I've already written my thoughts about working part-time and being a mom before, but it's something that I think about a lot because I want to make sure I am doing the best thing for Beckett, my family, and myself. I am constantly re-evaluating how things are going and if this is the right decision for us.
I used to go to Target on my lunch break and notice all the stay-at-home moms in their cute skinny jeans and hair with such perfect not-trying-too-hard-but-just-hard-enough beach curls I wanted to pull it. Their kids quietly eating a snack in the cart while they browsed the shelves for pinteresty things with owls on them or anything with a chevron print to decorate their well-dusted and vacuumed houses. Meanwhile, rather than spending my lunch break eating, I was running around grabbing extra diapers for the baby sitter or trying to find the perfect teething remedy because I knew after work I had to run home and make dinner. I was so envious of all the Target moms that chose to go shopping for things they didn't really need, and somehow had the money for, because they "just needed to get out of the house". I honestly imagined their lives were a big blur of browsing for cute clothes for their family and eating bon bons. Now that I get the opportunity to experience life as a working mom half the time, and a stay-at-home mom half the time, I know there is much more to it than shopping and watching the latest dramas on Netflix.
It's amazing how much time it takes to keep a house running, especially with little ones. Unlike leaving work at the end of the day, you don't get to step away from your to-do list and "call it a night" because you're living at your work and the to-do list is always there. There is always laundry, dishes, cooking, grocery shopping, bills to be paid, and projects to do. Besides taking care of the house, there are doctors appointments, car maintenance, dentists appointments, sick kids to care for, church events, family functions, and errands to run. Weather you have a job or not, those things still have to be done. If you work, finding the time can be especially hard and you find yourself grocery shopping at 10:00 pm while your spouse is at home doing the dishes, and you both have to get up at 6:00 am to go back to work and do it all over again. I've noticed I've been able to take on a lot more of the things that need to be done at home now, and our evenings and weekends can be spent having fun together rather than running errands. I think many people that stay home sometimes feel guilty or receive criticism for not contributing, but they are contributing, even if it isn't financially. By doing all the things that it takes to care for a family and take care of a house, their husband can spend more time focusing on his family when he is home, and less time on the errands and chores that need to be done.
I follow a lot of parenting blogs and websites and it seems there is a constant discussion/argument regarding working and stay-at-home moms. I feel like there is no point discussing who has it harder, or what the right decision is. Every family is in a different situation with different financial needs, job demands, children, and personalities. Some moms feel that they are better parents when they get some time away from their kids, some moms love being home and wouldn't dream of focusing on anything besides their kids. Being a parent is hard and we all want to do our very best, period. I feel like part-time is the perfect balance for me, and I love the benefits of working and spending time at home. It's important to me to have something to focus my energy and creativity on like my job and photography business, but when I'm at home I work out more, cook better meals, my house is cleaner, I can keep in touch with my friends better, and go on mom-dates during the day. I don't ever feel guilty when it's time to leave Beckett and go to work because I know he is having a blast spending time with other adults and kids in new environments. I also don't feel like I'm going to freak out and go crazy if I have to spend another day at home cleaning and changing diapers. I get to do both, and I love both.