Why I don’t feel guilty about being a working mom

Ok, who’s ready for an unpopular opinion? I preface this by saying this is just that, my opinion. If you agree with it that’s great. If you don’t, that’s great too. I recently read a post on another blog that had a lot of very pointed (and rather polarizing) things to say about working moms.

Why I don't feel guilty about being a working mom | The Life Jolie

Now I have nothing against working moms or stay-at-home moms. I am a proponent of moms, regardless of whether your days work is in the home or in the office (or both!). While I respect the different opinion, I have to share my opinion from the standpoint of a working mom.

Here’s the thing. I don’t feel guilty about being a working mom. There. I said it. I love my daughter with everything in me. She is without a doubt one of the most remarkable people I’ve ever met and it’s the pleasure of my life getting to take an active role in her life. Yes. It’s a very active role whether or not a part of my time is spent at an office.

Now please don’t misunderstand, I miss her during the day when I’m at work. While I know that being a stay-at-home mom is a huge job and is by no means the simple sitting-around-eating-bon-bons picture that some people like to paint, I would still love nothing more than to get to spend my weekdays with A. Unfortunately, that is not the card that life has dealt our family during this particular season. You can believe what you want about priorities and people choosing to make it work on one income but at the end of the day, sweeping generalizations couldn’t possibly embody every situation. “You don’t know my life” as they say.

In my mind and in my heart of hearts, I am able to separate the feeling of guilt from the feelings of missing my daughter and wishing I was able to spend my days with her. I do believe that these are two different things. So while I miss A and it sucks that I don’t get to spend my weekday hours with her, I do not feel guilty about it for a few reasons:

  1. There is no question ever as to who is raising our kids- Do not be mistaken. A knows who her parents are and there is no confusion where anyone is concerned about who is raising our kids. They say it takes a village and other people in our village do contribute like extended family, friends and the teachers at our AMAZING daycare. But J and I are the ones who are truly raising our kids and all that that embodies (hint- it’s not just about where your weekday hours are spent). It really rubs me the wrong way when people try to state that by sending your kid to daycare you’re paying other people to raise them. To even try and imply that working parents are “farming” their kids off to others to raise and to reference us as “part-time moms” is extremely insulting and comes off as judgmental at best.**drops the mic and walks off the stage**
  2. I am helping provide for our family- Everyone’s situation is different. At this time what is best for our family to be able to live and support ourselves as well as work toward achieving our financial goals, is for both adults to be working. Additionally, part of raising a family is providing them with food, shelter, clothing, etc. I help to provide these things and I am happy to be able to. While others may have a situation where they are able to get by on one income, that is not realistic for every family. You do yours and I’ll do mine. On a side note, the aforementioned post went on about the “lies that men and women are equal in every way.” I just want to take the opportunity to say that last year I actually brought in more income than J. We don’t keep score in our home and J is a man who doesn’t need to bring in more money to feel masculine and powerful. But to put to rest any question about the possibility of a woman contributing equally (or gasp!) bringing in more money, I’m living proof that this is possible.
  3. Socialization- I love that A spends time among many other kids around her age. Even when we have more than one kid, I want my kids to spend time in surroundings outside of the home. This includes playgrounds, festivals, social activities, playgroups as well as daycare. I am comfortable being completely honest about the fact that I also believe it is unhealthy for adults to spend every waking moment with their children until they leave the nest. I think that it’s healthy for A to have some time away from us and it’s healthy for us to have some time away from A.
  4. I absolutely love our daycare- The teachers are so kind and nurturing- they truly love our daughter. I think it’s great that she gets time outside of her comfort zone to explore her surroundings, learn about interacting and functioning with others in a social setting and make her way without mom and dad there to hold her hand all the time. I also love that her daycare is a Christian daycare. I believe that this is yet another great tool to help us instill the important morals and values that we want to be the framework of our children’s lives.
  5. I enjoy being able to serve others- As a mother my primary focus is serving my family. While it is not without it’s challenges, it is a joy for me. When I am at work, I am serving others. In my job, I am helping others and educating them in my area of expertise, which happens to be an area that has the potential to benefit them for the rest of their lives. This also brings me joy. It brings positive things to others and I am proud to be able to do that. My kids will grow up knowing that their mama was able to help others through her job.

Look, every family is different. How boring this world would be if we all had one point of view and we all did everything the same way. While we may do things one way, who am I assume that every other family has the ability or even wants to do things the same way as we do?

But here’s what I will not do. I will not beat myself up about providing for my family. Ever. Maybe someday our situation will be different and J or I will be in a place where one or both of us can be home all the time. Or maybe I will desire to continue working (absolutely nothing wrong with moms who choose to work!). But right now, our life is so beautiful and we are blessed. We do things in the way that is best for our particular family and our particular situation.

So while I am currently a working mom, I tip my hat to the Moms who stay at home. I also tip my hat to the moms who work outside of the home. I support all women doing what is best for their personal situation and I am so happy to be in a place to be able to do what is best for our family. Can we just cut the mommy-war crap and start supporting each other?

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  • Reply
    Michelle Barbaro (Palermo)
    August 13, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    This is your old time friend! I hope you remember me. I just want to say what an amazing writer, mom and wife you are! I’m very happy to see how well your life is going and what a beautiful family you have! I just read your blog and made me feel so much better because I was a stay at home mom for 5 years and chose to go back to teaching this fall. My daughter starts kindergarten and my son, who is 3 1/2, starts preschool. I have moments where I feel guilty leaving him because I don’t have to go back to work, I chose it. There are times where I feel that I raised my kids and I now want both, to teach and be with my kids. Your words are very encouraging and comforting!

