Friday, June 14, 2013

Decisions: Motherhood, Working & Life



The age old question that every mom asks and one that truly has no right or wrong answer: To work or stay at home. In the past 3 years I’ve had the opportunity to do both: work part-time while home part-time, work full-time and stay at home full-time. Over the past few months of being home I realized it truly isn’t for me! While I love my little girl and her independence and spunk I think I am too set in my ways and career focused to give that part of me away. I think I have come to the point of making this tough decision (and well thought out this time) once again. I knew it would come once I finished grad school. With a couple job offers I need to think…

Do I Continue to be a SAHM?
Like I said I don’t know that I have the patience for this. I have learned that this is the toughest job ever! I look up to women who can do this. But then I sit here thinking about the fun, spontaneous activities we do like jump in puddles the other day or riding bikes to the park. Will I miss these? Or will I cherish our time together more if I am gone? While financially we could do this like to travel and spent money!

Do I Become a Working Mom Again?
I always said I would never go back to full time work but it is starting to look that way. I haven’t worked full-time since my first year out of college 13 years ago! But these were crazy hours and I never knew what was night or day and the stress made me miserable, guess I can thank this for making me a runner (I needed stress relief and running was the answer!). From then on I have only worked 3-4 days per week and 6 years ago I was able to start working “normal” hours turning me into a morning person again. I’ve now reached another level of my career that I have been working towards and will soon sit for another board certification enabling me to expand my career, how can I not utilize what I worked for?

I am sitting here with just a few more hours to make a decision on a wonderful job offer in 99% of the aspects. Back in the area I truly loved and feel comfortable, back at the place where I began my career and working with a great, cohesive team (at least from what I can tell). While the hours are somewhat set there is flexibility J but the downside; full-time and 2 weekend days per month (guess that means a few less races a year! Will O be negatively affected by me working full-time? She is entering the phase of missing mommy or daddy again, last night was full out melt down as I left at bedtime to run with my mom running group.  

I sit here this morning cuddling on the couch with O, drinking my coffee and planning our day. Will I miss these days? I’m sure I will but is this job the right thing? I hope so. Or do I wait around for something else that might be not as great of a fit but with my perfect hours? Do I take the job close to home just because or take the better fit with the longer drive? Is it wrong that I also think of how working full-time will affect my workouts and marathon training? I guess it would mean more early morning and late night workouts.

While I know there is no right or wrong answer and it is truly about what is better for each mom, child, family I would love to hear how others have made this decision and how you felt. Did you regret working full-time? Or Did you enjoy kid time even more? 8 hours and my decision will be made…




39 comments:

  1. Sounds like a tough decision - but at the same time, no decision has to be irreversible...so - give it a shot and a good one. Personally for better life balance (e marathon training in your case) being closer to home is always good...not easy though, espcially when "full-time" sounds like "full time plus some"!! My Mum was a SAHM and REALLLY struggled when we all left home (oh the guilt trips!!) so I've always vowed that I will work in some capacity to keep a balance, plus I think it's healthy for kids to see their parents as people with their own wants and needs being taken care of...(but - ask me again in a couple of years if we have a #2!) - good luck with your D.

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    1. Thanks, how could I forget the obvious. I am not stuck if things don't work out! I figure everything deserves a good shot to see how things figure out!

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  2. I feel for you. This is a tough decision. I think I have the best of both worlds as teacher. I can be home all summer, every weekend and holiday, and mostly after school. Good luck!

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    1. That is great, I love summer at home :)

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  3. How wonderful that you have choices! Ultimately, you need to do what will make YOU happy. Happy mommy = happy family. Pick the job you want to do the most and will be happier at and the rest will fit into place.
    I have worked FT and now as a SAHM I can tell you I am more tired at home, and there are days I am looking for jobs. In the end, I never apply for them so I guess deep down I know I belong at home. Good luck girl!

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    1. Yes, it is amazing how much tougher being at home is some days!

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  4. I only know the SAHM way and I'm already getting certified to be a group fitness instructor for a little ME time. Maybe try something part-time and see how/if you like it?
    emma @ a mom runs this town

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    1. I used to work part-time and it worked well but the opportunity I have now is only full-time. I wish I could make it be part-time.

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  5. Looks like you've got some tough choices, I'd say if you are doing what your family needs, and what makes them happy as well as you happy and has the best interests for a good future in mind for all. Then whichever choice you end up going with, will be the right choice, because it was made for the right reasons:) Good luck!

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    1. Thanks, I know I will make the best choice for us :)

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  6. Prayers that God will lead in the right direction:) This is so tough. You know my story. SAHM for 13 years and now starting slowly to build my business. Keep us posted!

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    1. Thanks, a good run was exactly what I needed to come to an answer! It is amazing what getting out in nature does to bring clarity :)

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  7. Tough choices. You have to pick the right one for you and your family. I never had a choice. I was a single mom for many years, so I had to work. I think my boys came out just fine, though I did miss a few things in their childhoods.

    And that's the thing. No matter what choice you make, your child will still have you and all the love and care that you have to offer.

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    1. Great point, kids will survive and end up just fine. No matter if we work or not we still love our kid(s) :)

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  8. Such a hard decision - I think it just has to come down to what you really want to do because if you are doing what makes you the happiest then everything else is better (including the spontaneous fun of jumping in puddles)!!!

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    1. The day we spent jumping in puddles was right after the offer came and it felt freeing to be running around with her, almost knowing things would work out!

