To Work or Not to Work...

4:31:00 AM

...that is the question. This is a topic which seems to have women split down the middle whether to work or not to work after having a baby. For some people they don't really have a choice, their income is necessary to support their family. For others, it wouldn't be worth it to put their child in day care just to work to pay for it. And for others still, like me, it is a choice. A very hard choice, but none the less a choice we make.

The grass is always greener so they say. Mamas who stay at home typically envy something that a working mom has, such as a little freedom from their children or housework or getting more adult time. Similarly, us working mamas envy the stay at home moms for getting to spend all of those precious little years just being with your kiddos. 

Stay at home moms usually don't get appreciated enough for what they do, which to me is ridiculous!! You not only are keeping little humans alive, you are cooking meals, driving carpool, cleaning, doing laundry, the list goes on and on. Stay at home moms...YOU ROCK! I hope you have someone in your life who appreciates everything that you do, because you are amazing!

Working mamas, give yourself some slack! You not only are working your booty off and helping provide for your family, but you also somehow find time to do a lot of the grunt work at home as well. If the dishes don't get done tonight, forget it! Go play with your kiddos. They miss you. You miss them. It's okay to not have everything perfect and together all of the time. (note: this is advice to myself here) There will always be time later to do laundry or pick up the toys, but there might not be time later to throw the ball with your kindergartner or build towers with your toddler or snuggle that newborn. YOU ALSO ROCK! And I hope you have someone in your life who appreciates everything that you do. 

So why do I work?

It is not because I love working more than my family. My family will ALWAYS come first. I am sad when I miss out on the little things with them, so I have to be very diligent to make my time that I do have with them each day truly valuable. 

I do, however, love my job and I am quite blessed to have a job that doesn't feel like work. I am a licensed hairstylist and have been behind the chair officially for 4 years now. I am a sole proprietor and it basically took me about 2 of those 4 years to establish my book and it has been growing steadily since then. Unfortunately, the beauty industry, especially when you work for yourself, is pretty hard to be gone from for too long. Even if it is for the very good reason of having a baby, eventually your clients will have to find somewhere else to go get their hair done (understandably) and most likely won't come back if you are gone for too long. That is why, even though I am devastated to leave my 5 week old baby, it is what I have to do to keep my business alive. 

I have worked the majority of my life, as I'm sure most of you can relate. Having had a job ever since I was 15, I love being able to work and contribute to our expenses and to be able to have something that is for me. My work is a creative outlet and my tiny escape from all of my other duties. A time where I get to converse with humans over the age of 5 and take a tiny time out from temper tantrums and wiping booties. I honestly think it (sometimes) makes me a better mom at the end of the day...depends on the day.

I believe whether you work or whether you stay at home it is not an easy choice. The most important thing is that you do what is best for you + your family. Let's just remember that each of us are on this parenting journey together and agree to support one another. Love on the mama next to you, whether she stays home in the chaos of her children and hasn't washed her hair in 5 days or has to leave her children in the care of someone else to help provide for her family. 

We all are amazing mamas and our kids look up to us. Be a positive roll model and a source of encouragement to others around you and show your kids that what you do (whatever that means for you) matters!

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