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My Thoughts On Being A Working Mum

My Thoughts On Being A Working Mum

I have nearly always worked, I returned to work when my first was about 3 years old and only took 6 months off with my second. This has meant my kids have always been in childcare, always. There have been times when this was really, really difficult for them and most definitely for me, but the rewards I feel are often over looked. I am not talking about financial rewards, because for me I have always had to work, but I am talking about the rewards for my children having a working mum, and while we are stuck in the trenches, these may be hard to see, I do assure you, they are there.

Early on I would say I didn’t really have a choice about being a working mum, now I think about it though I recognise I chose to have children when I did, knowing full well we couldn’t support our family without two wages. At the time I most certainly resented it. When my darling daughter was screaming as I walking away or years later my son was impossible to pry off my leg when it was time for me to leave, oh I resented it then. I had to work, to pay the bills. We had a mortgage, my first husband only worked in a business that only had income for 6 months of the year, I had to do my bit.

Those times were difficult, I worked in retail which meant my kids were in care on the holidays, over Christmas and Easter when so many of there friends were able to go away. As the kids got older, they were able to voice their dislike for after school care and vacation care, but without family support we had no option. We persevered until I no longer “needed” financially to go to work.

During those times though, I had realised that I actually needed to work for myself. It was a part of who I was. I was proud to support my family, and loved the stimulation of working in my pharmacy jobs. Work then very much became a choice, some would say a selfish choice, though I made it gladly.

When The Builder and I first moved in together, we initially thought that me working was really not going to be possible for our blended family. I did make a choice to reduce my hours to minimise the impact on our family, but I knew I couldn’t give up work all together. Fortunately the opportunity came to work for ourselves, and we have found a reasonable compromise for our family. This didn’t happen until my daughter was 14 and my son 9. They had had many years of childcare to content with by this point.

It was at this point I began to realise the benefits of the life I had chosen for my children, and it was far from the doom and gloom I had felt in previous times. My children are incredibly well socialised, we can put them into any situation and they are comfortable within themselves. They have grown with the most amazing communication skills, they are kind and generous souls who love to make other people feel good. As I have spoken about my daughter just moved to the UK without knowing a soul, she has made a wonderful life for herself, has made friends and is confidently traveling all over the country. Just today my 15 year old son went off to a work get together where he only knew one other person. He had to arrive at a secret location and navigate his way to find a group of people he didn’t know and go on an adventure to an unknown place and he has done so with enthusiasm, knowing he will meet knew people.

Now I am not naive enough to think that childcare alone was responsible for these amazing traits in my children, but that combined with the confidence work has given me, has created a positive home life in which we value every minute of our time together. It has taught my kids about fostering connections and how influential they can be when helping others.

I for one, am a very proud working Mum, and I am now proud to be able to share this with my step children as well. Can I finish by saying, I have no problem with Mums who work and with Mums who don’t work. I feel we all need to make the choice that is right for us. Today I simply wanted to share that it’s not all difficult and without benefit like we sometimes feel when we are a working mum.

Are you a working Mum? What have you found to be the biggest benefit of being a working Mum?

Nicole xxx

 

 

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24 Comments

  1. Thanks Nicole, I am at the stage of life where my children are young and I resent going to work instead of being home with them. It was lovely to read your perspective looking back, and see it as a positive ☺️

    1. It sure can be tough, there were many days I was in tears, the kids were in tears and I wondered if it was all worth it, but can say with confidence now, it was. Good luck xx

  2. Thanks for sharing your story, and building a bigger picture of working motherhood. I appreciated your honesty, that working was something that gave you something for yourself, in the midst of feeling like you’d made big sacrifices.
    I am a working mum now. I didn’t go back to work, though, until my youngest child was in Year 3, so I was at home for about 13 years. I feel like me being at home and then working has come at exactly the right time for our family. It was the right fit for us, for me to be home. And then when we needed extra income, it was the right fit for me to work. Biggest positive in our family? My kids watching me study and work to realise a goal. I feel like that has been such a positive example for my young adults.

    1. I love that you have found the right balance for you and your family, that is what its all about. xx

  3. I love your perspective. As a single mum, my mum always had to go to work, so I went to all the after school care and holiday care and had an absolute ball. I also went to boarding school which although I thought seriously sucked at the time, as an only child, it was the most wonderful experience. It taught me independence, resilience and gave me a set of lifelong friends who have always felt more like family. My mum was an amazing role model as you are to your kids, running her own business just like you. I grew up knowing that as a woman, there was nothing I couldn’t do if I was prepared to work for it.

