I had the absolute joy of being a stay-at-home mom and spending every second with Anaís during the first year of her life. However, after her first birthday I decided to return to work. I don’t enjoy relying on someone else and although my husband makes a decent amount to support us, I wanted to start contributing again, financially. I also knew expanding our family was in the near future and I wanted us to be prepared.
I began working a part-time retail job a week after her first birthday. I only wanted to dip my feet in the water because I was nervous about being away from her and I didn’t want a job that was too demanding. I enjoyed working a few days a week. After a few months Anaís and I both became more comfortable with being away from one another and it was easier to drop her off when I had to work. This new chapter led to me accepting a full-time job. I work 4-5 days a week and have weekends and holidays off, this was a huge win because it meant I’ll always get to spend quality time with my family while helping add an adequate amount to our savings account.
I have been criticized for my choices. I have been asked, “Why is money so important to you?” Or “How do you think your kids are going to feel with you working all the time?” Or even being told that I’m a typical selfish millennial for putting work first. I could have let these people and their words get under my skin but I did not. Why? Because their opinions do not matter. They don’t come home and sleep with me at night, they don’t pay my bills, they don’t put food in our fridge or clothes on my daughters back. I’m not worried about outsiders and their opinions or views on my life choices and the decisions I make in regards to my family.
To my fellow working moms, don’t let others make you feel guilty. I know how you feel: It’s exhausting working and being a mom, but you need to support your family, save for your kids college funds, provide food and shelter, and have money to buy them toys, books, and any other items that may bring them joy. The bills don’t pay themselves and raising a family in this day and age is not cheap or for the faint of heart.
I will admit, there are times where I feel guilty as though I’m missing so much of my daughters life or that she won’t love me the same because she doesn’t see me for 12-13 hours a day, 4x a week but it’s all in my head. Your babies know that you’re mom and they will always run into your arms when you return home to them. Don’t feel guilty for wanting to provide a better life for them.
To my fellow working moms, I applaud you. Your children will thank you one day for working and being their amazing mother and provider. Contributing to your families finances is not something to feel guilty about. Raising a family and building a home together is all about teamwork. Finding a balance between your work life and your home life will teach your kids that it all can be done and there’s nothing wrong with it.
You’re doing a fantastic job and setting a wonderful example.