Welcome to the new millennium where women have other responsibilities besides taking care of the home.
They are multitaskers and balancers who figure out how to get things done by organizing their time efficiently.
We live in a time when being a working mother isn’t frowned down upon as it once was several decades ago. Economic demands call for a two-income household. And while some people might see that as a burden, it is in fact a relief and victory for most mothers.
I’m a working mother. I’m proud to say I am a working mother. To me it is a badge of honor. While it may just look like all I’m doing is divvying up my time in and out of the home, I’m building a better person than I would have been if I did not work.
Here are 7 reasons I feel blessed to be a working mother.
1. The ability to wear multiple hats
Monotony in life can get boring, and often boredom can lead to feeling down and like your days are meaningless. To combat that boredom, it’s necessary to be able to move from one scene to the next. Being a working mother offers that option of moving from scene to scene in your daily life while maintaining your sanity. In fact, it’s the moving from one role to the other that keeps working mothers sane.
As a working mother, I can separate my home life from my work life. Doing so makes me look forward to returning to both. Feeling overwhelmed is minimized because by having two different roles, I can step away from one and focus more on the other. Granted, parenthood is a bit more permanent – therefore more important than working – but the option of moving from one role to the next, and perfecting the balance of doing both like a pro, is a skill I look forward to mastering daily.
2. An opportunity to perfect balancing life
Switching from one responsibility to the next can help with clearing one’s mind. You can return to that responsibility with a fresh pair of eyes. Learning to balance life can calm that overwhelming feeling that is often associated with being a mom and having a job.
For me, I feel a sense of accomplishment when I’m able to give my 100% on whatever I need to focus on at that moment. Being able to move from one role to the next can be healthy for the psyche, believe it or not. It gives me an opportunity to challenge myself and do the things I think I can’t.
According to a study mentioned in Psychology Today, mothers are more likely to suffer from depression due to the amount of attention and time that is demanded to be, well, a mother. So, it’s important – now more than ever – to have other outlets that can contribute to feeling fulfilled. And being a working mother is one of those outlets that assists with balancing my life at home.
3. Patience building
Being a parent can be very testing. I am a mother of a little boy who just turned five and has an opinion about everything. There are things he doesn’t like that he is able to express and will express freely, regardless of where we are. If he feels passionate about it, he expresses that in that moment.
Learning the art of the deep breath is something I’ve had to master when dealing with him, and something I’ve had to learn when working. At work, I’ve learned how to communicate logically and not emotionally. Because children are often driven by emotion, logic is something a parent must always have to communicate with their littles. But first, we must appeal to their emotional centers before they’ll even be open to hearing the logic.
Being a working mother forces me to learn how to be patient, or at the very least, work on building patience. Patience in communicating with employers. Patience in completing tasks. And patience in using the right amount of time to deliver results. That patience building trickles into my home life where, granted, I’m not negotiating any fees with my son, but I do negotiate the time spent on playing video games or cars.
4. Being a role model to my little one
Being a role model as a mother is very important to me. I am the first stop in shaping the perception my son will have of women and what they can and cannot do. Showing that I can balance home life with work life is a must if I want to change the narrative of what it means to be a mother in North America today.
Three-quarters of American mothers who have children at home are employed either by a company or by themselves. In a study mentioned in the New York Times, research showed that daughters of working mothers completed more years of education and were more likely to earn higher incomes. Sons of working mothers were more likely to spend more time on child care and housework.
So, it’s clear that being a working mother means more than just bringing money into the home, although that is a bonus. It plays an important role in my child’s life by setting the foundation of who he will be as an adult.
5. The option to contribute to the household
Life everywhere today is expensive. Everything has gone up in price, the cost of living is triple what it used to be only a decade ago – at least in my hometown of New York. So, a two-income household is no longer a luxury – it’s a necessity.
True, most households can get by with a single income. Adjustments can be made where costs are cut on things that aren’t really used to preserve money. But often, having a two-income household is the best bet to keeping harmony in the home, ensuring that bills and other necessities are taken care of, and cutting down on stress that could lead to discord.
Being a working mother ensures that I can contribute to the household and the savings that could be used for my son’s future education. Less need to scrape our change jars for money means less chance of there being disharmony among us.
According to an article written on CNBC, money is the leading cause of stress in relationships. Being a working mother allows me to get the things my son wants when he wants it. Nothing is more crushing than seeing the look of sadness on your little one’s face when they say they want something, but you realize you can’t afford it. It’s best for you to say they can’t have it because they need to earn it – rather than to say they can’t have it because you can’t afford it.
6. I have more appreciation and respect for time
When you must balance home and work life, you are forced to have respect for time. Your days all have purpose and are not all there to do as you will. Setting aside time for family, time for work, and time for myself is something I learned to do being a mother who works. Planning things in advance has been a skill I’ve worked to perfect.
Working helps with cherishing the quality time I spend with my son and my husband. I’m able to designate time with them accordingly, leading to a more fulfilling and enriching time with the people I love, especially my son. I understand the beauty of bedtimes, which I hated as a kid. Now it’s my saving grace.
According to a study published in Psychology Today, mothers experience a greater decline in sleep time as compared to fathers (whose sleep time did not change significantly once they were parents). So, it’s necessary to understand the resource of time and to use it efficiently. Being a working mother helps a lot with this.
7. Building stronger relationships
With me working, my son gets a chance to form a stronger bond with his father. It’s important that my son can build memories and experiences with his father, independent of me. It’s great to do things as a family, but sometimes a stronger bond can happen when both child and father can have their moments together. My son can do that when I am focusing on other responsibilities.
Outside of the home, my son can meet friends and form friendships that have the potential to last a lifetime. He has the opportunity to do this by participating in afterschool programs or visiting the homes of classmates after school. These activities, in turn, contribute to improving his communication with others and building the foundation of having diverse communication skills.
The studies have proven the beauty of being a working mom, and witnessing it firsthand as a working mom myself, I personally wouldn’t want it any other way. Contributing to my household, while shaping my son’s perception of what it means to be a mother today, is a reward that has its own rewards. And they are simply priceless.
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Samantha Greaves is a freelance writer based out of New York. When she isn’t contributing to parenting websites like Mommybites, she can be found chasing behind her 5-year old or sitting in front of her laptop with a cup of coffee at arm’s reach.