Let’s Be Real: I Love Being a Working Mom!

On the weekend’s we “throwback” to older but still awesome posts!

Post Written by Michelle – originally published September 2011

Taking care of my new baby girl Lillian for 10 weeks was a great experience, but it only reinforced my desire to go back to my career. I missed adult interaction and using my skills and talents. While I love my daughter more than anything in the world, I also missed the life I had before she was born. I craved normalcy.

I wasn’t sure how I would react going back to work. The night before dropping her off at daycare I barely slept. I had so many conflicting thoughts. Part of me felt bad about going back to my job. I would think about the fact that someone else would get to see her smiles and coos all day and that I’d likely miss many of her milestones. On the other hand, I’d think about all the cool things I do at my job and how much I looked forward to getting back to them. I didn’t know if I would cry every morning that first week back or if I would be OK. I’ve been quite surprised by my reaction.

What hasn’t surprised me is that I miss her all the time and when I’m driving to pick her up I feel like a kid waiting to open her Christmas gifts. I am so excited to see her, hold her and tell her I love her. What did surprise me was that I thought I’d feel more guilt for choosing to go back to work instead of being a stay-at-home mother, but honestly I don’t feel any at this point. What I do feel guilty about is not feeling guilty and that’s a perspective I haven’t heard much about.

So many people told me that it would take at least two weeks to feel better about leaving her in daycare. Many people said I’d cry when I dropped her off for the first time. I think because I heard those things so often I sort of expected to react that way but instead I loved being back at work and didn’t cry at all my first week back. I started to wonder if I was the only one that felt this way. No, no, no – I can’t be the only mother that is happy and guilt-free being back at work. Where are these women? Why don’t we hear about them?

Mothers are judged for every decision we make. If we stay home with our children we are judged. If we go back to our careers we are judged. And if we actually like being working mothers we face the presumption that we don’t like being moms. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. I love being a mom and I love my daughter more than I ever thought I could love someone, but I also don’t mind that someone else is attempting to feed her for an hour and a half at a time. I don’t miss changing poopy diapers all day. And you know what? That doesn’t make me a bad mom. I think that knowing what makes me happy in life and following that path makes me a better mother for my child because I’m happier all around.

I’m excited about my new role as a “working-mother” and wouldn’t have it any other way. Let’s be more honest with each other about our feelings of having both a career and a family. To all my fellow moms who drop their kids off at daycare every morning and don’t feel guilty about it, I say good for you! I completely understand.

How did you react when your child started daycare?

7 thoughts on “Let’s Be Real: I Love Being a Working Mom!

  1. Michelle, your words are soooo true:
    Mothers are judged for every decision we make. If we stay home with our children we are judged. If we go back to our careers we are judged. And if we actually like being working mothers we face the presumption that we don’t like being moms.

    And we judge ourselves the most! Everyone must stop! You’re doing the best you can. When I put my first son into daycare, it was after staying home for 11 months and nearly losing my mind (no one told me babies are BORING!). My husband wasn’t making enough money so I had no choice. I had just watched “Kramer vs. Kramer” on TV and totally identified with Meryl Streep, choosing to run out on that cute little kid. I forced my son to take his first steps so Daycare Provider wouldn’t see them before I did. I beat myself up unmercifully. Here’s what I’ve learned: they don’t remember ANY OF IT. How much do you remember of your life before the age of 5? As long as they are safe and fed and have their diapers changed, they will be fine. Really. They will coo for you when you get home and you will be extra appreciative! It’s all good.

  2. Thank you so much for this post! As a new working mom myself (I stayed home for 4 months before returning to my teaching job this fall), I feel like I am surrounded by women outside of my work place who suddenly had the opportunity to be stay-at-home moms. It made me feel guilty for wanting to go back to work. But I still feel like my professional life is part of what defines me – now in addition to being a mom. I just couldn’t see myself suddenly tossing my years of college and graduate education because I had a child. How could I then tell my own children to go to college someday? And I love that I appreciate my time with him, and I’m not often looking for someone to give me a break.

  3. I so agree with you Michelle! I did cry the first day I dropped my boys off at their grandparents’ house to go back to work. I cried to the end of their street and I haven’t looked back since. I love working and I love being a mom and I am happy to set a good example as to what a strong, driven, educated, working parent (and woman) is for my boys. I also love going to work because it’s the one place I can go that I don’t start feeling guilty after 2 hours away! Not to mention, I know what I’m doing there……I’m the queen of “wing it” at home!

  4. I had a similar experience. I didn’t cry when I dropped off Kate at daycare the first day. I felt a little guilty about it. In fact looking back on it I had more anxiety about going back to work than was merited. For us, the transition was easy.
    I always thought I wanted to be a stay at home mom- but I actually love being a working mom.

    1. Lizbeth thanks for sharing – it was an easy transition for us as well. Glad to hear from another happy working mama!

  5. Thank you for sharing this perspective! I was at home for 16 weeks (the last 8 telecommuting part-time), and while I loved it, I was happy to return to the office (and am not feeling guilty about it). Me being at the office has actually made it easier for my stay-at-home husband to establish a routine with our 5-month old.

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