Thursday, January 30, 2014

Why I love being a full-time working mother

“What you work full time? And you have two Kids? Awww, I am so sorry for you.”

“That must be so hard, poor you.”

“That’s difficult, hang in there.”

These are the responses I hear when telling people I work full-time and have kids.

However, the best responses come from my favorite group The Holier-than-thou-judgmental parents...

“What about your kids?”

“Your poor kids, they must miss you?”

Or some don’t even have to say a word; they just give me that Oh-you-are-a-shitty-mother look.

However, they shouldn't feel sorry for me, I love it. It was a choice I made for myself and my family. And guess what? My kids don’t miss me at all! And that is fantastic!

The office...
Since working full time,  I am becoming the person I once was: happy, positive and self-confident.

You see, I worked part time for 5 years. I stayed home with my babies and I spent every waking hour with them. And I wasn't happy. I know it sounds ungrateful, but trust me I enjoyed every second I could between tackling the piles of laundry, washing the floors, running errands, taking kids to appointments, grocery shopping and all the other household management tasks PLUS working two or three days a week. 

I was exhausted and the enjoyable moments with my kids came after all of these tasks were completed. And by that time, I was too tired to enjoy them.

Not to mention, my self-esteem plummeted during those 5 years. I was overwhelmed and exhausted which allowed my insecurity as a parent to grow into an uncontrollable monster. I was spread thin and expected to do more than I was capable of, not only at home but also at work. I was expected to be full time at both places, impossible for me.

Then an opportunity came up to work full-time when my youngest started school. So I took a leap! I started working full time again, and my life has changed forever, for the good.

Going back to a full-time work schedule has taught me one of the greatest lessons in life: Life is not about quantity, it’s about quality

And now I realize that every moment I have with my babies is a gift. I am able to really enjoy them, have fun with them and watch them grow into these amazing little people.

You might be thinking, yeah yeah so cliché. I can understand that, but for me it is true.

Let me give you a peek into my moments:

Every morning if my babies aren't already snuggled up beside me by 7am, I bring them into my bed. Then we snuggle while waking-up and talk about the dreams we had that night. 

We go on imaginative adventures together, if only for 10 minutes, we are swept away to whatever world they discovered in their dreams.

We cuddle until the last moment and our morning routine begins. Soon, we are on the way to school where I cuddle them even more and listen to the latest gossip about their friends. I kiss them a hundred times and smell their sweet smell only a mother can love. The last bell rings for school to begin and I stampede out with the rest of the parents. 

They begin their day at school and I am on my 45 minute commute to work, smiling the entire way, thinking about what a great day it was even if it ended at that moment.

Then after work, no matter how shitty of a day I have had, I jump into my car and rush home to see their cherub-like little faces. The entire drive home I can hardly wait to hear what they had done during the day. 

I walk in the door and for five minutes I am a rock star. They are screaming with joy, showering me with kisses and telling me about the most exciting part of their day!

After dinner, I put my daughter to bed and we tell each other "secrets" about our favorite moments of the day. I lie with her in bed until she is off to dreamland.

Then I have about 45 special Mommy-and-Luca-time with my son. We read, we talk or we watch a nature show, all the while snuggling on the couch. We go to our own world for those 45 minutes. I really can't explain it in words. It's only something we can understand.

I finally tuck him in bed and already look forward to them waking-up the next morning.

These are moments I probably had with them when I didn't work as much, but to be honest they weren't pleasant. My patience was always thin from exhaustion and frustration. Back then, my kids sucked energy from me and now they give me all the energy in the world. Back then, I would spend the weekend wishing I could escape. Now I spend my weekend soaking up every second with my kids and loving it.

Even though I am not there to pick them up from school in the afternoon or to cook them dinner, I still believe I made the best choice going back to work for myself but also for my kids.

Our family is living proof that a happy mama makes a happy child!

PS...this is just my story, I know mothers who are successful at working part-time and raising kids...I am just not one of them.

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