The beginning of 2016 was rough. We were basically forced to find new child care for Atiana. She had just turned 2 and the thought of taking her from the place she had been at since she was 3 months old broke my heart. I spent two weeks crying over the situation wondering if I was doing the right thing. I interviewed a few schools and found one that felt right almost immediately. The thought of putting her in an actual school scared me shitless. I was so afraid my baby was going to be thrown out into this much bigger world and not be able to adjust. It took her a few weeks to stop crying when I dropped her off. I would call the school after I left to see how she was doing and they always assured me that she was fine once I walked out the door. I knew she loved the school because when we would arrive to pick her up she didn’t want to leave. I think the hard part for her was that she’s a natural leader and she came from a daycare where she pretty much bossed all the kids around so this was a huge adjustment for her. She felt vulnerable and unfamiliar with her surroundings all of a sudden. It didn’t take long before she regained her dominate personality in this new school.
Transferring her to a new school and bigger environment ended up being the best thing we’ve done thus far. Her aggressive behavior (biting, hitting, and pushing) stopped immediately, her naps became consistent and while I was afraid she would backtrack in her development she actually improved even more. I’ve always given her previous daycare provider all the credit for how smart Atiana is. She spent a lot of one and one time teaching her so much. At the age of one she already knew all her shapes and how to say them all. She also knew her vowels, the alphabet, numbers 1-10, each emotion and her five senses. She was bilingual and according to her pediatrician her vocabulary was very advanced. Daycare would always tell us how smart she was and how special she was. I’m her momma so of course I felt the same way but it always made me feel good to hear it from her daycare provider and her pediatrician.
It’s been almost 7 months since we transferred Atiana to pre-school and we are constantly receiving positive feedback from her teachers and the principal on her wide vocabulary, ability to lead others, her manners and how much she already knows for her age. Last week we were told they use Atiana to sell their school to other parents. Apparently every time new parents come to look at the school the teachers will call Atiana to come help show them around because she impresses everyone with her vocabulary and how smart she is. We also have Atiana enlisted in a sports program that comes to her school every Tuesday and teaches them different sports. The past Tuesday we found out that her coach uses Atiana as his helper/example during sports class because she’s the only one that can fully communicate in the class and participates in each exercise they do. I’m starting to think the school should give us some sort of discount for using my kid all the time LOL.
The point of this whole blog is to be able to look back and remember what I felt at one time. How scary change can be but how awesome the outcome can be sometimes which brings me to the topic of being a working mom.
I’m pretty sure I blogged when I first returned to work and how hard it was for me. I stayed home with Atiana the first 3 months of her life and it was hard for me. I wanted to come back to work after 6 weeks but my boss convinced me that I would regret it. Then she turned 3 months and I didn’t want to leave her. The first day I left her at daycare I left work early to pick her up because I couldn’t stop crying. I eased into the transition by working part time that whole week. Once I got into a routine it became much easier and I started working fulltime again. Daycare put Atiana on a schedule for me and when she wasn’t at daycare I followed the schedule at home to insure she was getting proper and rest and staying on schedule so that when she returned after the weekend she would transition again easily. Her daycare made my job as a working mom so easy on me because it was like she was at her second home. They made her breakfast, lunch and snacks, homemade her baby food, helped potty train her at a young age, made sure she napped and showed her unconditional love. The only hard part about it all was how often she got sick within the first year or two of her life and the time I had to take off work to stay home with her. It felt like every month she had some new illness. Although I’m thankful now because she rarely gets sick now and if she does get sick it only lasts a few days as opposed to a whole week or two. Since she’s been at this new school she’s only been sick to where I’ve had to keep her home one time.
I’m constantly seeing posts, articles and comparisons on working moms v. stay at home moms. People like to elaborate on how “hard” their job is whether it be working or staying home and I’m not quite sure what the purpose of that is. Maybe it makes them feel important or maybe they feel the need to explain themselves to people for reassurance that whatever they are doing is right? Whatever the reason may be, I think women tend to forget that we are all trying to do the same thing here, raise healthy happy kids. Both jobs are hard and not one job is harder than the other so it drives me nuts when people compare and try to say that their job (working/staying home) is so much harder than the other job. The truth of the matter is every woman is different. What may be harder for one woman is easier for another and vice versa. If you’re not happy doing what you’re doing, then do something about it. Stop complaining about how hard you have it, stop saying “it must be nice” to those who choose to raise their kids differently or live a different lifestyle than you do. You control your own life so do what make you and your family happy and screw what everyone else thinks. Unless you have a kid with special needs or you are a single mom trying to make ends meet I don’t want to hear it.
