What is this working mom guilt everyone speaks of? I hear about it often – in the articles flooding my Facebook newsfeed, in the parenting blogs that seem to post about it constantly, in the chitter chatter among my friends.
I don’t have it. I feel like the oddball, but I simply do not feel guilty for having a career. I am a working mom of three kids, and I don’t for one second feel guilty about that.
For me, working is part of being a good mom. I work FOR my children…to be responsible for them…to give them a better life. I cannot even tell you how many times I’ve gotten the pity stare when I tell people I have three young children AND I work full-time. I don’t understand this, and I certainly don’t need pity. I’m proud of what I do, and I’m confident in the kind of mom that I am.
Here are the reasons I have maintained a career while (gasp) also being a mom.
Setting an example for my children: I know my kids are a long time away from understanding this, but I’d like to think that, over the years, I’ll be showing them through my actions that women are a critical and valuable part of the workforce. I also hope to instill some work ethic into them…the same work ethic my parents instilled in me.
Multitasking: I enjoy having lots to do. Ha ha! Ha ha ha ha! Well, I’ve certainly achieved this and then some. I honestly have much more on my plate than I can even manage, but I really do need lots going on to feel successful and engaged.
Satisfaction: I like to work. Really, I do. Now, I’m not saying that I’d be working if I won the Powerball, but since my chances of winning that are one in a bazillion, I will stick by my statement that I like to work. I need a challenge outside of the home to feel satisfied. And, I like my job. I get to work with some really fun, really smart people who teach me something new everyday.
Thrill of the challenge: I enjoy the sense of accomplishment I get from working. I don’t get this same sense from housework or craft projects (uhhh…not sure I’ve ever even done one). Sure, I get all kinds of thrills being with my kids, but they are at preschool all day. I need the challenge of my job to keep me going.
Sanity/relaxation: I used to think I had a super stressful job. Then, I had three kids. Now, sometimes being at work is relaxing. I can dress in nice clothes that (most of the time) don’t have spit up or mashed-up food or worse on them and drink a cup of coffee in my quiet office. I might as well be at a day spa.
Money: Hello? I work for money. Don’t most people? I need a paycheck. We are more comfortable as a two-income family. It makes us feel more secure. We crave security because we have three little ones running around who are 100 percent dependent on us. I sleep better at night knowing we have two paychecks coming in.
My family is my priority in life. They know that, and I am confident of that fact. My kids are not deprived because I have a career. They are loved SO much. I truly enjoy my children and spend pretty much every moment with them when I am not working. We’re eating dinner together, reading bedtime stories, going for walks, swinging on the playset, swimming in the pool, watching movies, doing all the things kids love to do. Our evenings and weekends are filled with memorable moments (and, yes, tons of chores and errands).
Love and fun. This is what I want my kids to remember about their childhoods, and I know they will. And, hopefully, they will remember that their mother (and father, for that matter) worked really hard to make it happen.