    1. I always wanted to go to boarding school, I thought I would love it. Your Mum is an amazing woman, you are blessed to have her. I hope to continue to inspire my children to work and strive for whatever they wish to achieve xx

  4. Always with the disclaimer #NotAParent, but I think kids do benefit when the parents do have interests and responsibilities outside of the kids themselves. Work, hobby, volunteering, whatever it may be that is right for that family, I think it’s a good example.

    1. I think you’ve nailed it, parent or not. xx

  5. I’m a working Mum and wouldn’t have it any other way. I need to work for my own sanity. But I’ve been lucky enough to have a job that has been really flexible, allowing me 1 year off when my son was born and another year off for his kinder year; both paid, so I don’t feel as though I’ve missed out or that he has either. Even now he is at school I work during school hours so I can always drop him off and pick him up. It works for us.

    1. You are truly blessed with an amazing workplace Sarah! We all need to be a little more flexible to allow our families to enjoy precious time with their children. xx

  6. Great post! The obvious benefit of me being a working mum are being able to pay our mortgage and feed our kids. We wanted a large family and I also wanted to maintain my career so we never considered any other possibility. We started our family young, and work hard, and our kids are well-adjusted, sociable and happy. They’ve maintained their kindy/childcare friendships well into their school years, despite going to different primary schools. I love work and being a fulfilled mum reflects on the whole family’s happiness!

    1. Thank you. I love being a working mum for so many reasons, that doesn’t mean it isn’t tough at times, but the benefits far outweigh the negatives for me. xx

  7. I’m a proud working mum too, Nicole. I love that I am showing my son and daughters that women have a rightful place working outside the home. When I tell my kids that they can be anything and do anything, I know that I have led the way for them to believe that.

    1. I love this!!! This is a big part of why I work, I want my kids to know you can do, be or have anything you are willing to work towards. xx

  8. Beautifully said, Nicole, and it’s bullshit that women even feel that pressure to justify their decisions around work/life balance. Interesting isn’t it that men don’t have the same need to constantly justify their choices, because they don’t get judged for them in the same way that women do.

    1. Women are judged for every little thing we do, and regardless of the decisions we make, someone will be standing by willing to tell us we are wrong. It’s a sad state of affairs, I do wish we could all just cheer each other on. x

  9. I loved your post. I worked outside the home, returning to work (teaching) when my daughter was 6 months and then 7 years later when her brother was 41/2 months. I both HAD to and WANTED to. I did the staying at home thing and because of where we lived and because my life was always in schools, I was bored and lonely at home. However, it was more than that. I needed something that was for my development too. Teaching gave me that but unlike you, it also gave me school holidays with the kids. That was a bonus. I always said I was ‘happier’ with a class of 30 than with my kids at home. There I’ve said it! It doesn’t mean it wasnt challenging and that i felt conflicted. All of that. However, we needed my income and we needed me to be more content. Both of the kids are outgoing and sociable and with families of their own. I guess it worked!

    1. I think it’s all very normal, just not something we have felt able to talk about. I found being home with my kids to be stifling at times, that doesn’t mean I didn’t love them, just that I didn’t feel fulfilled. I don’t think there is a blanket right or wrong, just what works for us as individuals and our families. xx

  10. This is a great piece. I know in many families working mums and dads is an advantage for both the kids and the parents. I’m a stay at home mum at the moment but I’m looking forward to getting back to work when my kids are a bit older (I’ve got a newborn and a one year old).

    1. Busy times with a newborn and a one year old! It’s an amazing thing to be at home with your kids, especially when so young. They grow so much each day. x

  11. The biggest advantage of being a working mum … it made me happy … happy wife, happy life as they say!

    1. So true Janet!

  12. It seems like work was on both our minds! I honestly think it’s much harder on mums than kids in terms of early years childcare. Kids are so resilient but it’s hard not to wish more time with them and resent time taken away from them. I think the early socialisation is good for kids – my eldest, like your kids, makes friends very easily. And I think early years care played a part in that.

  13. I enjoy the work I do and the flexibility it gives me. For me flexibility is everything. I love being able to go to school and see Esther at her sports carnival, or being at Maggie’s Kindy for bring a friend day. Mums should never feel judged for the choices they make, but I sometimes think the judgement can stem from ourselves more than others. I value the wisdom of mums that have gone ahead and been through the season I’m going through. But their life choices may not necessarily work with my life and vice versa. I think we all make the best decisions at the time. ,

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