Going back to work after having a child is a decision that many families have to make. Not all are lucky enough to make enough to cover all the costs related to life on one income. This is often a hard time for mothers. Leaving your child with someone else to basically raise them while you are earning money to support them can often be a conflicting decision. Mothers want to be the ones to instill values, beliefs and morals to their children. We want to be there for the may firsts that children have in life. We want to be the ones to teach our children skills, but in today’s world this is not always possible.
I am not saying that mothers who choose to stay at home have it easy. This is not at all what this is about. Nor am I stating that one choice over the other is the correct one. Each has it’s positives and negatives for each person and every mother is different and needs different things to stay sane.
Being a working mother has challenges that are often not talked about. What do you do when your child is sick? Who is responsible for picking up and dropping off the child to care? What additional activities do you involve your child in and at what age? How much time outside the home should you spend with your child? And many other questions.
Balancing the daily chores and making sure that your children receive the attention they deserve becomes a big balancing act. You will find that cleaning house becomes less important as it relates to playing with your children or even getting a little you time. Many have said that raising children is a full-time job. I agree that it is a full-time something, but not a job. Job is the wrong classification for raising children and being a mother or father. I believe that it is a life choice; even a career choice.
You can have both a career and a family, but you have to be very clear on what this means to you. Being a superwoman isn’t necessary, but making sure that you have the support for both of these tasks, mother-hood and career, is important to success. Support doesn’t need to always be family, it can be from your work place, a neighbor or even good family friend.
For me being a working mother means that I have to be aware of time a lot more than I was previously. I have to be okay with someone else spending 9 plus hours a day with my children and thus giving them the values, rules, and teaching them the behaviors that will make them good citizens in the future. I have to be okay with not always getting to see the first milestones they will reach as they get older. And I have to accept that this is the choice I made so that my family can have the lifestyle that we enjoy, do the things we enjoy doing and purchase the things we want to have.
I am very fortunate in the care provider I found for our first child. She has many of the same values and beliefs about raising children as my husband and I do. This makes going to work and leaving my children with her easier, but there are days when it was very hard, especially when you get told that you will be missed.
Being a working mother or father isn’t easy, but it is possible. Have a good talk with your partner to determine how you are going to handle some of the emergencies that will come up with your children. Talk to your employer about any additional benefits that they might have for families. Find out what the government offers for families and even to support you staying at home. All of these things will make your decision to return to work hopefully a little easier.
Choosing to be a working mother isn’t always a choice, but rather a necessity. Being okay with this is hard, but you need to be to properly function both as an employee and as a parent. Choose to be the best you in both at work and at home may mean different things in each environment. Even at work you don’t stop worrying about your choices for your children. Sometimes you need to learn how to be away from your children so that you can appreciate them all the more when you are with them.