After nearly five years staying at home with my kids, last summer I went back to work. I hadn’t planned on going back to work, and if it wasn’t for the exact job I took, I wouldn’t have gone back under other circumstances. Anyway, I went back to work.
Like any woman in my shoes would presumably be, I was nervous about how this would affect our family: how would the kids adjust, how would I handle having less time, what about my marriage, etc.?
But lo and behold, a couple of very surprising things happened, and all my worrying was for naught.
- My husband grew more confident and organized: Prior to going back to work, I juggled most of the kids’ schedules and appointments. I handled sick days. My husband has a very busy, very demanding full-time job, so anytime I could, I avoided burdening him with the rest of the family’s needs because that seemed fair. My new job comes with two 10-hour-long days plus a short commute. This meant my husband became responsible for dropping off and picking up the kids from the babysitter (who also does before- and after-school care for my oldest, school-aged daughter.) He packs their lunches and snacks, makes sure they brush their teeth and tie their shoes. He is a much more confident parent now that these are things he needs to do and, much to my surprise, he isn’t burdened by these things at all but rather loves having this time when he gets to be the one in charge and helps shape our daughters’ lives. It wasn’t that he didn’t help before, but now he feels secure in what he’s doing so much so that he jokes about having even more kids!
- I actually have even more time: This sounds crazy, but with no set schedule prior to working, I could do whatever I wanted and whenever. This meant that I mostly procrastinated whenever something was needed of me because I always thought, “I have plenty of time to do this on ______” Now, I have a set schedule and have to plan ahead, meaning I spend less mindless time on social media and more time doing things that contribute to my life and family.
- It empowered my kids: I suspected this might be the case, but I wasn’t really sure what my girls were going to think about me working. It turns out they are seriously proud and they gladly tell complete strangers what I do or that I have to work. They are very strong-willed little girls and they will be amazing power houses one day, I’m sure. I love that I am showing them just how possible it is to be a working woman, a caring and loving mom and a dedicated wife all at the same time with grace and kindness.
Looking ahead at my future, I can’t see a time when I won’t want to continue down the path I am on. I am gaining new responsibilities daily, and having a career again is rewarding both personally and clearly in other ways, too. If you are considering making the transition from stay-at-home parent to the working world again, I say take it slow, follow your passions and be open and honest with your family about what this means for everyone, and you may just be surprised yourself.
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Tags: back to work