The Inner Struggle of the Working Mom

After a long military move and a few weeks off, I finally went back to work this week. Bittersweet because I know how much I enjoy working and miss the constant momentum but I also wish I had more free time to be with my son and husband – not to mention enough time to cook, clean, do laundry, find time for self-care and everything else I didn’t seem to think about all that much when I actually had the time to do it. I have always felt so conflicted when it comes to this topic because I envy the stay at home mom but the common misconceptions that they face are quite the match for mothers like myself who punch the clock daily.

“Don’t you love your son? You’re so selfish for working.” This one hits home the most though.

There is a certain amount of inexplicable guilt that comes with being a working mother. I don’t get to see the learning curves until they have been navigated, I do not get to hear “the first time he said this” because it was already said for the first time and I literally feel like sometimes, things should just be different. I remember going to work when maternity leave was done, crying and feeling frustrated at the idea that if I was not going to be happy going to work everyday, why was I sacrificing my sanity to be away from my baby? Truth is, the guilt was too much. It wasn’t the job, the people or the pay – it was me and my insecurity of being an adequate mother because I couldn’t be home with my baby. But he was okay – he was better than okay. Thriving and even placed in a more advanced class, he actually enjoys seeing his friends and teachers and I enjoy the whole dramatic “mooooooommmmyyyyyyyyyyy” run through the metaphoric field of flowers hug at pick-up time.

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Working is personally fulfilling for me (not nearly as much as being a mother) but truthfully, it helped me through the worst parts of my baby blues by getting me out of the house and allowing me to find parts of myself I lost in transition. However, given the opportunity, I would stay home in a heartbeat and have even gone back and forth in my mind of what I’ll do when the twins arrive. With knowing what I know now, my heart is where my home is. We shall see.

-Ash

Photo Credit: Myself ❤

Location: Sunset Zoo Manhattan, KS

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