Why (I think) I am a better mom because I work.

As I  listen to my nine-year old make music on our kitchen containers instead of doing his multiplication homework (not joking), I also think about how my work relates to my family. And why I can be better at my home job of “mom” because of my day job as SLP. This post is inspired by a dinner I had at my friend’s home the other night. She is a homeschooling mom of 3 very-active boys and I thought… “Oh my gosh. I do not have her patience! I could never handle this every day!”

Let’s temporarily ignore the fact that I am the only income earner in the family and have to work.

Please note that this blog post is personal. I’m not saying that you would be a better mom if you worked. Or she would be. Or he would be (no, that is not a pronoun error). I am saying that I think I am.

1. I am genuinely happy to see my kids when I get home. I miss them during the day. I don’t see them until I get home at 5ish and I love to see their lovely faces.  
That joy usually lasts a whole 2 seconds until they start complaining…

2. I can help my kids with school, because I know what is going on in the school setting across grade levels. My son is struggling somewhat with writing. So what am I doing? Creating my own writing prompts and graphic organizers. In addition, I am creating alternate forms to use with my speech students.
Possible bitter future post about my son’s grades and lack of support from school may be coming…

3. I get a break from my home. My home is not especially big and it is way too messy in my opinion. It drives me nuts  to see kids’ socks on the floor and in crevices. I cringe when I see a bug on the wall. I appreciate getting away!
Which is why I’m also looking at new homes…

4. I organize my time. Time is precious. If I am home all day, I often get nothing done. I mean nothing. You would think I’d get oodles of things done during my school vacations. Bwhahaha! Nothing. Yesterday, I was home for ten minutes between work and picking up the kids from activities. During these minutes, I did more than I can get done on an entire weekend. There was time pressure and I was going to live up to it.
I am capable of being an efficient cleaning speed demon when motivated.

5. I exercise. Since I have to leave the house anyways, I have little excuse (you know… aside from the obvious one of sleeping) to not go to the gym. So I go. Every day.

So, am I glad that I work? Yes. Do I always love my job. No. Do I think that I am a better mother because I work outside of the home? Yes. Would I work part time if I could? Heck yes. Am I super excited about summer break? Yep!

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6 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    I completely agree. I have done it both ways. Actually a 3rd way, as well (part-time). Part-time wins, hands down, but like you… full-time work was a necessity for our family.

    I would like to add another point. Working gives me something else to think about. If I didn’t have “other things” to worry about, there’s a good chance I would drive my husband a kids crazy by micro-managing their time. 🙂

  2. I love this post.
    I have never understood the whole “mommy wars” thing. Everyone is different and has different needs so why can’t each person decide what works best for them? Why so much judgement? I don’t get it.

    I am so glad you found a situation that works for you and your family. 🙂

  3. I love that you said what works for you…and in no way implied that it should work for others. My life is probably similar to the friend’s house you had dinner at…but every homeschooling family is different too.

    One year I worked part-time while homeschooling and it nearly killed me. I’ve been feeling pretty grumpy with my current situation…I’m thinking I should make a list for myself like you did here….and maybe I’ll see how good I have it.

  4. I really love this. I don’t have kids yet, but I imagine this is exactly how I will feel. Thanks for sharing!!

  5. Hello! I really enjoyed reading this. I, too, am an SLP working full time, with a 6-month old baby girl. I’d been working at an outpatient clinic for the past 5 years (mostly pediatrics, some adults) and have just switched gears to a SNF working with adults. At this time, my husband and I both work full time and baby is at daycare/grandparents’ houses throughout the week. My husband and I have decided to change our lives quite a bit and travel the US for a year or two (heading to CA first, in the fall). In doing so, I will continue working full time (contract positions, mostly SNFs, usually 13 weeks at a time) and my husband will stay home with our baby, and (possibly) work on the side as needed. A definite switch of traditional ‘roles’. Here’s the kicker: we have chosen to travel/live via RV 🙂 We are excited for this change. Change is hard and scary, but change is growth. And growth is a beautiful thing. Your post was enlightening and I agree with many of your thoughts about motherhood and working.
    Have a wonderful summer break with your kiddos!

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