So the prompt I will go with today from my friends at the Working Mommy Network, since I can't do the picture thing from work, is a good one: Does being employed full-time make me a better or worse mother? Wow...talk about thought provoking. I've had to sit here for a few minutes (my accompanying Smart Ones Vegetable Lasagna, the best lunch TV dinner EVER, doesn't hurt) gathering my thoughts and contemplating how I really want to answer this question.
My first instinct was: HELL NO. I would be SUCH a better mom if I were able to Stay at Home with Jacob. But the more I've sat here and really examined myself head to toe, including my history, the more I've decided that, in fact:
I AM BETTER BECAUSE I WORK FULL-TIME!
This is honestly a very refreshing revelation. I think most of us working moms worry about this question frequently! Here is why I feel this way:
I am more patient with my son because at 5:15 I can't wait to start my commute and know that he is on the end of my drive, ready to smile and say mama and let me tickle his belly and stick his finger straight in his eye when I ask him to 'show me your nose'. If I were at home, by 5:15 I would be counting the minutes until my hubby got home so I could pass him the baby and say "your turn, sucker" while I frantically tried to finish dinner.
I think I actually do more housework as a working mom than I ever imagined. Trust me, there are still "how will this ever get done and be presentable?" moments, especially when it comes to stuff like hanging pictures (another reason I can't show you my house, there are 10 frames stacked against the wall waiting for us to hang them...they've been there since Mayish) or vacuuming the stairs or cleaning out the baby's closet. But I know if I were home all day, I'd likely be in pajamas until J's nap instead of doing all the things I say I would do, like going to the park or mommy playgroups or library story time. Then while he was napping, thinking I have all the time in the world as the hours until Daddy gets home stretch before us, I would be at the computer or in the recliner watching Bravo's marathon of America's Next Top Model. So I'd end up doing most of the housework after J's bedtime anyway.
The best benefit I can think of as to why working makes me a better mom is that I work really hard at what I do now. With my family as a solid purpose behind why I work, I do my absolute best to keep my job and keep moving forward. I try to employ the organizational and prioritization skills I use at work in my home life, although sometimes I fall short. I try to be as empathetic and understanding as possible with my co-workers, employees, and clients, so being a mom makes me a better employee, too.
In the end, the other thing that makes me a better mom as a full-time employee is that my son gets the BEST MEDICAL BENEFITS I could ever ask for. Seriously, it's awesome. And I'm sure he will appreciate it one day.
Please feel free to participate in our little blog hop: check out Julia's page here, where you can link to other like-minded moms as we work out our work/life balance. Stay at home moms feel free to read it too, so that we can all get past out "grass is greener" syndrome: maybe reading about our struggled will help reaffirm your decision to stay home with your precious babies!