The most important job I will ever perform in my lifetime is the one I didn't apply for. But it's the one I work the hardest at and value the most. It is the one I want to be remembered for, but only by my son because other people's opinions of my choices are of no value to me.
Can anyone relate to the picture above? The memory of "who I was before I became a mom" moments?
I used to be an "on-time" person.
I used to have a wardrobe of "business-casual" attire.
I used to have time to read a romance novel.
I used to feel accomplished at the end of the work day.
I used to come home after that work day to a fairly tidy house.
I used to spend my weekends sleeping in and hanging out with friends.
I am occasionally (ok, usually) late.
I wear yoga pants and leggings about 90% of the time.
I have time to help my son learn to read.
I rarely feel like I have accomplished anything at the end of the day, and wake up each day knowing I will learn yet another new thing.
I have a very "lived in" looking house....all...the...time.
I spend my weekends in an arena or on a field hanging out with people who have become friends through our child's activities.
And I wouldn't have it any other way.
Because I know that the years I have been putting into this most important job of my life will be the most successful ever. This isn't a debate about working mom vs stay at home mom. I know some outstanding working moms and I marvel at their abilities every day. Plus, in reality I am a working stay at home mom. My business allows me to have flexible hours that allow me to make my top priority my son. The pay is less, but the rewards are greater! But for me, being a mom is my work for now.
I know that I could head back into the corporate world again in a heartbeat. I know that because I have tested it when I have had moments of weakness, thinking I must be the worst mom ever because I seem to be "failing" at every corner. My outstanding work performance in the past still speaks volumes today and since I didn't burn bridges, past employers still ask about me and wonder if I'm job searching. And one day maybe I will be. Although the job of mom never expires, I know that as the years go by he will need me less and less. But my point is that right now, despite feeling like a failure more often than I feel like a success, when I look at the big picture, I can see that our choice for me to be a work from home mom has been a success. And these next few years are actually the most important ones where he will be faced with many difficult decisions. I want to be the person he turns to when making those decisions. I want to be the larger influence on those decisions vs his peers.
In this world where the role of Mom is undervalued, I know that people wonder why I haven't decided to return to the "normal" working world. Financially it would be the smart move. Let me assure you that its not because I like sitting at home coming up with creative ways to help my son learn his times tables or to write more neatly. It's not because I love spending my winter evenings in cold arenas. It IS because the years are short. I am halfway through the most important job of my life. I'm in the home stretch, but the most challenging time. The "normal" working world will always be there. My son might not be. So be patient with me as I continue to work hard, even if it's not in a job that you find valuable. Because to me and my family, it is the one that counts the most.
I will continue to wear my Mom attire proudly. It might mean I am late more than on-time. It might mean I only dress up occasionally. It might mean I am too tired for regular girls nights (I prefer girls lunches or evenings so I can still get some sleep!). It might mean I can't afford the latest fashions.
But it means we are all happy and healthy, so anything I have "given up" is worth it due to all I have gained!
Tanya Goreing is the proud mother of one boy and the owner of Soul Treatments. The natural health of woman and children is her passion!