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Going Back to Work: How It Changed Me

I had always planned on being a stay-at-home mom. Even before my husband and I had kids, it was what we wanted for our family.

Stay-at-Home Mom

I had naïve visions of baking and cooking for my happy little family, waiting for my husband to walk in the door from his 48-hour shift at work and then we would skip happily off into the sunset. These days, the thought of that makes me laugh to myself. 

I was pretty far off base, as far as what stay-at-home mamas actually go through. And when I made the decision to go back to work, albeit part time, it was one I didn’t take lightly. 

Going Back to Work Mom

Earlier last fall, my husband and I made the difficult decision to separate.

Ultimately, that was the cause of my needing to re-enter the workforce—to help support my kids and myself. I’ll be honest; it was not easy switching gears. I had been there for my kids for everything for years. We had routines. I had been able to meet mama friends for coffee mid-morning and attend MOPS, which I loved dearly.

Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised at how refreshed I felt by being able to go into the office a few days a week. I quickly noticed how it translated into being a better mom to my kids. I was able to separate myself from the days of seemingly incessant whining, crying and fighting. And I was now having adult conversations and working with a group of women whom I thoroughly enjoyed being around.

It was great.

Becoming a Better Mom

Having that time away from my kids allowed me to miss them. I couldn’t wait to hear how their days went, who they played with at school and really engage with them. That was something I was not doing a great job of when I was with them all of the time.

It goes without saying that I reflect on my time as a stay-at-home mama and feel as though I had taken it for granted, especially when I looked at it as being something I was going to do indefinitely. I felt I had an unlimited amount of time with my boys and because of that, I had a very “well, we’ll try again tomorrow” mentality.

Now that my time with my boys is limited both by custody arrangements and work schedules, I really strive to have that quality over quantity interaction with my kids. They deserve a mama who’s going to be present over perfect.

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