Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Working Mom's Fears

The day before I had Patsy, I had a doctor's appointment. In the waiting room was a new mom (baby looked about 6 weeks old) and all the other women in the waiting room were oohing and ahhing at her cute baby boy. Some of the women in the waiting room were asking her about her life as a mom, if she had other kids, etc. She said she was a stay at home mom and the other moms in the waiting room seemed to ooze with glee and excitement. "Being a stay at home mom is really the best thing for your children." "Oh I agree. There would be less problems in the world if more women stayed at home to raise their children." "Who wants their child to be raised by daycare?" This is what the conversation was like for at least 30 minutes.

I sat there with every fiber of my being, trying not to burst into tears. My thoughts were all over the place! I'm about to have a baby TOMORROW and I have to go back to work. What kind of a person does that make me? I'm going to be a horrible mom and I'm going to miss everything! The hubs heard what they were saying and he could tell I was upset. He said some reassuring comments to me (and made me smile because he is pretty much the best). He said that their conversation has set back women's lib about 20 years. He also made a snarky remark about the woman leading the conversation; something that I needed to hear. 

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I try my best not to judge other moms. We all have to do what works best for us in our own specific scenario. I think that includes not putting down other women and moms who are trying to make it work. Because I can't be with my baby all day, I'm trying to do my best to provide the best for her (continue breastfeeding until she is a year old, make my own baby food, family is watching her versus day care). Sometimes it is the little things in life that make all the difference! My little Patsy girl is doing pretty good and seems pretty happy!

Now that I'm back at work, I do miss her, but I understand that this is my life right now. I'm happy with my decision to go back to work. I NEED to find a way to make it work... and I'm getting there! I'm very fortunate to have lots of wonderful family to help make it so much easier to be a working mom. I'm constantly getting photos, videos and even some facetime phone calls.  And I don't know about you, but this looks like a pretty happy baby even if Mommy isn't there!



43 comments:

  1. Melanie@Seemommyrace.comJanuary 21, 2014 at 8:55 AM

    you are doing great Kelly! everyone has a different situation. I stay home mainly because we don't have family to watch the kids and what I made working is about the same as daycare costs! I think you were just at the Dr at an off time, if you went in the evening or weekend it would have been full of working moms! Patsy is going to see you as a strong capable working mama! you should be very proud!!

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  2. I totally hate how women do that. When I told someone I still want to work after we have kids they looked at me like I was crazy! You're doing what's best for YOU and YOUR family. Not theirs. Sure, other families have the ability (and desire!) to want to stay at home, that's awesome for them. However, it may not be what's best for your child. You're being a terrific mom for Patsy and nobody should tell you otherwise!

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  3. Thanks Melanie! Every Mom has to do what works best for them in their situation, I totally understand that. And I think you're right about the doctor. I had to take the day off of work to go. I bet if I was there in the evening, there would have been more working moms there. There are a lot of us out there!

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  4. As women, in general, I think we are our own worst enemy. Being a mom is hard work! We should be supporting each other to try and raise the best children possible, not shaming those that haven't made the exact same decisions as you. With pregnancy and children, people just can't help but make comments. The best thing I/we can do is kill them with kindness, smile and nod, and not let the comments get to us. :) Thanks for the support!

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  5. Girl, I am right there with you. Honestly, I think we're lucky that we live in a society where we CAN "have it all" - we can be mothers, and have a career at the same time. You know that Patsy is a healthy, happy little girl, and that is all because of YOU. It sounds like you have a great plan in place, and as long as your family is happy, then you're doing it right:)

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  6. Being a SAHM isn't an option for every family, and honestly, it's not even something that every mom wants to do. What a horrible conversation for you to overhear at such an important time, and it's really unfortunate that these women were openly judging other moms like that - every family has to do what's best for them! I think it's awesome that you have family who can watch Patsy while you're at work, I'm sure that gives you a lot of peace of mind.

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  7. I think it's great that your family is able to help with Patsy. I will say that when my nephew was a baby (he lived with us), we ended up bringing him to day care from about 9 months old on. And there are definitely good things that day care provides (if you find the right one). Good social skills. They were able to teach him to read better then us. He's 19 now and one of the best, well adjusted kids/young adults I know! So don't worry about it. it doesn't make you a bad mom. We all have to do what's best for our families!

