In the year that I’ve been blogging on here, I’ve written about the term “working mom” versus the phrase a friend of mine coined, “mom who works.” I’ve written about sick days I’ve taken to escape work and spend quality time with my son. I’ve lamented over the rough days when I couldn’t wait to get back to work. I’ve whined about how I really hoped for change in my career. In truth, I’ve found that being a mother who works outside the home is a paradox of all kinds. Many times, we think the grass is greener. If only I worked at home, then I would be able to do everything. If only I worked part time, then I would have more time for my house and family. If only, if only.
This week, I listened to the demon on the left shoulder instead of the angel on the right as he asked me, “What if?” What if I was a stay-at-home mom? What if I had the financial stability to choose between working and not working? What if I didn’t work out every evening and spent those extra hours with my son? What if I didn’t blog and Facebook and tweet while my son watched some television?
Every time I ask this question, and I picture myself with copious amounts of time to spend with my son, doing all those arts and crafts and playtime activities I find on Pinterest and then leave there for another day, washing all the dishes that sit and sit for days, I find more questions arise…
If I were a SAHM, a WAHM, or if I worked part-time, would I be more attentive? Would I be happy? Would I feel stifled? Would my son experience more stability and routine? Would he already know how to say “please” and “thank you?” Would he be more coordinated because I’d be doing one-on-one activities and crafts with him? Would he learn to speak and read and write at a quicker pace?
But then I slap myself in the face (not really, because ow) and remind myself what works for my family at this point in time, and it’s what I’m doing. And I answer myself: Maybe. Maybe I would be happier. Maybe my son would have more consistency and learn more. Or maybe not. Right now, I’m a working mom, I’m happy with my teaching job, and my son is content spending the day with his Abuela. He is healthy and well cared for, and right now, it works for us. So why ask questions? Why lament? Why allow social media and Pinterest to make me feel like less of a mom because my kid isn’t with me 24/7?
Do you ever second-guess your working mom status or ask yourself What if?