Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Confessions of a Working Mom

Every once in awhile I take mental inventory of all the work I've created for myself. 1st, there are my "real" jobs (dietitian, 2 places). 2nd, I've got my Etsy shop, busier than ever. 3rd, full time mom and wife.

I'm not quite sure how all that happened. But for me, like many other moms in southern California, it's reality.

I used to go around telling people I liked to work, that working part time was a break for me. But the truth is I hate working. As I'm sure any of you know that have kids and work, it isn't the work itself that you hate. It's the being away from home.

At different stages of my life as a mother, I've told myself different variations of the same lie, the lie being "they don't really need me." The worst part of working at this point is that I can't convince myself of this lie anymore.

I think this is what has driven me to work so hard in my Etsy shop. Don't get me wrong, working at home is still work. Some days I'm so busy creating custom orders or preparing new items to list in my shop that I may as well have been at my real job. But I am home.

There is something about being present in a child's life. It isn't about keeping track of school assignments, keeping a clean house, or being in a constant state of engagement with them. Those are all important, but I can do that from anywhere. There is so much more to it than that. 

So, here comes the big confession: I don't know how to do whatever that is, to be present.

But I am here. And I'm working hard to be here more. Hopefully, somewhere along the way I'll figure out how to be the mom I've secretly always wanted to be. 

God is working in me. I know he has a plan, a purpose for me. And now, more than ever I want to be a part of that plan.


  1. Melanie,

    Please don't be so hard on yourself. I am a 45 year old woman who's Mom had to work my entire life, sometimes two jobs at the same time! Were there times when I was young when I wished she was home more? Yes. But, and this is the part I want you to hear and take in, I always knew she loved me and was doing this for my good. As I grew up, I learned to be responsible and self sufficient, traits that have served me well in life.

    As I get older I have even more respect and love for Mom for working so hard to make sure we had a roof over our heads and food to eat at all times. I know she didn't WANT to work from 9am until 5 pm at the first job, then drive straight to the second and work 6pm until midnight only to come home, fall into bed and do it all again the next day. She spent her weekends trying to catch up on chores and errands and still found time for us kids.

    This was at a time when Mom's didn't work outside the home. She took a lot of heat from people who wanted her to go on Public Assistnce, and she would always say, "I am healthy and I can work. I will provide for my kids.". She did. That was an important lesson for us all as well, we learned that if you worked hard, you might not get rich, but you could support yourself.

    What I am saying Ina rambling sort of way, is that I have so much respect and love for my Mom for working so hard fr our sake, and I am sure your children feel the same way about you.

    Being a Mom s the toughest job in the world (and the most rewarding!), please don't put additional pressure on yourself because you have to work! Your children will turn out fine becaus they have parents who love them and care about them. That is what is important, not whether a mom works in or outside the house.

  2. Thanks Maureen, I appreciate your kind words. My mother worked, too. She did an amazing job at both. I think that's why I hold myself to such a high standard!

  3. For what it's worth...

    I had guilt about working while I was at B____. I had guilt the year I was out of work. What?! That totally surprised me that Satan still found ways to make me feel like I wasn't good enough even though I wasn't employed. I'm proud of you. Keep on keeping on, girl. Love you. -J

  4. I know you have similar struggles. You do a spectacular job. But then again, you aren't crazy :)

  5. You're not crazy either :) -J