*Sponsored by KinderCare. Regardless all thoughts and opinions are my own.
I was scrolling through Facebook earlier this evening when I came across a quote someone posted that made me stop. It said “When in doubt, choose the kids. There will be plenty of time later to choose work.” And I really had to stop and think and figure out why this quote was bothering me. It’s really not always that easy, is it?
In fact it goes a lot deeper than that. For a lot of moms (and dads) there is no choice. Working is in the best interest of their children. Kids aren’t cheap. In fact they are very expensive. And parental instinct tells you to do what you need to do to provide the best life and opportunities for your children. Therefore a mom or dad who may wish they have more time to spend with their kids simply can’t – but they are working for their kids and that doesn’t make them any less of a good parent.
In addition some parents need to work because of the fulfillment it provides them. Lots of parents desire something besides parenting because it gives them a sense of ‘self’ that you aren’t going to get hanging out with little kids all day. My husband always tells people he could never be a stay at home dad. He needs his work and he loves it and wants to be doing it. And it’s not just guys who feel that way. I know lots of moms who want to be working and love the work that they do and being a working mom makes them a better mom.
And here’s the thing – whether you work full time and then some, work from home, don’t work at all, or something in between, motherhood is a complete balancing act. And just because you make a choice to be doing something that might not involve hands on taking care of your kids 24/7 does not make you a bad mom. And even a stay at home mom needs breaks and choosing to take those breaks for herself make her a better mom and is therefore in the best interest of her kids. Choosing to ‘work’ by cleaning up the house makes for a calmer environment which kids will benefit from. Choosing to ‘work’ by going to the office and billing hours provides for things financially for children a mom might not be able to otherwise.
I’m not quite wired the same way as my husband. I knew when I had kids that I did not want to work long hours in an office. It just wasn’t going to work with my husbands hours and I did desire to have more time at home with my kids. But at the same time I did experience that need for something outside of being with my kids all day. That’s when blogging kind of fell into my lap. It gives me the opportunity to provide for my family financially, and gives me a creative outlet. But it does require a lot of work and means I have had to use outside childcare for my kids in an attempt to balance it all.
To make things easier on me and for their own enrichment Maddie Grace goes to preschool 3 half days a week and Tripp goes 2. Next year Maddie Grace will be going 4 half days and Tripp hopefully 3. Do I feel bad about this? Not one bit. It has been so good for both them and me. In fact after going through this I would recommend some type of a preschool or daycare program for every mom, no matter what their working situation is. In fact even with the amount of time thy are in school I feel stretched thin with everything going on. And sometimes on the days they go to school I really miss them and feel some guilt over it. Especially since they come home and have nap/quiet time and then the day seems to pretty much be over. But I look at all the benefits of having them in preschool and just know that it’s what is best for them. They are socializing, making friends, doing arts and crafts, learning, and both leave school with a big smile telling me how much fun it was every day. Their teachers are loving and warm, and also way better at actually teaching them things than I am. I know that they are in an awesome environment, and it gives me a break to get work and errands done.
If you are a mom looking for childcare services I highly recommend looking into KinderCare, which has over 1,400 fully accredited locations across America. What sets a KinderCare childcare center apart is the experience they provide for your children. These environments are energized by dynamic teachers, responsive to the different challenges facing working families, enriched with a robust network of leading experts and advocates for children, and measurable in their efforts to achieve top outcomes with children. When you know your kid is in the best care available, it frees up your mind and efforts to really focus on the work you are doing, whatever that is.
Moms I’d love to hear from you below. How do you work through the kinks of the motherhood balancing act? What has helped you?