Most of you know that I work because I choose to work not because I have to work. My husband always encourages me to do what makes me happy and working makes me happy. Some moms out there are probably reading this thinking how could she say such a thing, if you didn’t have to work why wouldn’t you want to be with your kid. I shouldn’t have to explain that to anyone just as a stay at home mom shouldn’t have to explain why she stays home with her kid/kids. Everyone is different and different things make different people happy. We all have different goals, different ways of thinking, different views etc…all that matters is that YOU are happy and that your kid/kids are happy at the end of the day. I’m an open person and anyone that knows me knows that about me. There aren’t very may topics/conversations that make me feel uncomfortable and for the most part I have no problem expressing how I feel because I’m also a very honest person. With that being said I’m going to share why I choose to work.
I choose to work for many different reasons. One reason is because I know it makes me a happier person all around. Working makes me a better mom, wife and person because I feel like I’m being utilized to my full potential. I like being busy and actually hate downtime. I feel like I need to be doing something constantly in order to feel like I’ve made the most out of my day. Not saying that stay at home moms have all this downtime, but when I stayed home those first few months Atiana was born I found myself more unproductive than when I worked. That’s my own issue, I just couldn’t function when I stayed home. I thrive off a schedule, getting up at a certain time and having a routine and when I stayed home I pretty much just went with the day and at my own pace which didn’t work very well for me. Once I started working again I was back on a schedule, up by 5:30/6 a.m. and from that moment on there was something I needed to accomplish in a short amount of time in order to get to work at a decedent time. I pretty much don’t even sit down when I am home until Atiana goes to bed (8 pm) but I enjoy that busy schedule and I also enjoy the fact that once she goes to bed Josh and I get two hours of alone time to catch up on one another’s day. I honestly feel like our marriage is so strong because of the time we set aside for each other at the end of each day. I also love knowing that by me working I am contributing to our future, our day to day life, the way we choose to live, the nice things we choose to have and the food we love to spend money on. It just makes me feel good.
I also choose to work because I want to set an example for Atiana. Growing up my mom stayed home with me and my brother. My dad owned his own business and my mom worked for him part time so they had the freedom of bringing us to work with them. I felt like in a way I grew up very sheltered. Even though I had a lot of friends that lived on our block that I played with, I still felt like I was home so much that it made me very shy and when I did start elementary school I had a very hard time transitioning and feeling confident in who I was as a person because I spent so much time with my parents. I also had no desire to get my driver’s licenses early on or get a job until after high school because my parent’s never built up that confidence in me early on.
I grew up thinking women didn’t have to work that hard. I grew up thinking that one day a man would just come along and take care of me just like dad took care of my mom. It wasn’t until I got my first real job (the place I still work at to this day) that I realized women are totally capable of having a career. I want Atiana to grow up to be a strong female with the desire to become anything she wants to be. I want her to continue to be a strong fearless female that’s not afraid to overcome obstacles and is completely capable of taking care of herself. I know me continuing to work is impacting her future greatly.
When I get home at the end of the day I look forward to seeing my baby girl. I’m not frustrated with her and/or annoyed that I got nothing done that day and she misses me too so our time together is valued. She’s happy because she’s had a full day of fun interaction with children her age and she’s learning. When she’s happy our household flows very smoothly so it’s a win for us all.
Don’t get me wrong, there are days where I feel like I have so much I need to catch up on, but who doesn’t feel that way whether you stay home or work. Not only do I have a daughter but I also have three big older dogs and a Macaw that all require attention. At one point I felt like the weekends were spent on catching up on the things I didn’t do throughout the week (cleaning the house, laundry, errands etc..) but over time we’ve learned to manage that better by hiring someone to clean our house, managing laundry throughout the week and together so it doesn’t pile up, taking turns cooking/cooking together. It’s all about teamwork when both parents are working and that way neither of us gets resentful of the other person either. And because I work we have the option of hiring people to help with the things I can’t find time to get to. So for me personally, working makes for a happier me all around.
But, just because I work does not mean I judge those who stay home nor do I compare my life to their life. I know what it’s like to stay home with a little one because I’ve done it and my husband works every other Saturday. So from 6am until 7pm it’s just me and Atiana those Saturday’s. Both jobs are equally as hard. And props to the mommas out there that are juggling staying home with their kiddos and starting up their own business! Now that is true dedication and super mom status! Those are the moms that personally influence me the most and make me want to continue to do even more for my little family.
In conclusion, stop judging other moms. Stop comparing and PLEASE stop living your life through social media. Not everything you read/see on the damn internet is true. Working mom v. stay at home, neither of you are better moms than the other so just stop. We are all doing the best job we can and doing what's best for our OWN families.