Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Working mom


Ever since we started telling people that I am expecting twins, we've had nothing but questions -- questions about how I'm feeling, whether I'm eating right, whether we've picked out names, whether we're buying a bigger car and whether we've read all the pregnancy books out there.

I expected the questions, and like every other milestone in my life, I welcome them. I know that people ask questions because they care and want to help. However, there's one question that I never know quite how to answer: Are you going back to work after they're born?

I actually do have a simple answer to this question -- yes -- and I tell everyone who asks that I plan to continue working. But then I feel like I have to justify my answer by telling them that Andrew is still in school, that I have excellent benefits with my current job that we can't afford to lose, that we need the extra income to be able to provide adequately for our babies.

I am tired of feeling like I have to explain my choice to go back to work, and I'm sure there are other women who feel the same way.

To be clear, I always wanted to be home with my kids and be there for them. My mom stayed home with us until my youngest brother was in kindergarten, and I have always admired her for that sacrifice. I knew that if I called her from school because I forgot my lunch, she would be there. I knew that if I got sick, she would come get me and make me chicken noodle soup and jello. I knew that when I rode the bus home from school, she would be there to ask about my day.

I want my kids to have the same loving, dependable mom -- but I also want my company to have the same hard-working, dependable Lindsay.

It hasn't always been this way. Not that long ago, I came home in tears every night from a job that was completely wrong for me. I am embarrassed to say that I welcomed the thought of having children simply because it meant I would have an excuse to leave that job (and the workforce) until they were grown.

Nearly three years later, I am happier than I've ever been. I wake up every morning with a sense of purpose. I know people count on me to write, to edit, to publish content -- and they are reading the things that I write. I absolutely love my job, I love the people I work with, and I love feeling like I've finally found a place where I belong. I know my job matters and makes a difference, and it's an incredible blessing.

I've never been quick to form friendships, and it's caused quite a bit of heartache as the people I thought were friends moved in and out of my life. At my company, I have more than 50 close friends I know I can trust and confide in, and I've built lasting relationships that I don't want to lose.

Am I aware that things will change when I welcome two tiny babies into the world in a few months? Of course! But I am willing to balance things in my life, as is Andrew, and I'm willing to work equally hard at raising children and becoming even better at my job.

Life is about to get really hard, but I know that I'm making the right choice for myself and my family, regardless of what others expect me to do.

I'm about to become a working mom by choice. I'm ready for the challenge.

13 comments:

  1. I agree, work is the easiest place to make friends. Good Luck. I'm sure you'll be able to handle anything.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That is a hard decision to make. However, as you pray and seek counsel from Heavenly Father, you are led in the direction that is right for your family and children. Good luck with whatever you decide to do! You're going to be a fantastic mother. I had my baby before I finished school, and I felt very strongly that I needed to finish. I am so grateful that I did. My husband was able to watch our son during the day, and then I was able to be with the baby at night while he was working. It worked great for us, and I loved student teaching. Now I'm able to be at home with my son, and though it has its own set of challenges, I wouldn't trade it for anything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your insights! I think it's so important to decide what will work best for your family, and I'm glad you have been able to make staying at home work.

      Delete
  3. The prophet said, "nurture your children". I believe that working moms can do exactly that, and I have no doubt that you will. Nurturing your children isn't equivalent to staying at home. Do your thing. People can be very insensitive. I stay at home and that is a sacrifice a lot of times, but that's my choice. AND I reserve the right to change my mind whenever I feel like it. Life is an ever-changing thing. Don't be afraid to change your mind 700 times if you want to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jessie, this comment absolutely made my day! I really appreciate that you said you have the right to change your mind, and that staying at home is your choice. I know that I'll be able to nurture my children no matter my working situation! :)

      Delete
  4. My situation actually sounds similar to yours -- I was previously at a position that was not a good fit and I dreaded going to work. But when I was pregnant, I was at a job was much better for me. When the time came to decide whether I was going to keep working, I was surprised that I really, really wanted to make it happen.

    I have been able to arrange working part-time from home with my job, and it has been a blessing in every way. Sometimes I am jealous of Chris, that he gets to go to work and focus on his job and be with grown-ups all day while I'm figuring out how to eek out 3 to 4 hours of work around diaper changes and feedings, or even fun stuff like peekaboo and tickles.

    But I do it because it means a lot to me to be able to contribute monetarily to our family. Using my brain keeps me sane, and when I look forward to the morning each week when I go into the office. It keeps my marriage on equal footing and I like that we share this and other responsibilities in our family. I didn't want employment gaps on my resume. I enjoy the social interactions and friendships I have with my peers.

    It is awesome that you know what you want and are going for it. It is hard, and there are concessions to every choice -- especially as a parent. I'm figuring it out.

    Thanks for your entry. Thanks for reminding me not to apologize to anyone -- coworkers, family, friends, church members, nice ladies at the grocery store -- for doing right by my family, in my way. And not to worry too much if I don't have all the answers right now. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Elyssa! I feel the same way. I want to be able to contribute monetarily to my family AND be able to keep my resume up and just feel like I'm sharing my talents with other people. I'm confident that when I'm happy and satisfied, I'll be able to keep my kids happier and just be a better mom to them.

      Delete
  5. Good for you, I'm so happy to hear you've found a career you love! That makes such a huge difference. I love mine too, and I worked hard for my degree, so I'd like to keep working too.. at least part time! I feel like it will help me feel like I'm still a real person and not just 'mom'! -♥- Rachel (For the Birds)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I really miss working, and had I the choice I would have continued to do so after having Simon. But between two moves and morning sickness, looking for a new job didn't seem feasible, and now I just fear I've lost my momentum.

    You worked hard to get the great job you have and "the stars are aligned" or whatever for you to make a working-mom situation be awesome. Plus, you're a fabulous human being which will likely translate to you being a fabulous mom. Living in a culture where you have to explain a logical and totally-fine decision is lame, but hopefully you'll become one of the many shining examples as to why explanations really shouldn't be necessary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i agree, explanations shouldn't be necessary! You & Andrew know what's best for your family, no one else does :)

      Delete
  7. It's great that you have so many people to support you, Lindsay. Do what is right for you and your family without feeling guilty. Happy mum is the one that her kids need. I'm with you xxx

    Also come to my blog to pick up your Liebster Award, dear.
    http://bit.ly/LiebsterMe

    Have a great day!

    www.todaymyway.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. only you know in your heart what is right for you. your choice makes 100% sense to me and i support you!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts! I love reading them.