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  8. Thanks Anne! Yes, having Patsy with family (that are following my parenting wishes) really does give me a piece of mind! :)

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  9. Thanks Amanda! Yes, daycare has a lot of good options. Did you know Kevin Goodwin and his wife actually own a daycare in Mokena? When/if the time comes to send Patsy to Daycare, that's most likely where we will send her. More piece of mind!! :)

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  10. I am pretty sure I am going back to work after I give birth. I like my job and enjoy it and I spent a long time getting my degree. It may seem selfish but I want to work although I know that it will be hard to leave the baby. My mom went back to work too after she had me. Of course being a stay at home mom would be nice but I would miss some of the aspects of work, just like when I work I will miss some of the aspects of staying at home. Its a toss up, you have to do what is best for you. Im sick of people judging other moms. If everyone stayed at home with their kids I don't think this place would be a better world. Parenting is parenting, whether you work or not.

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  11. Preach it girrrrllll!!! You have the right mindset about the whole working mom thing! We all have to do the best we can to raise our children the best we can, whether we work during the day or not. :)

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  12. Oh yes I did! That's right! That would be a great option when/if you need it! We should go out for lunch one day (when the weather gets nicer) or meet on a weekend.

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  13. YES! I miss you! I'll email/text you and we can set something up, when it isn't 4degrees out!

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  14. I believe that if you have the opportunity to spend extra time with your kids, whether it be as a SAHM, work from home mom, work part time, etc. that you would never regret it. That being said, it is not an option for most people. I think the important thing is that the time that you do spend with your kids is quality time. I am lucky enough to work an "almost" full time schedule and be home with the kids part-time. When my daughter was a little over a year-old we put her in daycare and then preschool for one day a week, just for socialization. But I couldn't stop working, it helps to keep me sane! :-) Patsy is adorable, BTW!

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  15. "There would be less problems in the world if more women stayed at home to raise their children."

    Yeah, just like how there were never problems in the world when all moms stayed home decades ago. -insert eyeroll here-

    I worked for my daughter's first year of life and it didn't make me less of a mom or her an unhappier kid. We had issues because she wouldn't take bottles, but that was hard regardless of whether or not I worked. I was the sole breadwinner at the time and if I had decided to stay home then, we would have had no income to live on. It isn't a feasible choice for everyone and honestly, especially in this economy, it's not a feasible choice for a lot of people! I won't lie, I am happier being able to stay home now with baby #2 despite never thinking I'd be cut out to be a SAHM, but I'm not happier because my kids have a better mother. You can always only be the best mother you can be. I'm happier because it's the right choice for us right now. It's not the right choice for you right now, so what kind of stress would you bring to your beautiful little girl if you tried it when it wasn't right?

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  16. It's a super personal choice that no one can make for you. I think it's too simplistic for those ladies to think that their kids will be model citizens if they stay at home. There are plenty of psychos out there who had June Clever moms who made a roast every night for when dad came home. Life just isn't that simple. You have to do the best you can for you and Ms. Patsy. Love may not be all you need in life, but it's a huge component, and she's getting tons of it.

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  17. You are right! In my current job, I do have the chance to work from home occasionally, so that is a nice option when it is needed. I've just started implementing "phone free mornings" so I can spend the morning interacting with my LO instead of checking what I missed on FB over night. Quality time is definitely important!


    Thanks for the support

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  18. My mom worked and I think I turned out pretty well. :) Don't beat yourself up over it...your baby seems happy and healthy and I am sure the family that is watching her is happy to have her for a bit while you are working. I think it is great to be around other adults at times so you can really enjoy your baby too :) We all have different paths in life. :)

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  19. HAHA YES!!! to your first comment. I'm glad you are in a good, happy place for baby #2. That is what is most important!! :)

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  20. Haha, yes. June Clever moms aren't always the best. :) Thanks so much! She is loved sooo much, you are totally right!

