In addition to pregnancy and giving birth, most discussions about the importance of mothers surrounding Mother’s Day tend to focus on celebrating moms for the more domestic aspects of parenting.
Often, ideas for how to pamper moms on their special day are encapsulated in suggestions like giving her a “break” from cooking or from watching the kids, or to clean up the house for her. Sometimes we seem to forget that almost 70% of mothers with young children actually work outside of the home full or part-time, and time with their family is what they want more than anything.
While some relaxation, some pampering, and a celebratory meal she loves are certainly welcome, we should recognize that there is way more to being a mom than cooking and cleaning and childcare.
My wife Anna is one such amazing mom, and I’ve asked her to share some of her thoughts on why she loves being a “Working Mom.”
Right now, I am a working mom married to a stay-at-home dad.
It wasn’t always our intention to raise our kids this way, but life goes in crazy directions sometimes and we’ve always liked to keep all of our options on the table. Throughout my marriage to Chris, we have taken turns both being at home and working full-time. But the last time we were both working full-time simultaneously was shortly before our eldest child was born. Since then, our boys have always had at least one parent at home with them. This arrangement has worked really well for our family.
I loved being at home with my kids. After Tucker was born, he and I had some wonderful times with just the two of us. We attended what I affectionately called “Baby Class” at the hospital where I delivered, which enriched my life in countless ways. We got together regularly with different friends for playgroups. We napped together in the middle of the day (possible if, like me, you can fall asleep virtually anywhere and at any time). Life was good.
But when I started working again, I realized how much there was to love about not being at home.
Here are seven of my favorite things about being a “Working Mom” (particularly, one married to an at-home dad):
I get to shower. Every day. For those of you with kids (especially those who have stayed at home with your kids at some point), you understand how sweet a gift this is.
When I’m at the office, I have grown-up conversations. Both conversations with other adults and conversations with grown-up topics. After I leave in the morning, I really don’t think about diapers for the next nine hours or so. It’s a nice escape.
I’m no longer the parent running most of the errands. Though I enjoy grocery shopping, I’m usually not the one doing it anymore. The same is true for other random stops that need to be made. I now typically don’t have to commit the time, and if I do make a stop on my lunch break or after work, I can be in and out very quickly because I’m only transporting myself.
I almost never have to make dinner. I am blessed with a husband who loves to cook and is really very good at it. I don’t mind preparing meals, but it is so great to get home after a long day and have my job be to play with my kids while someone else takes care of getting the food ready.
My lunch time is my own. If I want to run errands, I can. If I want to sit quietly at my desk, I can. If I want to eat with friends, I can. My schedule isn’t dictated by anyone else. And if I’m eating with other people, the person next to me doesn’t steal the napkin out of my lap to shred up and throw on the floor.
When one of my boys does something particularly adorable, I get a call or email about it. This makes me feel connected to them in a way that’s really special, and I appreciate so much that I can feel like a part of their daily adventures.
When I get home at night, I almost always get an enthusiastic greeting. This is something Chris has encouraged since my oldest was really little, and it’s a wonderful way to end the day. Mama’s home! Hooray!