    • Reply
      August 17, 2015 at 9:24 am

      Hi- of course I remember you- I hope you and your beautiful family are well! Thank you for the kind words and congrats on your new opportunity! At the end of hew day you’re doing whats best for you guys and that is all that matters.

  • Reply
    Miranda (Myrabev)
    August 13, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    I am not a parent yet so I am in no position to give opinions but I have always said I want to get back to work after I have kids, I like the idea of staying at home but also the idea of working away from home too. I think this is a great honest to bone truth and well done you.
    Miranda (Myrabev) recently posted…{GBU} THE HAPPENING WEEK TWENTY ONEMy Profile

    • Reply
      August 17, 2015 at 9:21 am

      Thank you- No matter what your opinion ends up being or what you end up doing, it’ll be what is right for you and your family and that is all that matter 🙂

  • Reply
    August 13, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    I hate the Mommy Wars and I don’t say I hate something easily. We should be there for each other instead of fighting. *ok, enough with my soap box.

    I love that you are honest about your opinions. I am happy that you are doing what is best for you and your family and not letting guilt take over. Thanks for this amazing post.
    Susan recently posted…Embracing Your Fears With Quirkyriffic Spirit – UnraveledMy Profile

    • Reply
      August 17, 2015 at 9:20 am

      I completely agree with you on the mommy wars and that’s exactly why it was important to me to state that I am pro-moms, whether your work is in the household or in an office. Thank you for stopping by and reading 🙂

  • Reply
    August 13, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    Well IDK what moron wrote the blog post you reference but I personally don’t feel an ounce of guilt. I have said many times that I would give anything to stay home (at least at this young age) but you said it perfectly, it’s about wanting time together, not guilt. In addition to the excellent points you make, I love that we are setting an example for our son that mom and dad work together to provide for the family (which you basically said). There is also no primary parent in our house. We are 100% equal and both up to any parenting task. Neither one of us needs to give the other one instructions or anything, we both know how to care for our son, even if we don’t do every little last thing the same way. In my opinion working makes me truly value every single second we have together and I am never dying for a “break” from him. Mom guilt is heavy enough. Ridiculous that providing for your family and setting a good example of what strong women do is a reason for it in some people’s eyes.
    Alyssa recently posted…Baby books for new moms and moms to be evaluated by a very slightly less new momMy Profile

    • Reply
      August 17, 2015 at 9:18 am

      Yes, exactly. I don’t want our daughter to ever think that there is only one possible roll for her. If she stays at home later in life it should be because she chooses to and because that is what’s best for her family, not because that is her role as a woman. If and when I am able to stay at home it will be because that is whats best for our family at that time. I’ve decided to free myself from Mom Guilt. I do the very best I can and I am happy about that. You’re doing fabulous, Mama- and your son is thriving as a result.

  • Reply
    LizZ H.
    August 14, 2015 at 11:22 am

    I absolutely LOVE how unapologetic you are. You shouldn’t even feel bad about something like this! I’m glad women are taking a stand for the choices they are making in there parenting journey. I believe daycare establishments are fundamental in a child’s growth.
    LizZ H. recently posted…Saving Money on the Everyday Item’sMy Profile

    • Reply
      August 17, 2015 at 9:15 am

      Thank you- I will never apologize for providing for our family. We absolutely LOVE our daycare- A’s teachers are some of the most amazing people and we are happy that she also has these great people in her life.

  • Reply
    August 15, 2015 at 2:25 am

    LOVE THIS POST! Couldn’t agree with you more than each situation family’s situation is unique. My husband I are in the same boat – at this time in our lives, we both need to be working toward our financial goals. This doesn’t mean we are bad parents or that I’m a lousy mom for helping to pay our bills. I can’t even begin to tell you how many people I’ve had negatively respond to me when they find out I have a 4 month old son and have returned to work. Lucky for us, we most often work opposite shifts so either my husband or myself is at home with baby instead of having to pay for daycare or a sitter. However, I know there will come a point when our little guy will need more interaction and we will look into daycare as well. Kudos to you, pretty mama, for working hard for your family both in and out of the house!

    • Reply
      August 17, 2015 at 9:03 am

      Thank you! As someone in the financial industry, I talk to people every day who didn’t plan for their financial situation late on in life and that is a scary thing to face. It sounds like you guys have been able to figure out what works best for your family which is so awesome! Congrats on the arrival of your sweet little boy 🙂

  • Reply
    Jessica McAfee
    August 17, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    This is awesome. I wholeheartedly agree. My mother worked, and I have always been proud of her work. I worked hard at my education and career and didn’t hesitate to go back to work when my kids were babies. My oldest was soooo shy that I think the interaction at daycare benefited her greatly in helping her to come out of her shell and enjoy the company of other kids!!! I cannot relate to the guilt at all. I’m providing for my family and setting an example for my girls that they can have important and fulfilling careers. They go to preschool after a few years anyway. I think the guilt is a modern phenomena and completely unnecessary. SAHMs in the 50s spent less quality time with their kids than working mothers today.

    • Reply
      August 19, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      Yes! I am 100% on the same page as you! I applaud you for doing what is best for your family. Should I feel guilty for not participating in the mom-guilt thing? I had it for a little bit when I failed at breastfeeding but that went away pretty quickly when I realized how much better my baby was feeding in general and I haven’t looked back where guilt is concerned. You make some excellent points with way 🙂

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