Working Mom

When it comes to balancing my family and my work life, it can definitely be a struggle. Between my husband’s full time job during the day, and my part time job in the evenings, life is definitely hectic. I was quite young when I started working my first job as a line cook at a nearby restaurant. I absolutely loved working there after school and on weekends; I guess I just got used to having a job quite early in life. After having my first child I didn’t work for about two years. I was a stay-at-home-mom and didn’t realize how miserable I was. I applied for jobs, but didn’t understand how I would manage working and taking care of my son at the same time. When I became pregnant with my daughter, my husband and I finally decided that I needed to go back to work in order to make up some hours and qualify for maternity leave (in Canada). I started working when I was about 3 months pregnant and worked until 10 days before my delivery. We managed it so my husband would still keep his day job, and I would work in the evenings. At the time, my mom lived nearby so she was able to watch my son in the interim.

Photo courtesy of x-ray delta one

Now, my daughter is 18 months and I have been working since she was a year old. I have to say, as a mom, it is definitely harder to manage my house, kids, errands, and work all at the same time. But when I think about it rationally, I don't think I would ever have it any other way. It can sometimes be challenging and exhausting and, sometimes, a little guilt even creeps up into my head..."I should be with my kids, they probably need me, etc etc." My job is part time so I am not away every evening. For the evenings that I AM away, my husband picks my kids up from my aunt's house (God bless her for all she does for me), brings the kids home, feeds them dinner, they have some quality father/son/daughter time, and then they all go to sleep. And me? I am at work, not thinking about laundry, dinner, sweeping, dishes, wiping snotty noses, or anything related to family. It's blissful.

I'm not saying that I don't enjoy staying home, but having a balanced life is very important. I am not one of those women who can stay home all day. I would go insane. It's actually healthy for women to get out, get away, have some 'me' time, and for me that's what my job is. I don't LOVE my job, but it's nice to have co-workers with whom I can have real conversatons and a sense of value as well. When my cheque is deposited into my account every second Friday, I feel great about myself! It also makes me feel less guilty about spending money on myself.

Image courtesy of HikingArtist.com

I'm not planning on working part-time evenings forever. I definitely want a career with regular office hours. But rather than sending my kids to daycares or babysitters, I feel more confident taking care of them on my own. I still get home at a decent time between 10:00pm and 12:00am, sometimes a bit later. But knowing that this is the right decision for my family - right now - gets me through the evening or night shifts. Right now, having a career isn't the most important thing for me. I am 28-years-old and have a long life ahead of me, I have PLENTY of time to establish my career, but only a few years to establish healthy behaviours for my children.

Some women chose to establish a career and then have kids at a later age. Some women, like myself, chopse to get married at a young age, have kids first, then think about a career. Either choice has it's pros and cons. It's really what makes us women happy. And at the end of the day, it's all about what makes us mommies happy.