When I was growing up, I was not one of those women who gazed off dreamily into the distance, dreaming about staying at home with my children and watching them with a content smile on my face. (Let’s face it, I am the oldest of 5 children – I’ve already raised one set of kids!) I assumed that I would have children and go back to work as soon as my maternity leave was over. There is nothing wrong with the women who want this, I simply was more career-focused at that time.
Then my first-born gazed into my eyes with more trust and love than I can imagine and I immediately knew I couldn’t let anyone else experience these early years with her. Good thing, too, as I had 2 more children in quick succession and the child care costs alone would have been astronomical! There was no question, at that point, what I would be doing the next few years of my life.
As time passed, and my babies grew up (we are so excited for them to reach that next milestone but then realize they are growing too fast), I realized the time would come for me to return to work. (Really, have you seen some of those sports fees lately?) I had to go back to work just to put my kids in sports! There were so many questions going through my head as I was figuring out what the right time was:
- What if my children get sick? (They would still get sick if they were home.)
- If they have an appointment, will I be able to take them? (The reason many businesses now have later hours.)
- Will my boss let me go to all their special events? (Most bosses are not ogres.)
- How will I manage to cook my homemade meals? (You won’t. Period.)
- What will we do with all the extra money? (Hahaha – see above reference to sports.)
- Will my spouse/partner help out more? (Not unless you talk about it first.)
- How the heck am I going to get anything done? (You won’t.)
- How will I convince someone to hire me after staying home with my kids for x years? (See, that’s why you add me to your friend list.)
For me, I knew that the timing was right when I was so excited to meet my children at the school bus stop after the first day of school and they were about as un-excited and un-impressed as you could possibly be. (Well, there was also a divorce in that mix somewhere, but that is another conversation/blog entirely.)
I realized then that their world had expanded and they did not NEED me as much any more. That was the day I actually pulled my resume out of my files and dusted it off. (Note: the image is NOT of myself and my children. There is no way I looked THAT put together when greeting my kids after school!)
There are many more stories to come about my adventures over the years, but I’ll save them for future blog posts. For now, I would love to hear from all of you about your decision to be a working mother.
You are not perfect, but you are exactly what your child(ren) need(s).