My friend and I had a discussion about being a mom, work and having to rock both worlds. Isn’t every mom’s dream? She is a stay at home mom while I work full time outside the home 5 and a half days a week.
My friend thinks being a work-at-home mom is the best setup, a dream picture for moms who strive for that elusive work-life balance. I disagree. Not that we were about to start the so-called (and pointless) mommy wars of “should I stay or should I work?” debate. Each setup works for some, but not for all and each to her own.
While so many moms swear work-at-home is the best setup for them, it is not the best setup for me. Before you judge – as a mom working outside the home, I do wish there’d be days I could stay at home and be with my children. Days when I am jealous of stay-at-home moms.
But knowing myself, I believe that the work-at-home setup will not work for me.
While desperately wanting to have the best of both worlds, doing work at home will end up being impartial to each – to my work and to my family, especially my children.
Why? Because I am sure that something’s gotta give.
Take for example, if you have a client on the phone (or having that very important deadline) and your baby cries – it’s either you will feel the need to put the client/work on hold or put the baby’s need on hold. You are faced with the situation to go through your work while listening to the baby cries in the background. This setup will not work for me simply for the reason that I cannot bear to hear my baby cry and NOT run to his side.
Also, I have issues with dangling the baby on my side while tinkering with the keyboard or attending to an important work phone call.
My stance, and the best way I know I can handle and what works for me is to separate work and family responsibility. Give my 100% for work outside and go home, wear my mom cap and give my 100% undivided attention to my children when I am at home. The only way I find it fair for both sides.
And I imagine the work at home setup scenario will get more difficult as children get older, from babies to toddlers because small children do not understand the concept of “work”. If mom is around the house, why isn’t she attending to me? Why is she locking up herself in her “office room”? In my experience with my daughter Pristine when she was little, she is the type to want mom for herself when mom is around. She would bring me books and sit on my lap, she would bring me lego sets so we can play. She will ask for me to sit with her watching her favorite movies regardless if I was busy with other chores. For the life of me, there were even days I could not commit to personal bath time or bonding time with my husband because of toddler needs. How can work possibly fit into the picture?
I would like to hear from moms who work at home. I think somehow, this work-at-home thing will work out better IF you are your own boss. But if you are still an employee working for a company and reporting to a boss outside the home, you will be constantly exposed to the firing line of guilt from both parties: from work and from your responsibilities as a mom at home.
Lastly, don’t get me wrong – I am not condemning my friend and all the other moms who choose to ‘work-at-home’. We all have issues we worry about regardless of what path we take – I am only sharing what I know works for me right now. And I laud the moms who can pull the ‘stay-at-home’ setup while keeping everyone happy, work boss and family. In fact, I want to know how they do it!
What about you? What do you think about the work-at-home setup? Do you think it will work for you and your family? Why and why not?