Earlier this summer, Lindsay shared with us what it’s like to be a stay-at-home mom, and I just knew my friend Laura would be the perfect person to share with us what it’s like to be a working mom! I’ve known Laura since high school and she’s such a hard working and amazing momma. She’s supported me and my family over the years as we tried to start our family, sending encouraging words + songs my way, and I love when I get to hang her cute family Christmas card on the fridge each year!
Now, even though we live states apart, I love that we can stay connected through social media AND I love following her Deals for Moms page on Facebook where she shares tons of great steals and deals! If you aren’t already among the thousands following her, you have to go check it out!
PLUS! We are teaming up and offering a $50 Amazon Gift Card giveaway over on Instagram through Monday, so hop on over to my IG page and enter!
Being an adult is a lot of work.
Being a stay-at-home mom is a lot of work.
Being a working mom is a lot of work.
And I wouldn’t want it any other way (most days).
After I had my first son, and my second son, and my third son, I got the unavoidable question…
Are you going back to work?
And yes, I was. Each time. Each time I was headed back to work after my maternity leave.
When you’re asked that question, it seems like there are a bunch of follow up questions and comments that people want to say. Sometimes they go unsaid but you know it’s what people are thinking.
“Do you have to work?”
“Are you looking forward to going back to work?”
“Must be nice to get a break from your kids.”
“I don’t know how you manage everything.”
“Is it easier to be at work than at home?”
“Aren’t you worried you’re going to miss out on milestones?”
“I stayed home and wouldn’t have traded those years for anything.”
“Don’t you think it’s better for you to stay home with your kids during these early years?”
It doesn’t take long for the guilt to set in. it’s there even before the questions are asked.
“No, I don’t have to work but it does help us live a little more comfortably. No, I’m not really looking forward to going back to work but if I was, is that wrong? I love every day at home I get with my kids. I couldn’t do it without my husband and we ask for help when we need it. My work is challenging, so most days are not easier than being at home. It’s inevitable I’ll miss out on some milestones but I thank God for technology. I don’t think it’s better or worse to stay at home vs. working but what I do know is this is best for my family right now.”
I had my first son 7+ years and have been a working mom ever since. For about half of those years I was a third grade teacher and the other half I’ve been a reading specialist for kindergarten through sixth grade students. If having three kids and being a teacher wasn’t enough, I decided to start working from home too. A year and a half ago, I started a Facebook group called Deals for Moms where I share some pretty killer deals for the whole family and more recently started blogging (mainly fashion deals) at LittleBlueJeans.
Being a working mom is busy. It’s funny to think how busy I used to feel before I had kids. Now I wonder what I did with all my free time. The life of a working mom is full. And hard. And yet, rewarding.
The most challenging part for me is feeling like I can never give 100% to any part of my life. I constantly feel like I want to be a more present mom to my three boys but at the same time, wish I didn’t have to run out of work to get home. It would be nice to make all my blog dreams come to life. I wish I had more time just to relax with my husband rather than finishing chores and working out logistics. I would love to go on more play dates with my stay-at-home mom friends. My house is never in the state I want it to be and there’s always laundry to be done. I would love to be able to volunteer more at my kids’ school and at church. But there just isn’t time for me to dedicate all my effort to each of those things.
It’s also exhausting. With both of my jobs, the work is never really done. Even when I leave the physical work building; I’m never actually done with work. Every “free” minute of my day could be spent working – writing lesson plans, reading the latest professional development book on literacy, responding to Facebook messages, searching for a deal, writing a blog post. I have to make the conscious decision to say “no” to work.
When you’re a working mom, you learn to use and appreciate every minute. Since time with my kids and husband is precious, I’ve been working on putting my phone and laptop away so I can be fully engaged. I wake up early and stay up late so I can get a lot of work done when my kids are sleeping. It’s amazing how little sleep you can learn to function on.
While I could sit and focus on all the challenging parts of being a working mom, that doesn’t do me any good. It certainly does take more thought, but there are also many reasons I love being a working mom.
