parenthood: working parents

hey guys! for today's parenthood post, i want to talk about working parents. specifically, working mothers. are you one? have you been in the past? what are your thoughts on the subject in general? i'll tell you my experience, and thoughts after the jump!

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when i was pregnant, steve and i were both really stressed about how we would manage financially once the baby came. we were both working tons -- at one point, between the two of us, we were juggling five jobs. i worked up until three days before jude was born, and i was so excited to be done, and just have time with my new baby.

it was great, but after a few months, i really struggled. i really missed the social outlet work gave me, as well as the structure and organization it provided. so when jude was about six months old, i decided i wanted to go back to work. i was lucky enough to have a super flexible job -- i could come in anytime i wanted between 8AM and 6PM, monday through saturday, as long as i got my required hours in. and i generally liked what i did (i was a judge for a children and teen's essay and poetry contest). so the first morning back, i woke up, nursed jude, handed him off to steve, and cried all the way to the office! it was so so hard. and to be honest, it never really got any easier.

my job didn't have work during the summer, and when they called me in the fall, i declined their offer to return. it was emotionally draining for the three of us (especially since the minute i got home, steve would have to leave for work, and not be home until 10PM). so i haven't been back to work since. i definitely miss the workplace, but for right now, all three of us feel like i should be home with jude. i've said it before, but i think the hardest part of parenthood for me is feeling productive. sometimes it's hard when you don't see the reward for all your hard work immediately, like you often do in the workplace.

so, what about you? did/do you work? is it hard to manage your time, and find a balance between work and parenthood? if you aren't working, do you miss it? or are you perfectly content as a stay at home parent? i'd love to hear your thoughts!

image above: tina fey, and daughter, alice via buzzfeed.com


Sara said...

It is an interesting situation to be in! So far I love love Love staying home. I love seeing all the funny things my baby does during the day.

My previous employer just asked me if I want a little bit of short term-part time work in a month or so, and I'm a little torn! It would be nice to earn a little extra right before Christmas, but I also really like staying home. I'm not sure what I'll do yet.

elise said...

i guess it's just one of those things you can't know until you try it. good luck, it's a tough decision to make!

The Haws Family said...

I'm a friend of Sara's, and saw the title of your post on her sidebar and was interested in reading. I have worked two days a week since I had my baby girl, who is now one year old. I agree, it never gets any easier. Some days are even worse. Right now its not really a choice, and I am so blessed to have a workplace that is super wonderful and that I enjoy being at. But it doesn't make the separation any easier. We are currently expecting our second, and it is a hard decision for me to quit working since I make quite a bit more than my husband would even in just the two days I am at work. I agree that it is hard to feel productive at home. I am a dental hygienist at a surgeons office, so I see terrible mouths, and when they come back I get to see all the improvement. But being at home isn't like that, and yet there are so many more things at home that are also important. Recently I was SO SCARED that I would miss my baby's first steps because I was at work (luckily I didn't) and those sort of thoughts are the ones that make me want to be home SO MUCH. Because I've had to work, I have no indecision about wanting to stay home, it would be a done deal if I could. But families always have to make decisions that are best for them. Good luck!

Ace and Waleena...Two people, actually said...

I was lucky not to have to work when I had small children. Looking back on it and seeing how quickly childhood is over, I would do anything I could to be able to stay home with my children and particularly my babies. When you are away working you have no idea what you are missing. When I was a little girl, my mother left me with a lady every day. My mother was not working...she just liked to be away from home. To this day I feel closer to that lady then to my own mother. There is something to be said for just being there and being the one that nurtures and comforts. I realize that some mothers do not have the choice, but if you do, stay home. There is a time and a season for everything. j.

Ruth said...

When I got pregnant with my first child I was working and was very stressed out about what we were going to do financially. I never wanted or imagined myself as a working mother, but we really couldn't afford for me to stop working. I had two months of unpaid maternity leave and then I started working again. I hated it. I hated feeling like someone else was calling the shots; raising my child. I also hated my job. It was demanding and stressful. We ultimately decided the money wasn't worth it and I quit after 7 months. Having one income has been hard, but not as hard as me working.

Now my first child is 2 and my second child is almost 6-months. I have loved being home with my baby. Being a stay-at-home mom is HARD, but I know that it's the best thing for me and for my children.