I have two weeks left of my wonderful maternity leave before I have to leave my daughter at daycare (which will rip my heart out) and rejoin the ranks of corporate america. I return to work a bit older, and a bit wiser this time around. And a major fan of the tv show The Office.
My job is just that - a job. I work to live, I do not live to work. I have a great husband and two beautiful daughters and they are my everything. So now I am faced with the guilt most working moms feel. How can I leave my kids at a daycare and go work? Emotionally and financially, it is hard, but it is what I need to do for myself and my family.
My future goal is finding an ideal part time job by the time my kids go to school so at least I can be home when they get home. These times are different than when I was a child, but I don't think our children are suffering for it. My daughters are learning at an earlier age - social skills, learning skills, you name it.
Yes, it would be nice to be home and have the luxury of spending more time with them. But either way, the quality time you spend with your kids is so important. And yes, I can work and have a family balance and all that good stuff. How is it that men aren't questioned to balance work and family life, rather it is accepted, but for women, the same is not true?
I have friends who work and friends who are stay at home moms and there are issues and rewards with each situation. The battle we face internally and among ourselves is constant and the guilt is always there - am I doing what is best for my family? For me? And the judgment is out there. But I don't care if others judge me for working. I believe that you have to have time for yourself, time for you as a married couple and time for your family. I believe my job is part of my "me" time and I contribute towards our household which gives us many choices and a lifestyle we enjoy living. It also makes me feel accomplished.
I just hope that society will be more willing to accept working moms as a positive force and end the judgment that all women feel, whatever choice they make. In the end, we are all working hard and working moms - it's just a different title, office space and type of superior. For stay at home moms, the job never ends. For working moms, there are two jobs to balance - the one at work and one at home. Either way, it's a tough role. Let's all support each other as we make our way.