Updated: Feb 12
Have you been following the mommy wars? People have opinions on everything!! Well today it occurred to me that my mommying career is quite unusual. I have had the privilege to be every type of mom. No I don't mean, "cranky mom," "crafty mom," "organic mom," though I definitely tried on many hats in my early mommying career. I mean when it comes to work and work life balance, I have tried them all!
Stay at Home Mom:
I was very privileged when our oldest was born to only work a few hours a week to one day, straight on through until we had two little ones. I spent four years or so trying out mom and me classes, lunching at the park, and spending time with incredible friends who were also moms as we raised our children more like cousins than family friends. Though sometimes I found myself obsessing over nap schedules, how to feed my kids solids, and other things because I think my brain missed the analyzing and problem solving that is a big part of my field. I had a wonderful connection with my kids and life was good.
Work Part Time Mom:
For about four years I worked 10-20 hours in various non profits and educational consulting settings. I was always home with the kids 2-3 days a week. This balance was nice, I had a little bit of both worlds. However, sometimes I'd wake up and not remember where I was supposed to be and it was hard to build a consistent routine with my kids. Finding quality part time child care can be a nightmare within itself, though I was extremely lucky to have a wonderful and accommodating day care that we revisited every time a nanny "broke up with me" over text. It was definitely a good choice for the commitment-phobic mom I was at the time. I had a wonderful connection with my kids and life was good.
Work Full Time Mom--Work Over Full Time Mom:
As I became a mom of three, I started a part time job, that quickly led to full time and then to over full time. If I'm being honest, and that's just how I roll, this time was the most fulfilling to me as Franki, Franki independent from my mom title. I didn't realize how much I had missed working and it ultimately was healthier for me and you know what they say "If momma ain't happy, nobody's happy!" I had the chance to be creative non stop, I felt that I was making a difference on a bigger level and it was great socially. I struggled keeping the family calendar together, mom guilt was strong these years as I missed many school functions and traveled a ton. It for sure put a lot of extra work on my husband which he handled with grace, but that wasn't always an easy balance. I had a wonderful connection with my kids and life was good.
Work From Home-\Own Your Own Business, Work Smarter Mom:
Well this one is new, so I may have to update you all as I live it! I've definitely hustled the last two months! I've marketed my brand in my sleep, spent a ton of time perfecting content... I've also been able to set my own hours so I can have breakfast with a friend and finish up that article I'm writing later when the kids are ignoring me. I've been able to connect and partner with amazing families and schools. I've made it to most of the field trips and my kids are all in full time school so the impossible tetris that is our family calendar is a bit more easily mastered these days. I have a wonderful connection with my kids and life is good
If I was reading this story out loud to a classroom of kids, at this point we'd all be saying together:
I had a wonderful connection with my kids and life was good!
Truth is, what I've really learned in the past almost 13 years of Mommy life is that it's totally true what they say, you must take care of yourself first or you are no good to anyone. No, I'm not going to lecture you on self care or any of that business, but really career choices are so personal and sometimes they are not even choices at all. If I'm totally being honest each time I took on more hours the main motivator was we needed the income; the growth and professional satisfaction came later and for that I am truly lucky. Being a mom is about loving your kids and being there for them even if your "there" is right before bed or face timing because you are traveling for work, or working nights. And as my oldest, who has lived through all these versions of mom with me would say, there is nothing as awesome as a mom (well at least that's what she says when I give her extra screen time on the weekends!)
How do you mom?