When I first went back to work I had the worst guilt ever. I cried driving to work, I cried going to sleep at night because I felt so guilty about going to work. I hated the fact that I was not able to stay home with my baby girl all day long. I was jealous of the SAHMs. I was so sad I would miss out on important milestones that other's would get to witness. I was her mom I should be able to be there for EVERYTHING! Needless to say the best decision for our family was for me to work. So that is what I did. I felt guilty and frustrated that others were judging me because I was not sacrificing other things in life to be able to stay home. Though they really have no idea the sacrifices I was making. Don't people know being a new mom is hard enough and there is no reason to be so judgemental. People really don't understand that do they. It is so very sad to me, us moms need to be supportive of each others decisions and stand by one another.
Us women need to stop being so critical of others and embrace others decision, learn from one another. I would venture to say men aren't judging each other for working and providing for their families. Or talking behind each other's back because they didn't make that cake from scratch or because they were not able to attend the play date due to work. This list goes on and on. Stop judging people! One of my favorite sayings, "You don't know what goes on behind closed doors." You don't know why people make the decisions they make.
Let's fast forward a year and a half. WOW have I really been back at work a year and a half already? I am sure I am still judged for making the decision to work, but that is ok, because at this point I am 100% proud of my decision to work. We have gone through many changes as a family and I have been lucky to start a new job in the process that has benefited our family greatly. At this point I can proudly say I don't have much mom guilt when I go to work anymore. Do I miss my daughter? Of course! I miss her so very much. It doesn't mean I love her any less because I choose to work. And yes that is a choice. I am a firm believer that everyone has choices in life and I choose to work because it is the best decision for our family and I'll be honest; financially me being a SAHM isn't in the cards right now, but if it was I don't think I would choose to do that full time. I would choose to work.
Working, like being a mom, gives me a purpose. I feel needed, wanted and expected, by my husband and my daughter. It gives me a sense of contribution and accomplishment. I also love giving my daughter the opportunity to spend time with her grandparents that she wouldn't get if I was a SAHM. I love being able to give her the space to grow as an individual without me by her side 24/7. She has learned being independent is a good thing.
It is nice to be able to put on some dress clothes and do my makeup and have adult interactions. Don't get me wrong, I love my yoga pants and no make up days, but there is something to be said about how putting on real clothes and make up makes you feel. Sometimes like a million bucks. The hardest part about being home for 12 weeks was the lack of adult interaction. I enjoy an adult conversation once in awhile that isn't asking my husband when she pooped or how much she didn't sleep throughout the day and how I need a break. We all need breaks, we are humans; we get frustrated and lonely and it is nice to get out once in a while. It is ok!
Lastly work gives me an identity outside of being a mom. If I ever wanted anything in life it was to be a mommy. Though I also got a Bachelors Degree and then a Master's Degree for a reason. I wanted to teach my children ( yes that is plural for a reason, someday there will me more) something. I am proud to be able to teach my child that everyone has a responsibility to contribute to the family. I strongly believe I am doing the best for my child with helping her embrace independence with the support of the best husband ever! I wouldn't be able to do it without him and we know we are making the best choices for our family.
Being a mommy will always be the most important job in my world but I am proud to be a working mom and I am going to embrace every second of it, even on the bad days.
Clearly my daughter is not lacking love or anything else for that matter.
Family photos done by Lori Woodhouse Photography, LLC.