Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Little Bit Rosie

I love this particular picture of Rosie the Riveter. It sums up so nicely the concept of a "working mom".

I realize that the term "Working Mother" is redundant. Being a mother is a lot of work, but some of us aren't able to have just the job of motherhood (not that it's an easy one, by any means!).

I've done a lot of study on this subject, a lot of soul-searching, and I've lent it a lot of thought. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we have have been encouraged to have the mother in the home when at all possible. We have also been encouraged to stay out of debt. In our home, the choice came down to this:

~I go to work and we stay out of debt.

~I stay home with the Sharkbaby and we end up over our heads.

We have opted to stay out of debt. I have a college education that I'm putting to good use. I've chosen a career path that will allow me to spend the maximum amount of time at home, while still putting in full time hours.

Yes, there are sacrifices involved. I lose some sleep. I lose some time with Curious George. Once a week the Sharkbaby spends a night with his Nana and Pops. Are we any worse for the wear, in the long run? I don't think so.

I also work for my own personal sanity. After the boy was born I took a full 12 week maternity leave. I thought I would love having so much time at home with my baby. I'd get so much done, my house would be clean, etc. I missed work. As I mentioned in my last post, I suffered pretty severely with PPD. I felt like I had lost my sense of self. I regained a lot of that when I returned to work. Now, for 36 hours a week, I get to be the old me. Yes, there are still people relying on me for care, that's just the nature of my work. But, I'm not emotionally tied to them in the way I am to Curious George and the Sharkbaby. To borrow and idea from Alice in Wonderland, I had lost my Muchness. I'm much more muchier when I'm at work. My career choice is more than just that, it is a part of who I am as a person.

Now, don't get me wrong, we're not living an extravagant lifestyle. We live in a modest (but nice) home. We drive average cars. We wear average clothing. I may have a slight addiction to online shopping, but it's actually saving me money on the essentials (thank you amazonmom!). We aren't spending money willy-nilly, but we don't struggle to pay the bills, either.

This was not, however, a decision that we reached lightly. Yes, it was a "we" decision. I struggled for a long time with the idea of being a "working mom". When I discussed the subject with Curious George, he told me that he would like for me to be at home as well, when possible. We talked about it for a long time. We prayed about it, together and seperately, even longer. We counseled with our bishop. What it came down to is this: together, with the Lord, we decided that our best option was for me to go to work.

And guess what? It works for us.

(Disclaimer on the tough subject matter found here.)




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