Hard-Working Mom... or Hardly Working?

7 years ago

Last night, I was reading a blog post by a friend from college who is a mom to three small children. She also has a full-time career outside the home. She mentioned in her post about the struggle to give 100% to her children, 100% to her husband and 100% to her career and it got me thinking...

I'm a smart-enough girl.  I have a B.S. in public relations and advertising from a decent school.  I have a fairly acceptable command of the English language, scored a 24 on my ACTs and can adequately complete 9th grade algebra equations (impressive! haha!) with a calculator.  Not too bad, right? Could be a lot (really, a lot) better, but could definitely be a heck of a lot worse. Right?

So... what the HECK am I doing staying home with my two (almost three) small children?

I know that other people have wondered it too. Why would a girl go to school for four five extra years and then decide to just stay home with her kids?

I could have a really excellent career. I could be making as much (or more) money than MPH.  I could be out changing the world every day with my amazingness.  Or whatever.

But I'm not.

Instead, I'm at home.  I'm cooking food that will end up ALL OVER the kitchen when my one-year old is done throwing it around.

I'm wiping tears and cleaning up messes and changing diapers and potty training a precocious little drama queen who can't pronounce her Rs correctly yet.

I'm watching more PBS Kids than is reasonably tolerable for a sane adult. I'm staying in my PJs all day some days and wondering... am I doing enough?  Really?

It's something that I think all stay-at-home-moms struggle with: Am I doing enough?  And working moms struggle with the opposite: Am I doing too much? 

Is it really a choice between being a hard-working mom and hardly working?

When I look at my three-year-old, with her delicious mop of blond hair and sparkling eyes, wreaking happy havoc all over the house, I know the answer to that.

When I look at my son, sleeping in his crib during his afternoon nap-  settled, content, happy, warm... I know the answer to that.

I could not bear to be away from them. 

And I am SO lucky to be able to be here with them. 

Working moms, I think you're amazing for what you do. I can't imagine what it's like to juggle home and work and life and everything else. 

But I don't think it's as easy as a choice between hard-working and hardly working.

I am not hardly working.  I actually work really, really hard.  I just do a different kind of work. I'm not changing the world from an office somewhere... I'm changing it from inside my house, in my PJs.

And I am doing it with my amazingness.  It's just not the kind of amazingness you can earn a degree in or get paid for.


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