Every mom is different, but for me, knowing myself means knowing that I need to be a working mom. Even with three daughters at home. Here are the reasons why.
1. I went to graduate school with the intention of using my degree. Graduate school is where I really learned my profession and I’ll be damned if I don’t apply what I learned to make the world a better place (not only for my kids, but everyone).
2. I am passionate about my work. You know what I am not passionate about? Letting stains out of upholstery.
3. I still have a lot of student debt and I want to pay back my loans. They are my responsibility.
4. I do meaningful work in the field of public health. I think health and access to health care is a basic human right and helping families, especially kids, get the care they need is personally fulfilling. My kids will understand this someday.
5. I work with really interesting people from all walks of life. I love being exposed to new ideas, different ways to approach a problem, and learning from others. Also, everyone I encounter is really smart, and that stimulates my brain.
6. Taking care of young children all day long is not going to help me feel like I have been taken care of. I am a better mom for having the ability to have time to work on myself. I have more patience and feel calmer handling tantrums after being at work. If I was home all day, every day, my rope would be thin and fraying. I recognize that this is a privilege that comes with loving my job, but I’m glad to take advantage of the fact that work is my “me time.”
7. I know myself—this is key—and I would have totally been one of the pill-popping-it’s-5-o’clock-somewhere-cocktail-sipping moms if I stayed home. My mind would turn to sludge.
9. I was raised by a single mother who loved being a stay at home mother. She had to work after my dad left and experiencing this at a young age made me realize I would never feel comfortable relying solely on my partner’s income. For my own sanity, and a sense of equality in my marriage, I need to be able to earn my own money and feel independent.
10. My job is important to me, but the most important job I have is being a role model to my three daughters. I want them to see me as a woman who accomplishes a lot outside of being their mom, and I don’t want them to resent me for wanting more.