7 Honest Reasons Why I Am a Working Mom | Pen and Parent
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Being a working mom for some seems too difficult or perhaps they would prefer to be a SAHM. But I am a working mom because I want to be. Check out my thoughts on being a working mom and why. A must read for any mom but especially so if you're trying to decide between staying home with the kiddos or becoming a working mom. #workingmomtips #workingmoms

7 Honest Reasons Why I Am a Working Mom

For some, staying home with the kiddos is an easy decision. For others, being a working mom is the only choice. I wanted to tell you why I’m a working mom to help you decide what’s right for you.


Writing about why I am a working mom was inspired by two things.

First, my writing bestie wrote a reflective piece on why she’s a SAHM. You can read that here

The second reason is in response to the NPR podcast, 'Mommy, You Can Do That': Navigating Work-Life Balance Thousands Of Miles From Home, featuring two climate scientists and mothers, Zoe Courville and Lora Koenig.

Both women spend weeks away from their kids in Antartica to further their research.

What got me the most about the podcast was that Corville discusses an unsolicited remark by a fellow scientist about how he appreciated his wife staying home with the kids because they really need their mother.

His comment made her wonder if he was ever asked the same question by one of his peers. 

So, both of these things got me thinking about why I’m a working mom instead of a SAHM.

Luckily, I do have a choice (I know this isn’t true for a lot of working parents). Although I think my husband prefers that I earn money because it alleviates some of the pressure.

Honestly, I truly believe my workload is more than his, even though we both have jobs. I know we have some amazing dads that read our blog, so I don’t want to point fingers, but moms usually do the bulk of the household duties, even when they are a working parent too.

And I must mention that I grew up with a single-father who wore many hats, so I know that this isn't always true. 

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The Reasons Why I’m a Working Mom

  1. Already set in my career

    I became a mom late in life and had a teaching career in place. I worked hard to get a full-time job as an English and ESL instructor at UCSD.

    I had to undergo years of schooling and worked countless by-agreement jobs hustling for a paycheck. Right before I had my son, I was offered a full-time teaching job. They allowed me to go on maternity leave (unpaid of course) for six months and then return to full-time work.
  2. Staying home would steal my soul

    I struggled for years to become pregnant and originally thought that once I became a mom, I would stay home. But I found the transition into parenthood painful. I struggled with what to do with my days and my desire to write resurfaced. The thought of giving up my teaching and writing career left a hole in my life. Plus, I needed time away from the kids too. Of course, I felt guilty. I loved and rejoiced in them, but I couldn’t fathom the thought of not working.
  3. Financial reasons and concerns

    San Diego is expensive. While my husband does make enough for me to stay home, despite the exorbitant daycare costs, in the long-run staying active in my field was smarter financially. Once the kids are in school the daycare costs will go away, but I will have hopefully advanced in salary and position, so working in the long-term is smarter.
  4. Returning to the workplace

    Statistically, one of the reasons it’s harder for women to earn as much as men is because they take time off to 
    take care of kids and family members. I was worried that it would be hard for me to return to the same salary and position if I took a long-term leave from my field.
  5. Found a great daycare

    Choosing a daycare isn’t easy. I realized too late that you need to be on waiting lists for months (some of them before you get pregnant) to secure a spot. The
    average cost of daycare in San Diego is $1200 - $1500 per kid, per month.

    Daycare costs are literally your house payment. But a friend at work recommended an in-home daycare and preschool that he sent both his kids to and loved. The cost was cut in half. Now both my kids are there and love it.

    Research has shown that a good daycare
    gives kids an academic boost in school. I see that already with the love and attention my daycare provider slathers on them. Knowing that they are so well-taken care of makes being away from them easier.
  1. Flexible job schedule

    One of the best parts of my job is that I’m not strapped to a desk all day. I’m mostly in the classroom with my students teaching, not in front of a computer; although, I do spend a lot of time doing that with my
    writing and blogging schedule. 

    Recently, I launched a new online course, Get Paid to Write Quality Blog Posts and have an upcoming Blogger Grammar Refresher Course launching soon.

    But I can set my schedule to a certain extent, so I taking kids to the doctor or squeezing in a Pilates class is easier. 
  2. Example For My Kids

          I like to think I’m an example for my kids as a working mom. Not that                   being a SAHM isn’t a good role model. Taking care of children is the                    hardest “job” I’ve ever had, so I hope that one-day parenthood will finally              be admired, other than on Mother’s Day.

But all of this being said, my situation isn’t ideal. Most of the time, I’m so tired I could cry. There are days that my kids do cry for thirty minutes straight after I pick them up from school.

During the week, I see them only a few hours a day. And during the hardest hours of the day. You know, after a long day or right before dinner. I call this time period the witching hours.

But on the other hand, the time I do squeeze in, I enjoy more now than when I stayed home. I make the most of our weekends with quality family time and fun activities. Plus, I’m still their favorite person (little trailing shadows).

The question of being a working mom or SAHM is a personal one, made up of many different factors. But the top three are finances, desire, and pragmatism.

There are days that I wish I was a SAHM and then there’s a long weekend, and I can’t wait to get back to work.

But, perhaps the strongest reason for me is that going to work helps me retain a sense of myself; otherwise, I might become lost in the wilds of parenthood.

I might lose the part that used to be “me” before becoming “we.” The part that’s just me.

Whatever you choose, I’m guessing it will be the right one for your family.

And, yes, for you.

Let me know if you’re a SAHM or Working Mom or Dad and why in the comments below. I would love to hear from you.

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