Personally, Iʼve been asked this question directly, passive aggressively (my personal favorite) and have even thought it myself when Iʼve let “mom guilt” creep into my heart and mind; “as a mama, do I really need to be working?”.
I have always known I wanted to be a mom and was abundantly blessed to have a healthy, beautiful baby girl. She is everything we prayed for, and more, in a daughter. Her personality and smile are infectious. Plus her tender heart, loving kisses and appreciation for pizza absolutely melt my heart. Just thinking about how deep and unconditional my love for her runs, makes me emotional. Of course, letʼs be real, she also drives me crazy with her incredibly strong-willed spirit, defiance, short temper and sass. Oh, goodness is she sassy. So why in the world would I want to leave all of that? Not to mention miss out on her hugs or new words or just the quality time spent together, day in and day out. In spite of all of that, my answer to you would still be “yes, I need to work.”
Thankfully, this is not because we wouldnʼt be able to put food on the table without my paycheck. But instead, itʼs because I feel called to use the Gifts that I have been given, not only in my important role, as a mother, but also with others. Each and every one of us have significant talents to share with the world. Donʼt shake your head in doubt. You do (but thatʼs a topic for another time). Personally, I have discovered that I am passionate about making women feel valued, worthy and SEEN (can I get an Amen?!). But really, getting the opportunity to pour into other women in those ways, absolutely fills my cup! Especially when it can get so drained during the demands of motherhood.
So I sound pretty confident, right? Like I have my life together. Itʼs all figured out and Iʼm doing exactly what Iʼm meant to in all areas, end of story. Not so much. That fun little thing I mentioned earlier called “mom guilt” creeps into my mind far too often. Whether itʼs because when Iʼm at work, I feel like Iʼm missing out on seeing my little girl grow up. Or when Iʼm home and wish I could be at work, hustling and contributing. But then, hereʼs the kicker, I feel guilty for not treasuring the time we have together! Thatʼs a fun little destructive circle I like to go round and round in. I donʼt actually enjoy it, but thatʼs the reality. If we arenʼt being conscious of our decisions, as moms, wives, employees and women, in general.
So donʼt worry, Iʼm not saying thereʼs no hope and no matter what you do as a mom youʼre going to feel guilty and judged! Iʼm just saying if youʼre feeling like I feel, then youʼre not alone. But the best decision that Iʼve made is to attempt to find harmony in my life. I say harmony because in the chaos of everything, nothing can ever be truly balanced. Acknowledging that also brought me a lot of peace. Iʼve learned through times of “disharmony” that as long as Iʼm being present and giving it my all, in whichever role Iʼm in, Iʼm finding more contentment. So for example, when I get to be home with my sweet girl I try not to let my focus get pulled to work texts and messages. Then when Iʼm at work, Iʼm giving 100% to my tasks and ultimately what Iʼm feeling called to do. In both aspects.
If you donʼt have a career (outside of the full time job of motherhood) itʼs still ok to find something for yourself to recharge your mom batteries. If we arenʼt taking care of ourselves, how in the world are we going to be able to give everything we have to our kid(s)? Believe me, itʼs incredibly hard to pour from an empty cup. So when I leave for work and she starts to cry, (because sheʼs going through the stage 5 clinger toddler phase) I just remind myself that Iʼm showing my little girl that itʼs important to follow your dreams. Even without her fully being able to comprehend this important message yet, she will play “going to work”. She grabs her little pink backpack and tells me “bye yuv youu”. She then heads towards the back door and blows me a kiss. I believe she is playing in this way because she knows that this is something that we do. And thatʼs ok.
So no matter if your situation is like mine, or not, just continually tell that “mom guilt” voice to be quiet, stop being a hater, and just be present in where youʼre at mama. At the end of the day, all we can do is pray, follow our dreams and do our very best in every role weʼve been given.
Every mama, no matter when or where, needs to love herself, care for herself, and know it is necessary and important. Mama love is as important as the care we give others. Hug yourselves and hug a mama, too💕