To Work or not to work when you become a mother this question will arise, either during pregnancy, shortly after birth, or maybe it is sometime in the future, but it will come up. Chances are you already knew or know what you want to do or maybe what you have to do. Sometimes we women are given the amazing gift of being able to be a stay at home mom, maybe some of us cringe at the very thought, maybe some of us are working and just want to be home with our babies, and maybe you are at home with the kids all day and feel like a caged animal. Every woman is different there is no right or wrong way to feel, there is no wrong or right way to be. Society has certainly shifted in the sense that anytime before the 90’s women certainly was expected to stay home with the children now it seems to have shifted to if you don’t work outside the home you really must be lazy, uneducated, unmotivated or something equally as vile.. Okay…maybe that is harsh. But you really do get that look… and that damn question I hate….”what do you do all day?” those are fighting words.
I have had an opportunity to do both. I was the type of women who knew exactly what she wanted.. I did not want to stay at home with the kids I wanted a career. So I went in to nursing and along with that came many long hours. Over the years my career flourished but my relationships suffered. As well as the relationship with my children. You see I wasn’t one of those women that seemed like she had it all together, awesome mom, awesome career, awesome marriage.. what was I doing wrong? Why did I have such a struggle balancing everything.. that woman next to me.. she can do it why can’t I?
Now this leads to guilt, guilt leads to self loathing, this leads to a bad mood. None of this good for raising children or your career. So I have noted the one thing that every together woman, wife, mother has in common.. is that they prioritize very well.
It goes in this order… this is going to be a shock.. Husband. Yes that is right if you are married your husband must be at the top of your list. Our children have to have a strong stability, security, and if our relationship with our husband is strained it will cause chaos in the home. I am not saying your husband gets to decide everything, I am not saying he takes priority over the children, but he definitely is a part of this and deserves your time. Remember he will be there long after the children are grown, if you lose each other now, you may not get each other back. You will be sleeping in separate beds when your silver not a very “Notebook” kind of love I want.
The children, you have to be present… even if you work. You have to go to school functions, you have to help with homework, you have to ask about their day, you have to listen and talk to your children. I know we are so tired, it feels as though the whole world is on your shoulders, but this is why husbands were made, his shoulders were made to bear more than ours, ask him to help, he may even be glad you did. Now don’t go asking him to do stuff you know he doesn’t know how to do, but do make him feel needed by asking him to help with things you know he rocks at.
Your career.. We work so hard to stay at the top of our game. This is our way of feeding and caring for our children. So we have to be good at what we do. However your time at the office should never over ride your obligations at home. You need to draw a clear line in the sand early in the game, but give them the same amount of respect and keep your mind on work while at work and give 100% while you are there and you won’t have to compensate with lost time with your family by slacking.
I have found the only way for me to do this is tighten our budget and me only work part time. Now I have the best of both worlds. But for the mothers that can’t be home maybe you are single or money just is too tight for this, take heart in knowing as long as you try to stay involved our kids will not love us less, and mom’s who know as single mom help her out. We are women, we are mothers, we should continue to support each other in a sisterhood that was formed of love, struggle, sacrifice, hard work, tears, long nights, because no one knows the heart of a woman but another woman. It is hard to be a woman but the reward is equally as wonderful as it is hard.