I love what I do. Getting to impact the world, make a difference each day, and fulfill what God has called me to do is exactly why I entered the nonprofit sector. Before we started trying to have a family, I had really ambitious career goals. Nothing crazy, but ambitious. Once I got pregnant, things started shifting. I still have big ambitions, but my perspective changed. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to be a mom. (My poor brother can vouch for this.) After struggling with some early pregnancy losses, I was so excited for motherhood. I struggled with the balance between my existing ambitions and my desire to be 100% a mom.
As I’ve shared before, we ended up moving from Oklahoma to Philadelphia when our son was about two weeks old. This presented me with a unique opportunity. Had we stayed in Oklahoma, I would have, most likely, taken my maternity leave and returned to work. But since we moved and I had to leave that job, I decided that I would do what I could to find a job that would be flexible enough for me to be a mom AND pursue my career. I was lucky enough to find a job that allowed me to work from home, which has been incredible. But what I realized was that by choosing both, I was still sacrificing.
I had thought that by finding a way to work at home and stay home with our son, I would be able to have the best of both worlds. Yet, this choice comes with its fair share of challenges. I can’t give my full attention to my work, because I need to feed our son, play with him, help him to be engaged and continue to learn, keep him on a nap schedule, and more. I can’t focus entirely on my son because sometimes I need to be on calls and he has to entertain himself and sometimes delay a nap a little longer than he would like. (Not that having him entertain himself is bad, but there is a balance there!) There is a lot of truth in the philosophy that you can do only a few things well, and I am continuing to realize that to be a good mom and a good employee, I still have to make some sacrifices.
So, how am I managing being a stay-at-home mom AND a working mom? Well, I’ll be unpacking that in a mini series about how I am (attempting) to manage both and tricks I’ve found to stay sane in this balancing act. For now, I’ll leave you with this:
Every option is hard, has its own challenges, and demands something extraordinary from you. Whether you choose to work, stay home, or do a bit of both, you are a great mom.
I hope you honor that.
- How to work at home without spending all your time in pajamas and doing laundry
- What to do with a baby all day
- The importance of finding time for yourself
- The art of subtraction
Have something you’d like me to include in this series? Comment on this post or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!