Saturday, November 8, 2008

Working Mom Struggle

Let me first give a little background. I have an Accounting degree from IU. I have worked for the last 14 years (wow that is hard to believe!) I started in public accounting in Fort Wayne and then moved to Indianapolis and went to corporate accounting. When I had Connor in 2000, I decided to go part-time (30 hours) not sure that is really part-time, but it is less than 40! I went to 3o hours because it was the least I could do and still keep my benefits. My current schedule is Monday-Thursday and have Fridays off. I am thankful that my employer has been so flexible. This has seemed to work pretty well. However lately I am struggling with trying to be a good employee and be a good mother! I feel like I am failing at both. I thought once the kids got in school it would be easier...boy was I wrong!

These are some random thoughts that continually go through my mind:

Could I be a stay at home mom?

Could I keep the boys occupied in the summer?

Would I miss work and adult interaction?

With the economy is disarray am I crazy to even think about not working?

Would I waste 4 years of an education I worked so darn hard for?

What would people think?

Could I handle the cutbacks?

Would it really be easier on everyone in our family, including myself?

There are many single mothers that do not have a choice but to work so maybe I should just suck it up!

I guess I will continue to pray on the matter! Hopefully, I will make the decision that will be the most beneficial to our family and myself.


Busy Bee Suz said...

I am sure those are the same questions every mother asks herself. I can tell you this, your education will never be wasted. It will always be there. ;)
For me it was an easy choice. Once we were able to afford me staying home, I never ever turned back. I have enjoyed the heck out of it. My kids are older and I still wonder if I should go back to work, but our lifestyle has so gotten used to me having a flexible schedule it would really throw off the kids and my husband. He tells me I am crazy to even think of working again....but we will see what the future holds. and Don't ever worry about what others will think of you...
:) You choose what is best for you and your family. There, that is my 2cents. ;)
Keep praying on it, you will figure it out.
Thanks for your advise on Christmas, the skipping part.
take care,

Jami said...

What a great post! It brought tears to my eyes reading it because I also think about this often. The boys grow so fast and then what? An empty house. I want to spend as much time with them as possible. I guess being a teacher allows me to spend a lot more time with my boys than your career allows you. It used to be that when a new school year started, I was ready to go. However, as this past summer came to an end and even our fall break, I found it very difficult to want to go back to work. I had so much fun with the boys. (On some days I WANTED to work.) Anyway, just keep praying about it. I agree with busy bee suz about her comment that your degree will never be wasted and that you shouldn't worry about what anyone else thinks. But I also want to add that I think you are a great mom even when you are a working mom. I have not doubt that if you stay a working mom that the boys will always have a great mom!

The Blissfully Happy Housewife said...

It's all so difficult...I know. I actually had my master's degree and had JUST finished paying off my student loans when I decided to stay home. I almost found it humorous...the timing was so ironic. For me, the choice was simple. I wanted badly to be home.

I personally think that time spent with our children is never wasted -and it's something we will never get back. HOWEVER, on the flip side, I also admire working moms out there because chances are - in this day and age - your boys will probably have wives that work outside the home. You are doing a great job of preparing them to handle that type of a family dynamic. Sometimes I worry that Eva will be devastated if she is not able to stay home with her children and has to work outside the home...or what if Jaden just expects his wife to be a stay-at-home mom and she wants to work. Do ya catch my drift?

Working or is your PARENTING that has the greatest impact.

OK...I'll get off my soapbox now. Ha!

Sherri said...

Could I be a stay at home mom?
**I know just from reading your blog that you could be happy at home!

Could I keep the boys occupied in the summer?
**At the age of your children...and really doesn't take a lot to keep them occupied. As a matter of fact, children are so busy these days with school and all, that a little boredom is good for them sometimes :). I just try to have friends over a lot.

Would I miss work and adult interaction?
**I can honestly say that I haven't missed work. I loved doing my job(Occupational Therapist) and enjoyed the part time work after being off for 6 years, but have never missed it since deciding to give it up for homeschooling. I feel like I get enough adult interaction with our church group and homeschool well as just family and friends.

With the economy is disarray am I crazy to even think about not working?
**It is just a matter of what you are willing to give up. We moved to a different house and got rid of some our boat...for me to stay home. God has, however, blessed our decision and we now have many of the things that we once had to give up for me to be here.

Would I waste 4 years of an education I worked so darn hard for?
**I wondered the same thing, but I really have never felt like I wasted it. After being off for 6 years...while keeping up my license..I knew that I would still be able to go back to work when I was ready. It was amazing how I was able to jump right back into it when I needed to. It doesn't matter how many years I miss out on working in my career, I will ALWAYS by an Occupational Therapist. No one can take that from me. My degree and time in college has also helped me with teaching my own children.

