I grew up with two working parents, so the idea of being a stay at home mom never really occurred to me. I am a Type A rule follower who loves a good plan, so after high school I followed what seemed like the natural road before me: went to a 4 year school, got my bachelor’s degree, and got a full time job in corporate America.
When I met my husband, it was clear from the get go that I was the one with the more stable source of income. I had an established job as a financial analyst, and he was currently in the golf industry, but hoping to transition to something that wouldn’t be as weekend heavy. I was happy and grateful that my career allowed us some flexibility for him to try out various career paths that would allow us to have more time together as a family. So again, the thought of being a stay at home mom never really seemed like a feasible possibility.
We both grew up in California, where having two working parents is pretty common given the cost of living. When we moved to Arizona, the norm shifted and the majority of friends I met were stay at home moms. As we started thinking of starting a family, it made me doubt our circumstances. Could I be as good of a mom to my babies if I was working during the week?
Comparison man, it really can be the thief of joy!
I am a big believer that everything happens for a reason, and it was that thinking that led me to a breakthrough moment before we even got pregnant with our first: if I was meant to be a stay at home mom, then I would be. But maybe, just maybe, being a working mom would allow me to be the very best mom I can be.
That breakthrough moment turned me from feeling like a victim to my circumstances, into an empowered mama who knew she could do whatever it took to be the best mom she could be. That moment reminded me that motherhood is not one size fits all, there is not one “best” scenario that works for each family. It is about learning to be the best we can be in the scenario before us, OR making a change if we truly feel held back by our circumstances.
I can honestly say that right now, in this season of my life, I am the best mom I can be because I am a working mama. My daughter thrives at her in home daycare, which feels more like family than a daycare. I have established healthy boundaries with my work so that I can feel present and engaged in the evenings and on weekends.
My husband and I make the most of the time that we get with our daughter, enjoying extracurricular activities like music class and swim lessons, to make memories together as a family. I truly feel like we have created the perfect rhythm for our family, and being a working mom actually adds to that rhythm.
So mama, whether you are a stay at home mom or a working mom, I hope you feel empowered to be the best mom you can be right where you’re at. I hope you know that there is no perfect scenario for thriving in motherhood.
If you are ever doubting yourself or your circumstances, I’d love to pose the thought that maybe, just maybe, the very circumstances you find yourself in are what you need to be the best mom you can be.