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  21. Thanks! Yes, I'm trying not to beat myself up over it. Now that I'm back to work and figuring out the new normal, I'm happy with my decision. And she is under the best care possible! :)

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  22. Every woman's story is different. Being a working mom isn't for everyone just like being a SAHM mom isn't for everyone and that is ok. And for those who have to work and don't have the luxury of having family members watch their kids, daycare is OKAY too!! Part of my job as a mother is to teach my daughter to be a strong, successful, independant woman and one of the ways I model that for her IS by being a working mom.

    Just know that you are doing the very best you can for Patsy and t the end of the day the more confident you are in your own choices the less validation you need form others :)
    Hang in there you're doing a GREAT job!

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  23. She looks super happy!!!! And that is a crappy, close-minded and privileged attitude for those moms to have. Not every family has the luxury of letting one parent stay at home. If we had a kid, I doubt I would stay at home - Robert does not get benefits, plus I make significantly more than he does. And I don't know if he wants to stay at home either - there is NO shame in getting help where you need or want it. This is America, LOL. And some women just don't have the patience to be with their kids 24/7/365. I have a friend who has two littles ones, she works full-time and her kids are in daycare, and she says they are better off for it - she would NOT be as good with them all.day.long like her daycare is.


    The bottom line is, there is no single right answer. The only right answer is what is right for YOUR family. And that is different for every family. You are making the right choice for your situation, and you have the sweet, happy baby to show for it!! In hindsight, it's awesome that she gets to spend so much time with other loving family members - we should all be so lucky! I wish I had been able to spend more time with my Grandma before she passed away when I was 8.

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  24. I was in the doctor's office about two weeks before Lincoln was born, and a very similar conversation happened with me in earshot. It killed me. I knew I was going back to work when Lincoln was 12 weeks old. I knew he was going to be cared for by family, which was awesome, but it still hurt because I wanted to be the one home with him. I cried every day. No kidding. Looking back, I definitely had postpartum depression because he wasn't even home 24 hours, and I was crying about going back to work. There was a pamphlet in the hospital bag they sent home that was a work from home ad, that sent me over the edge, and made me feel like the "worst mom ever", and I was a mom for two days. It was rough. I think you're a wonderful mom, and I understand the struggles. You are setting an amazing example for Patsy. You'll value your time with her more and be more patient. You might find yourself going to the store when she's in bed for the night and making changes to your pre-baby life because she is the most important thing in your life. She will be fine with you working. I promise. You will be too. You never know... you might wind up at home with her one day. After Cooper was born, I stayed home because financially, it didn't make sense to put two in daycare for what I made (there were other factors, but that is a story for another day). I took one for the team by staying home, and I am glad that I did. Sure I might have set my career back, (I only freelance now), but I don't care. I have embraced the "June Cleaver" role, and I will never forget those days as a full-time working mom with a baby and then toddler. I think it makes me appreciate what I have now by being at home with the boys (until I go back to work full-time in a few years). Hang in there. You're not alone. xoxo

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  25. Sweet Jesus, yes. I just look in my own family tree for proof that stay-at-home mom DOES NOT equal good mom. In that case the kids would have been MUCH better off with someone else raising them. But, that's really the person, not the fact that she decided to stay at home.

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  26. Thanks Marie! Everyone has to do what is best for their situation!


    Haha, I definitely feel like a milk factory here at the office! None of the other moms here breastfed their babies past a few weeks so I am kind of blazing the trail here by pumping away. In a way, it makes me feel connected to her even though I can't physically be there.


    Thanks so much for the support!

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  27. I'm enjoying the fact that my family is currently watching Patsy but I don't think that will go on forever! She may have to go into day care eventually, and you are right... That is okay too!


    And you are so right about confidence. We all have important choices to make in life and I think I can set a great example for my girl by showing her the strong woman I am--in hopes she will be strong and independent one day too! :)

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  28. As a fellow working mom (but nowhere near a runner) I am really proud of you and how you handled your visit. You are doing everything right for you and your little one. Parenting is about doing your best with what you have and you certainly seem like you are doing it. For every couple of stay at home moms who sort of live in a bubble, there are many many working moms who make it work before, during and after they get on their commuter train. You are doing great. :)

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  29. Chris and I have our own financial situation right now where it doesn't make sense for me to stay home. Thanks so much for the support! I feel like we are doing the best we can for her and I think she'll be thankful for it one day too. :)

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  30. Thanks April! It is definitely comforting to know I'm not alone by being a working mom, especially in today's society here in America!

