Firstly, big ups to stay at home mums. I sigh wistfully when I spot you heading past my window to a playground, pushing your glorious chubby bubby in a shiny pram. Your job is full time, full on and you don’t even get a monthly pay cheque.
I’d love to spend more time at home with my son. But my family enjoys things like eating and sleeping under a roof. Being out of the work force was never an option.
Since I have little choice in the matter, I decided to embrace and totally rock being a working mum. It’s challenging and stressful, but there are so many reasons to dig this lifestyle.
1. It’s empowering.
Hubby and I have just passed a milestone of ten years as a couple – yay us. What a crazy decade it has been, full of fun as well as ups and downs.
While I do see us as being solid no matter what, I like that fact that me working puts us on equal footing. I don’t have to ask my husband for anything other than love and emotional support (and pleeeeeease Honey, can you fix the bathroom door?)
When I think of all the women around the world who find themselves trapped with no money, no career prospects and no opportunity to achieve their own personal goals I feel very grateful. The fact that I’m able to work means that I could support myself and my child if the worst happened and we were on our own.
2. There’s no wolf at the door.
Children thrive on love, care and stability. Working during the week means I’m able to provide that for my child.
We are not rich by a long stretch but our bills are paid. I’m able to offer my son the experience of camping trips and growing up in an amazing location near the ocean. Down the track we should have the budget for gymnastics, guitar lessons or whatever hobby he wants to pursue (so long as he doesn’t request a pony). To me that’s of similar value to the quality time we spend together.
3. It forced me to make changes.
They say necessity is the mother of invention. Well, motherhood makes invention necessary.
I was at the same company for eight years before I had my son. Once I became a working parent I really struggled, finding the commute too long. I also realised that the job I had wasn’t my calling.
I decided that if I was going to work, I might as well do something I love. An opportunity came along to get into writing professionally and I made it work because I had to. If I had never had a child I'd probably still be schlepping into the city day after day.
4. My son benefits too.
As much as it tugs at my heart to leave my child behind while I go to work, the fact is he is thriving in care. He has learned more from his wonderful carers than I would ever be able to teach him. He comes home singing songs and proudly sharing his latest artwork. He’s good at making friends and can adjust quickly to unfamiliar situations.
Yes I wish that I could be with him all day, but in our case childcare has added an extra dimension and some very special friends to our lives.
5. I’ve realised what I’m capable of.
Some weeks, I reckon I have more on my plate than Julie Bishop. I have to show up up at my part time job on time, plus juggle the client expectations of my freelance work. I pack lunches, find missing shoes and book the car in for a service. I have to squeeze in 800 words on good financial management and find an hour to finish off that timber flooring company’s website copy.
You never truly understand just how much you can pull off in a day until you are managing work, household and family. It’s full on, but it’s a great feeling when you realise that you are actually holding it all together.
WATCH the video below in celebration of working women. Post continues after video...
6. It’s a reason to hire a cleaner!
Even if I had a full time nanny and no job, I would always find something to do other than pull out the vacuum cleaner.
Working is the perfect excuse for not cleaning and justifying the expense of paying someone to scrub the shower for me. Plus I’m supporting another mum who is managing a balancing act of her own.
Being a working mum is reality for so many of us. And go us!
Let’s celebrate being great role models for our kids, supporting the economy (the tax we pay totally outweighs those child care refunds) and generally kicking butt - even if the washing didn’t quite get folded this week.
What's one thing you love about being a working mum?