WHY GOING BACK TO WORK MADE ME A BETTER MOTHER
I’m a thirty-something mom of two little boys and I live a three and a half hour plane ride from the nearest family. Starting a family was something that both my husband and I really wanted. I knew it was going to be tough, being without grandparents to help but I didn’t care, I wanted babies. I would stay at home and raise them, like my mom did, and he would go to work everyday to provide for us. The plan was in place. And after three pregnancies and the birth of two beautiful boys, our family was complete.
And I was happy. I loved (and still do!) being home and being a mother. It’s the hardest and most rewarding “job” there is in life. But what maybe I wasn’t so prepared for was how mentally and physically exhausted I would be some days. A cup or two of coffee in my favorite mug from The Top Knot Boutique and a glass of wine were things I looked forward to every single day.
After awhile, something started creeping in: resentment. I would watch my husband every morning: wake up well rested, get dressed up in a nice suit, take his travel mug of hot coffee and head with purpose to the office. He’d come home at 6:00 (or later) every night telling me of the nice lunch he’d had at a restaurant downtown or the beer he’d shared after work. All the adult things he got to partake in. Then there was me: feeling like if I had to deal with one more tantrum, change one more diaper, do one more load of laundry, or empty the dishwasher one more time, I was going to go outside onto the front porch and scream.
So then came the guilt. Why was I resenting him? I was so lucky to have two beautiful, healthy boys. We had the freedom for me to be able to stay home and spend such quality time with our kids. I should be thankful. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my children. I absolutely cherish my time with them and they are the best thing that has ever happened to me. So why wasn’t I feeling completely fulfilled? I was having severe mom guilt. I was feeling like my entire identity had become “mommy” and I was having a bit of longing for the old me. Who was I anymore?
So after four years of being a stay-at-home mother, I decided I was going to return to my career as a teacher, part-time. Even with some anxiety, I was ready. It wasn’t about the money, it was about my sanity. I wanted to get up, do my hair, put my makeup on, pull out my beautiful clothes, put on my high heels and walk out the door. I longed for adult conversation and a different space. I also wanted my kids to have a bit of socialization and separation from me. As much anxiety that I had to leave them in the care of someone else, I had to have trust that they would be okay.
So how has going back to work changed me? I feel I have so much more patience with my kids, I’m not as short with them as I used to be. I cherish our time together even more than before. My boys love being at their dayhome, playing with their little buddies all day and doing crafts. They are learning to respect and listen to another adult in their life, instead of my hubby and I. It’s also made me a better teacher. I feel refreshed every time I start a new day, whether it be at home or at school. I’ve had a break on my days off from work or mommying and I feel refreshed. It’s the best of both worlds. There are some days when I’m rushing around trying to get two kids, dressed and fed and out the door by 7:30am, thinking: why am I doing this again? But it’s worth it. I’m a better mother, a better person for it. I look forward to each day. And best of all, I let go of the guilt and my resentment is gone.
Get the look: There’s a Chance This is Wine… Mug from The Top Knot Boutique / Sedona and Free Spirit Nails from Jamberry / Open Sorrento Ring from James Avery / Gilded Path Double Wrap Bracelet and Renegade Bracelet from Stella & Dot