What would people think?
**They would be jealous :)...even if they don't admit it.

Could I handle the cutbacks?
**See my answer above

Would it really be easier on everyone in our family, including myself?
**To me it is harder to be away form home after the kids go to school than before. There are so many demands on a family once the children are in school. If you are able to be home to do our "home" stuff while they are in school, you will be mentally ready to be there for them when they get home.

There are many single mothers that do not have a choice but to work so maybe I should just suck it up!
**But if you do have a choice, then you shouldn't feel bad about that.

I hope this helps...I've been right where you are. I understand. All I can say is that I have never regretted my decision to be home!!!

Jami said...

It sounds like you are getting some good advice from great moms.

Mom of Double A said...

Hi there. You commented on my blog about a similar post and so I had to see what you decided to ponder about.

I struggle with all of those same questions.

For me...It wouldn't be so hard if I didn't truly enjoy my job. I have a great job, I carry the health insurance for the family, not to mention wonderful hotel benefits that my entire family enjoys.

I cried for weeks after going back to work with both of my children. I feel guilty every day that my Mom was able to stay home with me and I'm not able to stay home with my children. Everytime they are sick, I feel like it's my fault b/c they attend day care. The guilt that wears on me is huge.

But my children don't know it any other way. They are social and are in a wonderful daycare that teaches them much more than I think I would have the patience for at home every day.

I make it a point to attend every field trip, every class party, and be involved with their classroom.

I hope that I can teach them about responsibility and that a woman can be an amazing mother as well as have a career outside the home.

I also make it a point to spend as much quality time with them as possible during the hours/days we are together. If the house doesn't get clean-so be it. The time is limited and I want to make the most of it.

I did change positions after my daughter was born b/c that particular job required 110% of my efforts and I wasn't able to give that anymore.

Thankfully, this position...I feel bad saying so, but I can give 80% effort and still get by w/flying colors.

If you have a job that you enjoy and it works well with your "life" all means continue doing it and enjoy all the positive that comes along with it. I'm looking forward to more insight from your blog!

RosyRose said...

Hey Tara...I know this is a struggle for so many moms!
I have always been at home with my kids and have for the most part really felt fulfilled in my call.
I have friends who choose to work outside and they feel great about that choice.
I think bottom line is we, as moms and women in general are way too hard on ourselves!
Just imagine a group of men sitting around trying to figure out the same things we worry about!
If we have kids we need to be there for them, no question. Sometimes that just may look different. Blessings to you as you make some hard decisions!

Anonymous said...

I might have another perspective on this for you. My mom stayed at home. I always felt like she was "just" a stay at home mom and I always wondered why she never strived for something more. She was very intelligent, but I know she didn't particularly enjoy interacting with other people- which probably figured in her decision to always stay home. I think that she would have been more fulfilled in her life if she had pursued her own separate interests. Now that she is gone, I am especially interested in her as a person- not simply as my mother. Now that I'm a mother, I want my children to know that I have an identity outside of taking care of them and our home. I want my kids to see that a person is complex and should seek happiness through many different avenues. One of those avenues, for me, happens to be financially providing for them. I enjoy an extended sense of self-worth through my work. I hope that I am demonstrating to my daughter that she should be independent, and I hope that I am demonstrating to my son that a wife should contribute to the household in multiple ways. Each person has unique talents and each family has their own dynamics, so what works for one might not work for another. As such, I judge no one's decision. My main point is that your boys aren't going to necessarily "miss out on you" just because you choose to work, and they might end up appreciating you all the more.
Love, Meg

Sherri said...

The difference with Tara, though, is that she has other interests that she was pursuing before choosing to stay home with them. Also, once she has raised them, she would most likely go back to her other passions. Her children will see her as someone who IS more than a mother, but who was willing to put her mothering first. My children know all about my career as an Occupational Therapist before they were born. They also know that I will one day do it again...that I will always be an Occupational Therapists. I just wanted to add that because there's a difference in those who never pursue other interests and those who just put them on hold for a few years.

Jami said...

I keep checking back to see what everyone says on this topic. Everyone seems to feel passionate about thier own decision. Obviously there is no norm, but just what you find right for yourself and your family.

I am glad that the working moms who have commented feel so comforatble with their decision...I don't think I am completely comforable with my decision...I think about it all of the time!

Tara said...

Jami it has been interesting reading all of the comments. I appreciate everyone's point of view.