Sep 16, 2010

On Being A Working Mom

I know some readers who love CFO precisely because I've been a working mom talking about the constant juggling and balancing that moms who work full-time outside of the home really have to master. It's hard. There were times when it was truly overwhelming, and for me, I reached the point where something had to give.

If I'd truly loved my job, this blog would have been the thing to go. But since I wasn't enjoying work very much, and I do still love blogging, I decided to keep the blog and ditch the full-time job. This blog, in many ways, will be my job since it's now my primary source of income.

I read sometimes about pressure among stay-at-home moms to be a working mom, but among working moms, there's often pressure to be a stay-at-home mom. Some (many? most?) of us feel guilty about working and not spending more time with our kids, some of us feel that the stay-at-home moms we know think we're odd for working, and some of us put the pressure on ourselves because we’d rather be home with the kids. In fact, all of the moms at my job told me they were jealous.

But there are those of us who love working. In fact, I have some friends who could afford to quit but don't want to. It's not that their family isn't a priority, and they'd quit in a heartbeat if it was better for their family – say, if their child became ill. But if they can work, they'd rather do so.

In the meantime, I am mentally preparing myself for an identity crisis as I meet new people and can no longer say that I'm an attorney. That’s just going to be weird.


Deborah said...

I know how you feel. I let my CPA license go into inactive status and decided to stay home with the kids. When people hear that you stay home with the kids, they are shocked to later find out that I have/had a CPA license and worked as an auditor and a tax accountant. It's OK though, I don't need the fancy job title to feel like I am doing what is best for our family.

Christina @ Northern Cheapskate said...

I think when it hit me was 3 years later, when I realized that sharing my experience as an academic advisor was starting to lose its relevance!

I've loved being a SAHM mom, turned WAHM/Blogger... it makes for more interesting conversations than when I had a "career."

Oh, and to answer the question, "what is it you DO all day?"

Just answer, "I make a difference."

Anonymous said...

The biggest thing you need to know is that you will at times miss work, but at the same time you will see yourself less "stressed" trying to juggle it all.

You will always be busy, even "staying at home." (How did we work and do it all?). Honestly, it took me almost three years to be okay with being home. At times I felt guilty when my kids would complain that things were leaner around our household budget, but I was "saner."

I found when I stayed home that I had to make it a job to make the dollars stretch. Which one do I prefer? I love teaching in college, but I was truly burned out staying up half the night grading papers. It was taking it toll. If all I had to do was teach, then I could have continued, but few jobs are about "all that is pleasant."

You have months to find your grove!

Mr Credit Card said...

Make the most of it. You'll appreciate the time and flexibility you have with the kids. Plus, you'll probably write better and make this a better blog.

All the best

Jennifer I said...

What do you mean, you are no longer an attorney? Did you give up the JD to stay at home? I think not. You will always be an attorney, just right now, you are choosing not to practice. That particular degree and knowledge never goes away, I find those skills are things that you are always using, whether you are negotiating on the phone for a lower rate on your bill, dealing with an insurer, etc. Keep up your CLE credits so that it isn't painful to return if you so wish, by seeking out low cost or cheap programs to attend throughout the year. Plus, you may find it pleasurable to volunteer your attorney skills to some worthy cause or organization.

You aren't giving up the profession, just the rat race!

Leann Guzman said...

Yeah, what Jennifer I said. (Haha! I was going to write something very similar, but she beat me to it.)

Mercedes said...

I think the adjustment was the hardest for me. but at the time I didn't have a blog to keep me busy. This blog make the adjustment easier for you (I hope). Plus I kinda hate to break it to you *grin* but you will find that with time this will keep you busier than your attorney job. I tell my husband this job is not like you sit at a desk and can give it 8 hrs to work. You don't have that luxury anymore. I don't know where my time goes but I know that I spend a lot of time dropping and picking little people as well as feeding people and putting little people down for naps. It is exhausting!


Chief Family Officer said...

Thanks, everyone! I am adjusting - and Jennifer and Juggler are right, I'm still an attorney, just one who's not practicing. It's weird! But I am definitely adjusting :)