The title says it all but underneath it, I feel bad, like being happy or having pride in being a working mom will make my stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) friends sad. I think there is a lot more to this hidden strife with layers of guilt and personal struggle (and that is for another blog post, altogether.) I do want to set the stage that while I am happy to be a working mom I know this is my choice, my situation, and the lens I see the world with. The world takes a diverse mindset and I appreciate my SAHM friends, value their choice, and am oftentimes envious.
With that said…
I always knew I wanted to be a mother and, in my mind, it happened a lot earlier than 35. Being a career woman wasn’t a goal of mine as a child or even in high school, but as I reflect on my life I can see how it was my destiny.
My mother is from Mexico and didn’t learn English until later in life but that didn’t stop her from opening and managing a successful hair salon in the Bay Area. She was a hard worker and, if I recall correctly, worked every Saturday.
When I think of my childhood my Mom didn’t attend school parties, because she was working. I spent all of Saturday with my Dad and Sundays were church and family time. She didn’t spend the long summer days with me at the beach, but instead, I would hang out with her at work trying to keep myself entertained. Don’t get me wrong, my Mom did play with me and I remember that time fondly. We went on long vacations, and she always attended my plays or big events in life. She tucked me into bed every night and showered me with gifts and more toys than one little girl really needs. I felt very loved!
As an older child, I was very busy and had activities after school each day: JOBs Daughters, ballet, girl scouts, horseback riding, tennis, swimming, drawing, school plays, CCD, you named it. My Mom took me to all of these. She waited on the sidelines, helped me practice, and was always my number #1 fan.
Growing up I never saw my Mom ask my Dad for money, she drove a nice car, and she was and is always put together. She is super social and had a lot of things going on in her life outside of the home. Her hair was always done, nails painted, and usually some bling to top it off. She taught me what a working mom’s life looked like, and to be honest, it is all I know.
I work full time and have since I had my two kids five years ago. I worked for Amazon at the time and back then the company didn’t have maternity leave so I got very little time with them at home before going back to the office. There are days, most days when I miss my kids while I am work, but I also have days I feel guilty about not missing them and enjoy being free. Making money, having a job, drinking hot coffee, collaborating and stretching my brain, and the ability to take care of myself and my family makes me feel good and I like being a working mom.
Of course, I feel grateful I have a job I really love and so that helps. I am also extremely grateful for my Mom who showed me what life of a working mom looks like and I am happy to follow her steps. * L