Editors Note: This post originally ran this last summer. With trying to balance work and the constant late starts and school cancellations these past few weeks. I thought this blog was timely and relevant.
Being a working mom is all I know. If you are in the situation where you have to work or want to work, you likely can relate to me. I am to the point now where I am OK with working, but I was torn for a very, very long time. I felt guilty about leaving my kids, but empowered to contribute financially to our family. Once I found a career I was passionate about, it cleared up my self-doubt about working immediately. Here are some basic reasons that helped me feel better about working.
You look at your salary and then you look at daycare costs. NO BRAINER to quit, right? Not so easy! In addition to your take home salary, there are many benefits—like stock, flex spending, HSA (health savings account), 401K, and insurance. If you are married, think of your salary and your husband’s (or significant other’s) salary as one. Take out the costs for daycare, but look at other the factors you benefit from working. If your significant other lost his/her job, you still have a steady income and benefits. Keep in mind that daycare is only a temporary expense, it is not forever.
Find your passion
Find a job you are passionate about. I am to the point where if I am going to be away from my kids, I want to enjoy what I am doing. I do not want to dread leaving them every day to go to a dead end job that I hate. Luckily, I found a job in healthcare social media marketing that I love.
In addition to loving what I do, I have tremendous support from leadership on being a mom with two little kids. I remember one week this fall, my son, Jacob, had a fever so I had to leave early. The next day I was back at work, but I got a call from Isabelle’s (my daughter) school that she split her head open and needed stitches. My direct boss at the time said, “You go take care of your family and do not worry about work at all.” This came from someone who does not have kids. She set the bar so high and I will never work for someone who does not have her type of compassion.
Be transparent and have a conversation with your boss about your work/life balance needs. Most people who are human and with a heart will support you. If he or she does not understand or support you, then run and find something else—especially if you are getting your work done and giving no reasons for anyone not to trust you. There are so many wonderful companies and bosses out there who will support a working mom. If I can find it, anyone can. Life is too short to settle for anything less.
The time you do have
The time you have with your kids is extra special. I am able to leave at a decent time everyday so I can be with my kids and be my best self when I am with them. The look on their faces when they see me makes me feel like I am greatest person in this world—and to them, I am. Not every day is perfect, and I miss my alone time, too—I wrote an entire blog on it. Never be hard on yourself for working, especially if you have to work. Contributing to your kids’ futures is one of the best things a mom can do. Your kids will see you as a working mom and will want to be like you someday.
Are you a working mom? How do you balance your daily life?