30 Days of Thanks: I'm Grateful to Be a Working Mom
As a working mom, life isn't always so easy, but I wouldn't have it any other way!
Before we had children, there was no question about it: I’d be a working mom. We just bought a house, and we’d need to be a two-income household to sustain it. For my husband and I, having our own house before starting a family was so very important as each of us grew up in single-mom homes where a house was a dream rather than a reality. Despite childcare costs, we could still afford the house and live comfortably, but it was all reliant on two steady incomes.
But after the birth of my oldest daughter, I realized my working was more than just about financing the lifestyle we chose, the one we grew up so desperately wanting. Rather it was more of a necessity for my own well-being.In fact, my husband and I often have conversations that if one day we could afford to live off of one income and still have the house, I’d keep working, and he’d be a stay-at-home dad. No questions about it. In the four years since becoming a working mom, I’ve realized how very grateful I am to be a working mom, though the journey to getting to this point hasn’t always been easy.
I’ve been working ever since I was 15 when I began babysitting. Even through college and graduate school, I worked. Working is just something so innate, something that flows inside my blood. I even worked when I spent a semester abroad in Florence, Italy, as work study allowed me to do so.
When I became a mom though, a wrench was thrown into my desires to work. I missed Abby so very much. I walked into school my first day back and broke down in tears in the middle of the school office. I remember a fellow teacher commenting to me later that day that I looked like a chicken with my head cut off, running around to busy myself. I was just trying to avoid eye contact with my colleagues as well as the inevitable question of, “How are you doing?”
However, the more I got into the swing of teaching again, and the older my daughter got, the more I realized how much I was meant to be a teacher. In fact, being a mother made me a better teacher. I began viewing each of my students not just as vessels to fill with knowledge but rather as someone’s child. Their parents entrusted me so much to do right by their kid, and it’s a vow I’ve silently taken and will never break.
The more I grew into this new way of viewing my profession, the more I grew into becoming a better teacher. At home and at work, I have a huge purpose, each with its own aim. Each gives me so much and fuels my soul. As I watch my daughter grow, and see how kind and generous and sensitive and caring she is, I know I’m helping to shape her into a wonderful human being. And as I watch my students grow and learn and challenge themselves, I know I’m helping to build their confidence and take risks which is a huge feat especially for all the low readers I work with. Each one fuels me in ways the other can’t. I need both. I crave both. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have both.
I’m not just grateful to be a working mother, but grateful that the work I’ve chosen—or rather sometimes I feel it has chosen me—helps me to fulfill my passions in life. As a wife and mother, a huge personal passion is satisfied. As a teacher, my professional passion is satisfied. And as a writer I get to have the best of both worlds.
Some people think I’m crazy for all I take on. Wife. Mom. Teacher. Writer. They don’t know how I manage it all. And frankly, sometimes I astonish myself and don’t know how I make it all happen. But I do. And I love it all. And I wouldn’t have it any differently. I could have never predicted this path my life has taken, this crazy roller coaster I feel like I’m on some days. Yet I couldn’t be happier. Working Mom. Wherever the future takes me, my girls will always know how very grateful I am for all I have the ability to do, and I hope that whatever choices they make as they grow into women, whatever paths they take in life, they are forever grateful for their choices, just as I am.
There’s so much to be thankful for, we can’t fit them all into one post! Check out BabyZone’s 30 Days of Thanks page to see all the things—great and small—that we can be grateful for each day.
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