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  31. Oh wow, so you went through the same emotions as me!! I shed many tears about going back to work, but I think it was a mixture of a few things. I was sad about missing her, but also afraid of the unknown. I still sometimes worried that I'm going to miss things. The first roll over, the first steps, the first word.... But she will roll over again and she will take many steps, and she will talk a lot... And I know I'll be there for her no matter what! After being gone all day, when she sees me for the first time and her face lights up, there really is no greater feeling! It makes the work day worth it at that point!


    And it is nice to know that I'm not alone and that I have lots of support! It always makes tough situations easier! You're a great friend Jill! Thanks!

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  32. Yes! I went through a lot. It was very, very hard on me. I never liked leaving Lincoln, but I learned to accept it. And as far as the firsts, my family was AWESOME about letting me be the one to tell them Lincoln did it first for me (even if he did it for them first). In most cases, he did all the firsts for me, so I didn't miss anything. You will ALWAYS be her mom. Nothing will change that. And yes, the way she will light up for you at the end of the day will be the best... even if it's only for 45 minutes because she has to go to bed (I hate that baby stage), but you will always do what's right because you love her. You are a better mom because you won't take anything from granted. You're not alone. Anytime you want to cry, vent, or whatever, call, text, message me. I've been there.

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  33. Yeah... my mom was a SAHM. Obviously I turned out super awesome, but that's not always the norm ;) I kid. I don't think it made her a better or worse mom than others, but I can definitely see some things in my relationship with her even today that kind of stem from her staying home with us and may have been improved by her working, even part-time. So bottom line, doing what's best for your family is what makes you a good mom!

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  34. I am sorry you had to hear that at all, but especially the day before Patsy arrived.


    I actually have a draft post about how people seem to want others to live their lives the way they think is best... and can't respect that people make different decisions because it is better for them. It really sucks. Because we are all different, and that is great. And... I was basically going to say what Maggie did :)

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  35. You are right, many people feel the need to force what they think is best onto other people. Now that it isn't just me anymore, we gotta do what's right for our family!... Whatever that may be!

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  36. You know what Anne, I think that might be true looking at my relationship with my own mom as well. She was also a SAHM for most of my childhood (she went back to work when I was in junior high). I think all children that grow up to be parents want to improve things from the way they were raised. Hopefully I'll figure out how to do that! Haha

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  37. I think people just feel insecure, and need the validation that their decision is the RIGHT decision, which is why they criticize others who do something different. Instead of recognizing that we're all different and that's what makes the world more interesting.

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  38. And even when you don't have kids, you have to do what is right for your family! A lot of people question some of our decisions... I am not sure why they even care! This is what our family is doing ;)

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  39. Yes, exactly! You have to do what is right for your family, no matter how big or small!! :)

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  40. Clearly I can't relate, but my heart goes out to you! You're trying your hardest and you will figure out what works. And for the meanwhile, keep sending these lovely smiley photos, whether you took them or not! :)

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  41. Michelle @ Crazy Running LegsJanuary 21, 2014 at 7:11 PM

    I love those Patsy smiles! I'm totally on the same page as you. It really sucks sometimes, but being a working mom works for me AND my family. Thankfully, I am surrounded by supportive friends and family who know it's not about quantity, but QUALITY.


    That said -- someone posted something on my personal FB last night (I shared the "Last Baby" post from Scary Mommy) that really ate at me. She said she really identified to the post ESPECIALLY because she's a SAHM. I wanted to write back and say - WTF? You don't think this affects me in the same way because I work??? It's little comments like that that drive me insane. Working or Stay at home - we both have mom in the title. This doesn't mean we love our kids any more or less. In fact, I feel blessed to have great daycare providers who LOVE my kids. They don't replace me as a mother - they just enhance me and help me provide my kids with wonderful childhood memories.

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