I get to spend with them, but I also know I’m playing an important part in the family by keeping money coming in. Great post! #KCACOLS
    The Speed Bump recently posted…DAY THREE – #30DayBloggingChallengeMy Profile

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    • April 22, 2016 at 8:37 pm
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      Ah, the good old mommy guilt. We all can’t shake it! It makes me really happy to hear that you and your partner have found the right balance for your family 😀

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  • April 17, 2016 at 10:07 am
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    A total inspiration – you really are – and how you find time to blog as well I will never know! Your words at the end about do what is right for you and do it with pride are beautiful – sadly not enough people have your approach. You really are doing a fabulous job! #KCACOL

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    • April 22, 2016 at 8:36 pm
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      That is very sweet to say! Thanks so much for your kind words! (and I’m not too sure how it all gets done either– I’m sure you’re not too far off yourself!) 😀

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  • April 17, 2016 at 2:03 pm
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    Thank you for sharing this. That struggle between working and staying home is oh so familiar. I felt an encompassing guilt going back to work – my husband actually stayed at home to provide child care – but I’m completely over it now. My baby’s happy, I’m happy, he’s happy. I adore being with my daughter, she’s my world. But I like being at work too, and I enjoy my job. I wish now I hadn’t spent so much time worrying what everyone else things. I also wish that I hadn’t allowed people’s raised eyebrows at our arrangement (me working, husband staying at home) get to me. We are all great parents, however we do it. More power to you for doing it your way x

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    • April 22, 2016 at 8:35 pm
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      Everyone’s happiness and well-being is the most important. It sounds like you guys chose to make a decision that was the best option in your circumstances. It’s nice to be able to work and parent, as long as you continue to have the right balance for you. <3

      Reply
  • April 17, 2016 at 2:53 pm
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    Everyone is different, and like you I don’t think I would be happy as a SAHM either. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, and I agree that one of the advantages of working is that you appreciate your child(ren) more when you’re not at home with them all day. That’s certainly the case for me anyway. #KCACOLS
    Single Mum Speaks recently posted…Why I hate inspirational quotesMy Profile

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  • April 17, 2016 at 9:33 pm
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    I worked a lot when my son was little. With my daughter I have stayed home with her for years now. Both have their ups and downs, I so remember that guilt, the pain of missing the milestones. But, being home was a huge change for me, and for a while I was depressed because I felt like I lost part of who I was. You do what is best for you and your family. #KCACOLS
    Allyson Greene recently posted…The Rite to be NaughtyMy Profile

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    • April 22, 2016 at 8:30 pm
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      I definitely agree with you Allyson. Whatever fills us with the most joy (and whatever we can manage financially ;)) xx

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  • April 19, 2016 at 2:37 am
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    You’re right it doesn’t matter whether you are a working mum or a SAHM, you do what works for you.

    I work 4 days a week but am very lucky with my hours. Although I don’t see my boys in the morning (I start work at 8) I am home by 5.30 to be able to spend a couple of hours with them before bath, story and bed. I also get to work one day from home so for me it’s a good a balance as I can get with work and family life.

    Thank you for linking up to #KCACOLS and I hope to see you back again on sunday x
    Maria recently posted…Devon holiday: Corffe Hill CottagesMy Profile

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    • April 22, 2016 at 8:20 pm
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      That is a pretty good shift for a working mom! I’m so happy for you that you have found a great balance that fits with your home life.

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  • April 19, 2016 at 2:31 pm
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    I have been a full time working of one and a full time stay at home mom of two! It’s hard to compare because the number of kids changed, but both situations are HARD! And in neither situation did I bake organic muffins or hand make halloween costumes, that’s for sure! You are so right that we just have to do what’s best for us, so we are happy and healthy for our families. I’m still trying to figure out what works for me and I’ve been mom’ing for 3 years so far! <3
    Erin @ Stay At Home Yogi recently posted…When Good Parenting Advice is BullshitMy Profile

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    • April 22, 2016 at 8:19 pm
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      Thanks so much for your comment, Erin! I have done a bit of both as well, and you are right they are both exhausting!

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  • April 21, 2016 at 9:02 am
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    I really loved this post. I don’t think it matters whether you are a working mum or a stay at home mum, you need to do what is right for both yourself and your family. When I was working I used to appreciate family time all the more. If it wasn’t for blogging and trying to start working on my own business, I would definitely have returned to work by now. I need that stimulation! #KCACOLS xx
    Clare recently posted…5 Reasons I rate water birthsMy Profile

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    • April 22, 2016 at 8:04 pm
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      Definitely can relate! I started blogging during my mat leave when I was starting to climb the walls 🙂 Thanks for coming by.

      Reply
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  • May 13, 2016 at 9:30 am
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    It’s so hard balancing being a working mom. I feel the same way with my education all the time I spent building my career. I freelance at home so I feel complete and still have my hands in design while blogging on the side.

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    • May 16, 2016 at 3:15 pm
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      It’s a difficult balance. Sounds like you have found the right balance for you 😀 which is what we all must try to seek!

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  • May 23, 2016 at 4:16 pm
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    There are so many moms out there (including myself) who feel this way. This was wonderful to read and I am sure the majority of your readers can empathize. This post actually really reminded me of a book I recently read called “Where’s My Award? How to Get Baby Barf Out of a Red Carpet & Other Tales from a Working Mom in Hollywood” by former stand-up comedian turned celebrity publicist Margot Black (http://margotblack.com/). It is such a funny and heartfelt read about balancing work, family, and play in Hollywood. I obviously can’t relate to her crazy celebrity lifestyle but it is amazing to read how she handles all the obstacles that come her way (she really did have to get baby barf out of a red carpet!). All working moms know the struggle! It’s a must read and I think you will really enjoy it. You are doing a GREAT JOB! Keep going and don’t doubt yourself 🙂

    Reply

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