Today’s post was written by South African mom blogger Amelia Meyer, who blogs at Suddenly a Mom.
I’m 36, and my mom still agonises over the fact that she had to go straight back to work when I was born. I’ve tried to convince her that I’m ok, but clearly the evidence isn’t very convincing! How rude.
Now, as a mom, I’ve faced the decision of whether or not to work. My mom’s wasn’t a choice. When you only have one option, there’s no choosing involved. I, on the other hand, choose to work. My car and house are paid for; I don’t have accounts or other debt. I’m free as a bird. So, why do I choose to work? There are a few reasons:
My work feeds my soul. I love it, I’m inspired by it, and I’m motivated by it to keep moving forward. I’ve met many stay-at-home moms that feel that something is missing. They try different hobbies and pastimes; but they’re bored, even when they’re running on a hamster wheel of chores, play dates, appointments, and meetings. By keeping my brain active and inspired, I can really enjoy my off-time in the afternoon.
Not many families can choose not to work. I started off telling you about my debt-free situation, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have expenses. And, as prices go up, I’m finding myself being more and more proactive in finding new clients. It all helps ease the tension at the end of the month.
Using My Time
I work for myself, which means that my hours are flexible. So, while my daughter is at school until 2pm, I can spend that time doing my work. If I didn’t do this, I could keep busy, of course. I could gym (hahahahahaha), start a hobby, do more community work, see friends more regularly. But, I could also work. And that’s what I choose.
So, by the time my daughter comes home, I’m not still trying to juggle ten things. I’ve done the most urgent things on my to-do list, and I can focus on her. We do fun things, thanks to living in a gorgeous part of South Africa (Knysna). And, while we’re enjoying afternoon tea or heading out onto the water, I’m not thinking about my work. Because it’s done.
I want my daughter to see me take pride in my work, to know that she can and should be a contributor to the family, and to feel like we’re a team. I like to use the time she’s at school and dad’s at work to be contributing and helping, giving my bit to the family.
Having shared my motivation with you, I’m not for one moment saying that moms that choose not to work are doing anything wrong. Moms are the busiest people I know. I think many moms wish that they had a day in an air-conditioned office with a door that closes just to regroup. There’s so much guilt in parenting. Whether you’re working or staying at home, you probably feel guilt about your decision. At least to some degree. Here are some tips to dealing with “mom guilt”:
- Get away from the negative people that feed your insecurities.
- Re-evaluate your reasons for choosing to work or not work. Are they selfish? Damaging? Jeopardising your relationships? No? Then, is there really a problem?
- When people question your decision or try to tell you that you’re wrong, try to see things from their perspective. It may open your mind to new possibilities without immediately feeling hurt or intimidated.
- Take time out to spend real quality sessions with your child(ren). By doing this, you’ll stop feeling that terrible guilt for not giving them enough attention. But, it takes planning and patience amidst a hectic schedule.
- Be reasonable. You’re never going to be there for every milestone or moment. So, be careful of expecting too much from yourself or your children.
This is a great article for moms trying to balance their working lives with being a present, capable, sane parent.
Professional website – www.voxate.co.za