I’ve been a working mom. I’ve been a stay at home mom. I’ve been a working mom again. And so on and so forth. I can’t say why I’ve had the ups and downs in my career as I have. I’ve played the old career switcheroo multiple times. But I can say that I have grown to know what is best for me. What is best for me is being a working mom.
Because I have lost my job before and been thrown into staying at home with my two boys I can appreciate both sides of parenting. I know for certain that both are hard work. Both present problems that we must learn to solve in constructive ways. Both present joys that we learn to savor. So that mommy war that is so often fought over which one is harder? Let me tell you – they are straight up tied.
Most recently, I was a stay at home mom for three months over the summer. It was different than really staying home because, all the while, I knew I would have to find a new job for financial reasons. I enjoyed those extra hours of spending quality time with my boys. But I longed to bring home a paycheck to help my family not feel so stressed about bill-paying. It’s something I’ve always loved. Pay day. Contributing financially to my family.
When I landed a new job I wondered if I would miss it all. Would I miss staying in my pajama pants until noon and waking up with no agenda for the day? Well, if I’m being honest I still miss it sometimes. But that’s what my weekends are for. Lounging around with no plan and soaking up the hours with my boys.
Once again, the transition from stay at home mom to working mom has been an adjustment. I’ve made this transition before and it has its ups and downs. But ultimately, I find that I can keep a better routine when I’m a working parent. I know what to expect each day and so do my boys.
In fact, I wondered over the summer if losing my job would somehow affect them negatively. I wondered if seeing more of me would confuse them. But now I know it was just a good time for us all. It was a rest for me. Those three months were a blessing. Not only did my short stint at home give me precious moments with my family. It also allowed me to see my new job as a gift.
Working full-time with two kids to raise is not right for everyone. But it’s right for me. It keeps me on my toes. I think it is good for me to have the responsibility to answer to someone else. It keeps me accountable, to both my employer and my family.
If I had to choose between working outside the home and staying home with my children it wouldn’t be an easy decision to make. I’m sure there are other working moms out there who are often conflicted over choosing to keep a career after kids. I feel lucky that I’ve had the unique chance to do both. Because now I know what the best choice is for me.
Molly Shalz is a working mama to two beautiful and sweet boys, ages 4 and 2 ½. She began blogging in December 2006 when she realized how much she missed writing. An online journal seemed like a convenient space to do just that. Over the span of five years, Molly’s blog has gained a loyal following. She was a nominee in The Bump’s Best Working Mom Blogs of 2009. Her writing also earned her a coveted 2011 BlogHer Voice of the Year award. She continues to build her presence by writing passionately about her journey through motherhood as well as her ongoing battle with depression. She is also working on her first novel. You can find her blogging at A Day in Mollywood, or follow her on twitter.