I have been working from home since my baby was born, which can be an amazing blessing. After all, when I’m working from home, I get to play with the little guy and keep up with the housework so I don’t have to cram it all into a few hours at night or on the weekend. But, as I’ve mentioned before, I sometimes need a break!
So, I decided to find a part-time job outside the house. Originally, I looked for a legal job since that’s what I’m used to. I was offered one but it required a minimum of 35 hours a week. I really wanted this job! It sounded like so much fun…until I thought about all the extra stress that would add to our lives. Marc and I prayed about it and ultimately decided that was not the best choice for our family…even though the money would have been nice.
Last week, I was offered another job. It’s part time, just two days a week. This one isn’t in the legal field and actually pays a bit less than I make working from home, but it has one huge benefit: it’s not at home! This was my first week working, and I’m loving it. If a new mom were to ask me whether she should work or not, I would advise her to try some part-time work. Here’s what I’ve discovered so far:
- Jobs offer a change of pace. It can be boring staying home every day, especially for someone who enjoys a challenge. It’s so nice to have a mental break from the monotony of staying home every day, and I love the challenge of something new and different. That’s not to say staying at home can’t be a challenge, but managing a screaming baby without losing your temper is a different sort of challenge than tackling a new computer program.
- A job gives me time to miss my child. Is it true that absence makes the heart grow fonder? If I’m talking about me and my son, the answer is yes. Going to work gives me a chance to miss Eli, which makes me enjoy the time I do have with him even more.
- My job allows me to be myself. Being a mom is one of my most important jobs, but I refuse to allow it to fully define who I am. I don’t want my identity so wrapped up in being a mom that I don’t have room for anything else in my life. A job provides another facet to my identity and, thus, enriches my personality.
- My baby benefits! Not only does Eli have a more sane, pleasant mommy when she has a few days to work, but he also benefits from the social interactions daycare provides. He comes home exhausted from playing all day, and I’m confident he benefits from the social interactions he wouldn’t get just by staying home with an adult.
Working from home vs. staying home without working vs. working outside the home can be such a hot topic in women’s circles, especially in churches! We women need to be a little easier on ourselves and realize that it’s okay find a solution that’s best for our family as a whole…including ourselves!