I’ve talked before about choosing a quality daycare for your child (read that here) and also about why I refuse to apologize for taking my child to daycare (read that here). However, I think it is time I address my decision to continue working now that I have a child. I am not doing this to justify my choices to anyone, but simply to help others understand the decision that I made. And be warned, I am going to borrow some Leslie Knope quotes (Parks and Rec! Woot!) to help me express my feelings on this.
While it is a decision that I am mostly comfortable with, I’d be lying if I told you that it was something I hadn’t questioned over and over. And over…
I changed jobs in the early stages of my pregnancy, due to my previous workplace becoming toxic and stressful. (read my post about dealing with difficult bosses here) My new job is a much better fit for my family and myself. I always had the intention of coming back after maternity leave, but I stressed over this choice for my entire pregnancy.
In the morning, when I drop off my sweet baby at daycare, I wonder sometimes if I doing the right thing. It is not a decision I take lightly by any means. I am going to borrow a quote from Leslie Knope to illustrate my point: “Do you miss your kids when you’re at work? Of course I do. Everybody does. And then, you know, sometimes I don’t!”
True story! Sometimes it is absolutely heart wrenching to drop my little boy off. Other times, it is an absolute relief, and I am ecstatic to have grown up conversations (and pee by myself!). I also sometimes wonder if I am a terrible person for taking my kid to be taken care of by other people. And for another Leslie Knope quote, “Are you trying to have it all? That question makes no sense. It’s a stupid question. Stop asking it. Don’t ask it.”
Personally, I am just trying to find balance. I’m trying to keep myself mentally healthy. I work for me, and for my family, no one else! I can’t take care of my son if I am depressed, or anxious, and that is how I find myself when I have too many days at home. My son deserves to have a happy and healthy mom, and with the way I am wired it is just not possible for me to be that for him without working. For some moms, they wouldn’t be able to work and be away from their children without it adversely affecting their happiness. We are all different people, and you know what? That is perfectly acceptable! And our differences are one of the things that make life so exciting.
It is also important to note that my husband will start grad school this fall, and I don’t want him to have the burden of working to support our family financially on his own while attending full-time year round school for 3 years. Some people choose to handle education with kids differently, but this our decision. However, when he is done with school I do plan to continue working.
One last word from Leslie Knope!
To close, here is one more Leslie Knope quote:
“If you want to bake a pie, that’s great. If you want to have a career, that’s great too. Do both, or neither, it doesn’t matter, just don’t judge what someone else has decided to do.”
I have been incredibly lucky to run into minimal judgment with my decision. I know that it is a very personal choice for every mom. Do what you need to FOR YOU And YOUR FAMILY. Don’t worry about what is expected by those around you. Do what you need to for your own mental health, your own sanity, and your own life! Be sure to give those around you the same understanding. We are all moms, just trying to take care of our families and ourselves.