Thursday, March 21, 2013

Returning to Work

I got a job! (YAAAAAAY!) I'll be working as a team leader in the HR department of Target. It's an ideal job that is fully benefitted, rotating schedule, fast-paced work environment, a great discount, nice people, and great opportunity for upward mobility.

As I approach my first day of employment, we are in the process of finding a place to live and finding childcare: Do we live in an apartment? Do we find a townhouse? Do we look for someone that watches children in their home? Do we find a childcare facility? Do we want a longer commute and a better home or a convenient location and less square footage? Do we want a yard or a community playground?


The only question that was easy to answer was this: Should I go back to work or stay home with my daughter? Work. I want to work. I love to work. Loving work doesn't take away the love I have for my daughter. 

The working mom culture and stay at home mom culture can be at odds with each other in a vicious way. In my perception of (Southern) Christian culture, many young mothers the goal of staying home to raise their children. Personally, I never had dreams of being a stay at home parent - I had dreams of being a leader. I love to train, equip, and empower people. I especially love to do it in a place that offers a salary and full benefits. 

When I lived in the South, I had to be very careful in who I spoke to about my desire to work. "I wish I could stay home like you do," or "Being home is such a blessing for your children," and "God has you at home for a reason," were common responses. I also hear(d), "It's the hardest job in the world, but it gets better! Hang in there!" [To be clear, I'm not "quitting" being a stay at home mom because it's hard. I'm choosing to work because I want to.] That brings me to my all-time favorite reason from society of why I should stay home: "It's important to make sacrifices in those early years so children can grow up to pursue their dreams." Do you see the cycle? That means moms should give up 5 to 10 years of their life so their daughters can give up 5 to 10 years of their lives so their daughters can give up... and so on.  I stayed home for a year and a half and I'm glad I did. Now I'm glad to have a job and I'm glad I'll be able to send my daughter to day care where she can continue to learn and play with other kids.

I'm thankful to have a choice between the ability to stay home and the ability to work. I am pursuing a career that my daughter can be proud of. I am using my education, experience, and work ethic to make a difference - and I want to be a role model for my children. If my daughter wants to be a stay at home mom, then awesome! If she wants to be a teacher and have the Summers off to spend with her children, then awesome! If she wants to have a 9 to 5 and pick up her children from day care and have them run into her arms and eagerly tell her about their day, then awesome! I want her to have a choice and not feel pressured by society to pursue something because she "should."


So here I am eagerly returning to work, moving out of my parent's home, and beginning our next chapter! The blog will continue, the name "Housebroken Mom" will stick, and the trajectory of our journey will continue to ebb and flow.

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