As moms we are faced with making a plethora of decisions for ourselves and our families on a daily basis. These decisions are both big and small! They may be about our career, our children’s education and extra-curricular activities, the foods we feed our little ones, the support networks we choose, and many more.
And let’s face it, there are times when we feel like we have to justify our choices. Sometimes we even find ourselves pitted against each other by other moms and friends, social media, our families, etc.
At Bloomington Moms Blog we are focused on creating an environment that breathes love, compassion, and understanding. We want to focus on our commonalities as moms not our differences.
Our new series, Mom Perspectives, aims to change the conversation. We’ve invited moms on the Bloomington Moms Blog team and guest bloggers to share their perspectives on topics where moms often get divided. Our goal is to seek to understand each other a little more, and to unify and connect us through this beautiful journey – motherhood.
Motherhood and Work
In this edition, we’re talking about work – working moms, work-at-home moms, and stay-at-home moms. Three moms tell us what it’s like, what struggles they encounter, why their choice works for their family, and how they would love to see moms supporting each other.
As with any of the topics we will explore, there is no right or wrong answer, and there are many other viewpoints not represented here! It’s all about perspective – what works for the mom, the family, and their unique situation. Here are their insights.
I’m a Working Mom
Lynsey is the Founder and Owner of Bloomington Moms Blog and a mother of three. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, she worked full-time in marketing and brand management for 15 years (10 years as a working mom).
I’m a full-time, working mom. Here’s the thing – I love what I do for a living! It energizes me, challenges me, and provides for my family (a necessity for us). When I had children, they became my purpose for living, however my job gives me another focus in life. It helps me stay somewhat connected to my personal interests. My children see me working hard and are proud of mommy; happy, healthy, and thriving!
I long for more time with my children.
The days are long, and the years are definitely too short. Sometimes hours go by before I realize that I haven’t had a moment to stop, switch modes, and think about them. Then the guilt sets in. Some days it’s a miracle if I have time to use the restroom!
I feel like our life is too hurried at times. Hurry to get ready. Hurry to eat, to get on the bus, and get to anywhere on time. Hurry home to not miss the bus, hurry to after school activities, hurry off to bed. This on-time woman is now always late. I forget what it’s like to be bored! Is that a good thing? I don’t even have time to contemplate it.
At school drop off, sometimes people say, “It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen you at school…”
It’s legitimately an innocent statement, but it cuts like a knife to a working and sometimes traveling mom. Then, at work, it’s normal to have some colleagues monitor when you leave early for your children’s doctor appointments, work from home with a sick child, or when you take a long lunch to attend the school program that’s in the middle of the day. Someone is always wondering when you will eventually give up on your career, and they often don’t hesitate to ask you.
Being a full-time, working mom can be a lose-lose situation at times. Other times, it’s completely rewarding!
I want to encourage other working moms to find the right balance of work and family. What truly works best for your personality, your physical and mental health, your own fulfillment, and your financial situation? And, stay flexible. What works best today may not work in the next phase or season of life. Leaning into your work or even stepping away from your work will not be the end all be all for your career.
I need support from all of my mom friends.
While it may seem like I have it all together, I most definitely do not. I long to connect with other moms and build a strong support network of mom friends. Yes, I would love to grab coffee with other moms, go to lunch, or get our families together on the weekends. Please, don’t hesitate to pursue a friendship with working moms, even when we seem too busy.
I’m a Work-at-Home Mom
Jamie is a Bloomington Moms Blog Contributor and Mompreneuer. She manages a successful health and fitness business from her home office, and teaches group fitness classes.
I work at home – AKA I raise tiny humans while running a home-based business – and you can’t pay me enough! I’m an online Mompreneur. I love that I can stay at home, be my own boss, work my own hours, and still be able to take care of the house and be there for kids’ activities. I get to raise my children and make myself (not society) happy at the same time!
I get the opportunity to take care of my family on my terms.
I knew I wanted to stay at home with my children like my mom did with me. When I had my son I decided to stay home with him, and I loved it, except I felt like I needed more. I wanted to contribute to our family financially, too! Even though I knew in my heart that I was already contributing to my family in a big way, I didn’t feel like it was enough.
As a work-at-home mom, I get to contribute to my family in many different ways. But, like with all motherhood decisions, there is always someone who tries to make me feel bad about my choice.
Words can hurt.
Another full-time, working (outside of the home) mom once said to me, “I can’t join you, I have to actually work for a living.” Ouch! I know she didn’t say it to be cruel, but it still hurts when other moms don’t seek to understand my choice and why it works for my family, right now.
My job is just as real as any other job.
People have many names for my occupation, and I still get comments about eating Bon-Bons and watching Soap Operas all day, and about not having a “real job.” Don’t they know that Stefano died a long time ago? Plus, if I were going to eat anything while sitting on the couch it would be Oreos while watching The Bachelor.
All joking aside, some people don’t understand. They devalue my work or suggest that I’m not doing enough. It’s actually hard to work at home, and sometimes it feels harder than if I worked outside of the home. With strange hours and constant interruptions, making this work is work.
As moms, we need each other.
All moms rule the world – working moms, work-at-home moms, and stay-at-home moms! We are all pretty cool women who are navigating this motherhood journey with grace every day. Let’s support our fellow moms (or mums) no matter what each of us do to contribute to our families!
I’m a Stay-at-Home Mom
Stephanie is a Bloomington Moms Blog Contributor and stay-at-home mom. She is Mom to a rambunctious five-year-old boy, and a blogger who writes about motherhood, lifestyle, and beauty.
Before deciding to have children, I always assumed I would focus on my career. But, sometimes life throws us a curve ball. And, sometimes it ends up being the best detour ever. I love it! I have been here for all of it – the first steps, first words, and all the amazing big and little changes that my little guy has experienced.
It’s all on me, all of the time.
This also means that I’ve been here for ALL OF IT. I’ve been here for the poop explosions, the colic, and the terrible twos mega meltdowns.
As a stay-at-home mom, I get all of the good with all of the bad, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I feel blessed to have this opportunity, and I acknowledge that this may not be an option for everyone. Staying at home may not even be something that your family wants to do or enjoys – and that’s okay, too!
Sometimes people view me as “less than.”
The hardest thing for me as a full-time, stay-at-home mom is the way some people value (or don’t value) me. There are times when I feel like people view me as “less than,” because I’m not contributing to my family’s income. One time a friend even said, ” It must be nice to be retired.” Despite the comments, I try to remind myself that I’m contributing in so many other ways, and raising our child is valuable.
My fellow moms are in the trenches with me.
Sometimes I get so wrapped up in taking care of my immediate family, that I forget about my fellow moms. There are so many moms just like me trudging through the trenches of motherhood right by my side!
Let’s lift each other up.
Whether we’re hustling at the office or working with a baby strapped to our chest, there are so many variations of motherhood, and they are all okay. It’s all about lifting each other up and supporting each other! No matter what “type” of mother we are, we are all still the best moms for our children. Moms, let’s seek to understand each other, and treat each other as equals, because we are all on this journey together.