Raki Wright is a wife, mom of two, coffee drinker, list maker, and one of our frugal living/money saving contributor. She puts her UNC Tarheels’ degree in Communication Studies to use at an advertising agency and her hands-on experience as a working mom to use on her blog Outside the Box Mom.
I have a confession – I love being a working mom.
I’m supposed to say that I want to be the one at home taking care of my kids – not my mother in law, a preschool, or a public school.
I graduated from college and envisioned my life would include a husband, children, and a career that I enjoyed. Not one or the other, but both. I work and I am a mother. They are not mutually exclusive.
About 2 years ago, I was laid off. I didn’t find work for about 10 months. During three of those months, it was Summer and I really enjoyed being home with my four year old daughter and 11 year old son and having the freedom to go to the library, pool, or play outside. But in the Fall when my daughter turned 3, I kept with my original plan to send her to a half day preschool. It was a hard transition for her because she had been cared for by her grandmother for the first 3 years of her life.
Since starting preschool, I have seen her knowledge grow, her maturity grow, and her desire to spend time with me grow. Two months before she started preschool, we were home all day together, as I worked part time in the evening once my husband was home.
It was difficult for me to keep her busy and stay on top of maintaining our home, taking care of her, and searching for full-time work. It just did not come naturally to me and it was not the best experience for her or for me. Both of our lives were more enjoyable when she began attending preschool and I returned to work full time.
Many working moms (that I know) feel guilty that: they can’t be at home with their children, they have to send their children to daycare, or they have to work.
I don’t feel guilty about any of that. I was fortunate enough that my mother in law cared for my youngest child for the first three years of her life. Having to work means that I need someone to care for my child. Preschool has been great for her socialization skills and she learns so much.
I don’t stop being their mom and they are well taken care of, so what is there to feel guilty about?
I enjoy my work. I enjoy building relationships, learning new skills, and providing services to clients. I spent a lot of time and money going to college and want to fully take advantage of that achievement. I do work because I have to financially support my family, but I still would work even if I didn’t have to. I am recharged during the time I spend away from my children, as it allows them space to develop and both of us can return home, excited to see each other and share all that has happened during our day. I love feeling a sense of accomplishment that I have contributed towards something, whether it be completing a great project at work, mastering that skill that I never thought I would ever learn, or saving a client’s day.
I learn skills at work that I can apply at home like budgeting, delegating, and teamwork. I also have experience, as a mom, that I can bring to work like being a leader, taking responsibility, multitasking, and learning the most efficient way to get something done with limited resources.
Being a working mom helps me to be a better employee and a better mom.
If I didn’t have to work, would I? Yes! I would be self employed, on my own terms. I have learned so much about myself and learned things that can help others. There are so many women who don’t have a choice, including me for now, but I know others could benefit from the trials and lessons that I’ve learned from.
This is what I believe is best for ME. I’m not going to apologize for hurting anyone else’s feelings or if someone feels judged by my views. I encourage you to do the same!