Thursday, March 1, 2012

Feb23_IL1

I admit that it’s hard sometimes for me not to feel jealous of stay-at-home moms, especially those who still send their children to schools and preschools. They get to take care of their homes, cook elaborate meals, pursue their creative passions and whip up amazing activities for their kids that they generously share with the rest of us. My life is very different, but it does have its own advantages. I wanted to share some with my readers, especially with those who are trying to make peace with their own choices of juggling work and child caring. I wrote a pretty long list first and then reread it and reduced it to fourSmile

1. I am following my own career dreams. There will never be a need for me to live through my child, since I am fairly successful in my own career. I don’t think I will be pressuring her to have a career that I didn’t get to have.

2. I get to hang out with my colleagues, especially when I travel. I talk to other working moms who share the same joys and challenges of combining careers and motherhoods. It’s especially interesting to talk to women whose children are older and seeing that overwhelming majority of them are turning to be successful students and well-adjusted young adults. Perhaps it’s somewhat related to the fact that by necessity they had earlier independence and responsibility.

3. My daughter values our time together just as much as I do. We don’t have a lot of power struggle behavior, because I make a conscious effort to *really* spend time with her every day. Since our time is limited, I try to think of how to create memories and have fun together.

4. I think I am a good role model for my daughter. She loves listening to me talking to my husband about my work day. She doesn’t fully understand what I do (sometimes I don’t understand it myself), but she is growing with an idea that one day she too will travel around the world, be on calls, create pretty presentations and make her own mark on the world outside her immediate family.

12 comments:

MaryAnne said...

For me, this post highlights that the key to enjoying life as a mom and raising happy kids has a lot more to do with how you approach it than whether you work/work from home/work at home. In my case, I'm much happier at home than I would be in any paying career - and I'm very fortunate that it works out in our family for me to stay home. You work away from home, but you also clearly dedicate time and energy to your daughter, and that pays off.

Sarah said...

"They get to take care of their homes, cook elaborate meals, pursue their creative passions and whip up amazing activities for their kids that they generously share with the rest of us."

I don't really get to do much of this!!!

Joyful Learner said...

I think it's important that women work outside the home. I would be worried if all of a sudden, there was a huge exodus of women leaving their jobs. With that said, I'm thankful I had the opportunity to work before getting married. That was an important stage in my life. Now, I love being a SAHM and a homeschooling mom. It has been the happiest time in my life being able to give to our family. Soon enough, I will be working part time while homeschooling. There's several opportunities that have been popping up recently. What's critical in our society is that women support one another for whatever decisions they make, whether to work outside or inside the home or both. There are benefits and drawbacks to both.

Kim said...

I think if a mom is happy doing whatever they are doing, the child will sense that. It is more important to have a happy parent than a constantly present parent. I never thought I'd be a SAHM - that's just how it worked out. Some days, I desperately miss working and having my own life! But most days, I'm glad to be home...

Debbie said...

Following your dreams is the most important gift you can give your child. Rather your dream is to work outside the home or it is to be a SAHM. I think it is important that we as women get to make free choices for ourselves.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

At our age, being content with the choices we've made and the paths we've picked is worth quite a bit. I wouldn't want to give up the life I have, but I would love to see a few of the places you get to - I'm glad you share a few glimpses of the exhotic every now and then :)

Mom and Kiddo said...

"They get to take care of their homes, cook elaborate meals, pursue their creative passions and whip up amazing activities for their kids": haahahahahahahahahah! :)

I'm so glad we live in a time when women have more choices available to them than just being a sahm. It's great to have different types of role models.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

It sounds like you have found a wonderful balance for both of you.

Christy said...

I agree with ALL of the comments.

My house is messy, elaborate meals are never served, creative passions??????????, and not much has been whipped up for the kids lately.

I am definitely happiest as a SAHM and I am very grateful for the opportunity, but I realize that it is not for everyone.

Most people I know, even those that work, live through their kids in one way or another

Most people I know

I must admit that I get jealous of your travel!!!

Kelly said...

I think it's so important for mothers to be where they are their best. Whether that is at home or work. I know I don't know you more than this blog and emails, but you seem very fulfilled and happy and Anna is a beautiful thriving little girl.

I'm so thankful that I had a fulfilling career prior to kids. It was never my intention to leave it to stay home, but man one glimpse and Little J and I was done. I miss it some days, but I guess I find other ways to use my skills. I'm so impressed that you balance in it all and really focus in on what's important.


Kelly at Little Wonders' Days

Julie said...

I think what matters is that you're content with your life as it is, no matter whether you work full time, work part time or are a SAHM. I think sometimes people don't understand how others in completely different situations can be content. But it's all so individual. Having worked part time for most of my kids' lives and now working full time, I'm finding that I focus on things differently when I'm with my kids and that's actually strengthened our relationship. No, we don't do the science experiments and structured art projects we used to do. But I still encourage their creativity and answer their questions and make the moments we have more meaningful.

Rebecca said...

I'm debating return to work next year...I really appreciate hearing the value you find in working. I am often saddened on what I miss out on w my toddler bc I work...