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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Does Work Make You A Bad Mommy?

Today, on Working Mommy Wednesday, we’re answering a tough question:  Does your job make you a better or worse mother?

This question is so difficult that I’m not going to give you a straight answer.

My answer?  It depends.

Some days, I feel really good about work/life balance.  I enjoy my job tremendously, and when I come home from work to be with my kids I am more than ready to see them!  In fact, I can honestly say that I never get tired of being with them because I know each moment is precious.  My kids know how much I love to hang out with them.

I’ve talked to some of my working mom friends about this before, and we like to pat each other on the back and say things like, “Gosh, I’m more patient with my kids because I’m not with them all day,” or “I think my kids are better off with me working outside the home.”

I would be lying to you if I told you that this is the whole story. 

There’s always another side, isn’t there?

If I’m really honest, I have to admit that my job has the capacity to make me a worse mother.  To be less involved with my kids.  More distracted.  More impatient.  And more focused on what’s going on outside my home than what’s going on inside my home. 

And some days, I’m probably a worse mother because I’m a busy lawyer.

So I’m sticking to my initial answer:  It depends.

I’m just trying to be the person I’m created to be.  And, at this point in my life, that includes both a Lawyer and a Mommy!

Thank God for grace.


Miss. Candy said...

I think that is a great answer!!

Eyvonne said...

The question I'm still trying to answer is: is it worth the trade? Is the benefits of my career worth the fact that I'm not at home. This is actually harder now that our kids are 11 and 9. We also have a new 6 month old.

T. Anne said...

Back when I worked, (I had three boys at the time. My daughter had not yet been added to our brood) I truly DID feel like a bad mom. Isn't that terrible? Looking back it was my own desire to want to stay home that fostered this guilt in me, and perhaps a few select 'friends.' In the end, I don't regret working. It seasoned me to become the woman I am today and I'm a lot more sympathetic to mom's who have to work, or just want to.

Gina said...

I loved this honest post. I totally agree.

Julia said...

totally totally totally!! and i see it in your book too!!! there are good and bad to both sides. i do lose my patience when i'm trying to rush out the door with 2 kids. but you're right... all i can say is God has me where HE wants me!

Richard Mabry said...

Susan, Thanks for being so transparent with your feelings. Don't forget that fathers face this dilemma as well.
As a physician in solo practice, I had a bit of control over my schedule, so barring emergencies I made the baseball games and swim meets and speech tournaments, even if it meant not seeing as many patients or making as much money. But it was a tough decision, and my hat's off to you and the fathers and mothers who continue to wrestle with it now.

mrsgleffter said...

I like your answer - but hate the term BAD mommy! Each of us can do the best we can do and God helps us to do that. I'm working hard (with God's help) to get over the guilt associated with being "bad" at this or "good" at that.

I think each of us needs to use our talents where God has called us and for some of us that is balancing many balls (some not so well) and giving and taking when necessary to keep those balls balanced. I had our Pastor's wife tell me once "That if anyone could balance it all, I could" - and that so encouraged me. We need to encourage one another to love and good works.

I'm so thankful I found this blog, as an encouragement to me.

Unpolished Parenting said...

You are completely right. It does depend. I like to think that my choices so far have made me a better mom, but I doubt they always have.

Susan DiMickele said...

Thanks so much ladies (and Richard)! These are tough issues. We're not going to solve it today, but I love the discussion.

Amy Sullivan said...

Right now I'm really happy right where I am...working part-time. I do feel as if it makes me a better mom. Now ask me tomorrow morning while I have one screaming and one promising me she has already brushed her teeth when I know she hasn't, I may tell you differently!

I always like stopping by your blog. I feel validated.

Laura said...

It does depend, on so much. And your answer is not my answer either, Susan. My answer now is not the same as it was five years ago, either.

More grace to you -- and all of us moms!