8 reasons I Love Being a Working Mom:
- I always have a good excuse why things aren’t perfect. My house is never spotless. My kids’ hair is often uncombed. There aren’t homemade meals at the dinner table each night. Sometimes I don’t get school handouts turned in on time. But thankfully nobody expects perfection from a working mom of multiple children and I’ll happily accept that free pass.
- I’ve been able to prioritize my life better. Before kids, I stayed at work from 7am until 7pm on a regular basis. Now that I’m a mom, I want to get home ASAP to see my kids. The work will be there persistently, but my kids won’t always be little.
- The kids spend more time with other adults that love them. Our kids are passed around throughout the week between me, our babysitter, their grandma, and dad. If they’re not with me 24/7, that doesn’t make them any less loved. Instead, they get to spend quality time with other people that love them unconditionally and that extra time has fostered some really beautiful relationships.
- Working makes my life more interesting. I’m one of those strange people that never seems to tire of being with my kids but I also like that I’m able to go to work and use the skills that God has given me. Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a teacher so I’m thankful that I still get to use my brain in that way (even if it does seem foggier now). I have work friends that I wouldn’t have met if I didn’t teach. I’ve also enjoyed the online community that Deals for Moms has created. It’s been exciting to take my hobby of finding deals and turn it into a way to make a little extra cash for my family. When my husband gets home from work, we both get to talk about work stories. I think he finds my work stories slightly more engaging than hearing about changing diapers, cleaning up toys, and playdates.
- I’m more disciplined. Working has forced me to be more efficient with my time. While I’m perfectly content wearing pajamas all day, I can’t do that since I work. I have no choice but to get up early, shower (most days), and get out the door. I have to be purposeful to make time for working out, devotions, cooking dinner, and dates with my husband.
- It makes me a more empathetic person. Being a working mom is busy and stressful but it could be harder. I have more empathy than ever before for single moms, moms dealing with an illness, military moms, and moms that are alone most of the week while their husbands travel. It takes a village. We’ve got to help one another.
- I have a few extra bucks to spend. Could we get by without my salary? Yes, I think so. We could drop our data plan, forget the family vacation, stop buying trendy clothes, and eat out less. While we don’t live an extravagant lifestyle, I do enjoy the occasional mani/pedi and overpriced taco. I like that life is a bit less stressful because we don’t constantly have to be budgeting every dollar.
- My kids are some of the happiest kids I know. Being a working mom is not making my kids miserable. It’s not ruining their childhood. Believe me, I would quit my jobs if I felt my kids were suffering but it’s quite the opposite. People are constantly telling me how my kids are always smiling. They’re independent. They adjust easily to new people and situations. They love their life and so do I.
Laura is a wife, mom, teacher, and bargain hunter. She’s married to her high school sweetheart. They’ve been together for over 16 years. Together they have three awesome boys (ages 3, 5, and 7) who make every day wild and fun. Laura is obsessed with finding a sweet deal and loves to share them with her highly addicting Facebook group, Deals for Moms. You can connect with her on her Facebook page Deals for Moms, website LittleBlueJeans, and Instagram page @Little_Blue_Jeans
PPS – If you’re ever looking for a devotional on living life while in a waiting season, check out the devotional I co-authored called ‘In the Wait’!
PPPS – Check out the other contributions from this series, including What It’s Like: to experience multiple IVF cycles, raise a child with special needs, use an egg donor, be a DIY-er and home style blogger , be a NICU nurse, Live fully in singleness while still hoping for marriage, suffer with endometriosis. experience depression, start a company, have a micro preemie, lose a parent, be childless not by choice, have a spouse with a chronic illness, fund raise for fertility treatments, have a traumatic birthing experience, take a natural route with infertility, be on a reality show, go through the adoption process, have male factor infertility,be a stay at home mom, be an entertainer, be given a Down syndrome diagnosis for your child , experience multiple miscarriages, have a surrogate, experience a late pregnancy stillbirth, and be a police officers wife. Stay tuned for many other amazing topics to come every Tuesday and Friday here!