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  9. I am SO GLAD I went back to work full time. It was definitely hard getting settled into the routine and new structure, but SO worth it, for me and for my kids. I do NOT have the patience to be home all day with my small kids, and find that I am better able to play with them and focus on them in smaller dedicated times after work and on weekends, when I have it. With lots of love at home and from their daytime caregivers, and know my children were not negatively affected - in fact, I think this decision was very beneficial for them too. If the job is 99% perfect, my advice is, take it! 99% perfect is pretty freaking awesome ;)

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    1. Thank you! It is so great to hear others say this, I also have minimal patience for being home all day but feel like I should. I mean isn't this just part of parenting?!

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  10. It's an incredibly hard decision, and there are pros and cons to each. No matter what you decide, O is going to be loved and cared for and there's no negative side to that. :hug: and best of luck with your choice!

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  11. My mom worked during the day while we were at school and then was home in time to pick us up and then be with us at night. She worked one night shift per week, and my sister and I were not negatively affected by this at all! I say do what feels right to you! I agree with what Jennifer said above me, O is going to be loved and cared for whatever your decision is. Good luck!!

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    1. Thanks :) I think that is the thing that always makes me reconsider, my mom stayed home and I wonder if I will miss that, but let me say I am not nearly as patient as her! Best part is she now watches O :)

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  12. I am also struggling with this! Working in the medical field at a hospital, there are no days off. I currently work Sunday through Friday with a day off during the week, but with no consistency on which day it really is. I have to work any holiday that happens during my scheduled work week, including Christmas and Thanksgiving (unless x-mas is a Saturday :)) As I get ready to birth kid #1, it hurts me to think of missing all of these first holidays and then to miss them year after year. I commute 45 min each way to my job too, so my 8-hr work day becomes infinitely longer with traffic, pumping milk, dropping him off at my sister's house (she'll be providing care while I'm at work, but she is 20 min in opposite direction from work). It is incredibly frustrating! I'm not sure SAHM is an option for me, but there has to be a better way for us moms! (And I also think - how am I going to fit running/training into an 11-hr day with a kiddo?!?! glad I'm not the only one!! :) ) Can't wait to hear what you decide to do - no matter what, it will be the best decision for YOUR family, I know it!

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    1. I understand the crazy schedule thing! I think you know this but I too am medical and the job am considering is back in a hospital so never closed! Good luck, it is easier going back to work after baby knowing they are cared for by someone you know well, while I truly am happy I nurse O for 2 years I was more than ready to get rid of that pump after year 1!

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  13. It's a very hard decision to make. Before my twins were born, I swore I would got back to full time. After a couple of months, I realized it was not for me. I wanted to be home more and felt like I was missing out on so much of their lives. Thankfully, I was able to drop down to part time 3 days a week. It's a very, very nice balance. They are in school a couple of times a week and I get adult career time as well. I think about what I'm going to do once they are in school full time. Do I really want to go back to my old schedule? I kind of like the flexibility that I have now - aka more running time. ;)

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    1. Yes, flexibility does mean more running time. I loved 3 days per week :)

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  14. I work 4 days a week. I think 3 would be perfect, but then I wouldn't make enough to justify the cost of daycare. There is no perfect schedule. Just try and create the best schedule out of what you end up with. Commutes, long days, and chaos are just the reality of being a working mom! I will admit that working seriously limits the amount of training I can do. On my work days I get about an hour from 5am to 6am and that is really it. But it's more than a lot of moms get. I have friends who do 50-60 hour work weeks with kids. Yuck. I'm sure you will figure out the best fit for you and your family. Good luck!

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    1. Oh, I forgot to add, I work at a job I mostly like but don't love, BUT it's a nursing job with no weekends or holidays and 9-5 type hours. That is worth it to me to sacrifice some career satisfaction. But everyone is different and this is just what works for me.

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    2. 3 is perfect, I agree :) I used to have the M-F nursing job but the hours were long and I often brought work home :(

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  15. This is such a hard decision and you're right - there really is no right or wrong answer but what feels the best for you and your family. I've done it all - SAHM for 3 years (longer than I expected to stay home and realized it wasn't for me), full-time working mom (really interesting job and opportunity but the hours were insane and required a lot of weekend and evenings), and freelance WAHM. For me, right now, working from home has been the best scenario - I have control over my schedule and it allows me to drop off/pick up my kids from school most days and work. I appreciate the flexibility for sure. Best of luck with your decision!

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    1. That does sound great and being WAHM is my goal one day if I can grow my coaching business enough and expand :)

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  16. It's a hard decision to make and us moms are so good at feeling guilty. No, it's not wrong to think about how working full time will affect your workouts. That is a part of who you are and should be considered.

    In the end, you'll know what's right for you and your family. You're a great mom and no matter what you decide you will continue to be a great mom.

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    1. Thanks Jill :) Mommy guilt is huge for us all!

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  17. Wow, such a hard decision. I was a SAHM for 12 years and it was challenging. But, as my kids got older and I needed something more 'official' to do as well as our supplemental savings started to run dry, it was time to go back to work. I'm so grateful that I found a job (while not the perfect one) 3 miles from home and only 4 days a week. It's been a great transition. My kids are adjusting as kids do.

    I hope your decision comes easily. You'll know if it feels right. Good luck.

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    1. Thanks, I agree hat fees right I best :)

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  18. I did regret working full time but only because I choose a job/profession that did not allow for any flexibility. I have a job now that I wish I would have had when they were growing up because it would have been much easier and not as stressful. I believe it would have fulfilled both my mom side and my need to work.

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  19. Good luck with your decision, Jen. I don't have kids yet so I haven't been faced with such a decision but when in doubt do what your heart tells you is best!

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    1. Thanks, I made my division based on my heart and what flat right :)

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