Balancing work and family life is hard, but it has its perks. Learn important benefits of being a working mom and why it’s okay to actually enjoy your job.
Working moms may have wondered if returning to work was the right choice. Some feel in their heart it isn’t, so they come to work begrudgingly. Others may actually like going to work, but have to shush the naysayers and guilt-trippers.
Benefits of being a working mom
As with every side to a choice, good and bad factors play a role in making our decision. To ease any doubts or concerns, consider the awesome benefits of being a working mom.
You can earn money
For many of us, money is the determining factor in deciding to become a working mom. Money offers significant opportunities and can make life much easier. And sometimes we just need the darn thing.
While I’m a huge fan of simple living, I also know what it’s like to feel financially constricted. You deliberate over every purchase because money needs to stretch further.
With your extra income, you have more freedom to do what’s important to you. Save for college. Buy organic food from the farmers market. Travel. Pay for quality preschool.
Income also comes in the form of work benefits. If your company offers a 401(k), you’re earning money you wouldn’t have outside of work. You’re also likely receiving insurance benefits, educational perks and self-development programs.
You’re away from the kids
Being away from your kids can be both good and bad. If you maintain sane hours and don’t have long commutes, that time away from the kids can do wonders for you.
Admitting you don’t always like being around your kids isn’t saying you don’t like your kids. Just as saying you want to be alone to read a book doesn’t mean you don’t appreciate the company of your loved ones.
We need time away from one another. Husbands and wives need their own time to pursue hobbies. Children need time for independent play. And we need time away from mommy mode.
For many working moms, going to work is that blessed time we don’t answer to our kids’ requests or color with crayons every second. Going to work allows us to surrender the challenges of getting the kids to nap to other people’s capable hands. Going to work can even mean reuniting with our kids with the extra vigor of having missed them during the day.
You have challenging and meaningful work besides the kids
Parenting remains one of the most challenging jobs I’ll ever have. Talk about 24/7, on-call, round-the-clock shifts that are thankfully just as equally rewarding and fulfilling.
That said, it’s also easy to burn out. Being on the job for that long of a stretch can put a dent on your sanity. You get bored. You crave camaraderie with other moms.
Working outside the home offers a different challenge: Solving real-world issues, finding best strategies, collaborating with colleagues about subjects you’re passionate about.
It’s fascinating work that can be difficult to recreate with children.
You’re able to socialize at work
I’m not only talking about happy hour socializing because I know how difficult it can be to spend yet more hours away from home on top of a working day.
I’m talking simple things like telling a coworker about your weekend. Grabbing lunch and sharing stories of your kids. Heck, even just saying ‘Good morning’ to another adult can seem refreshing at times.
A benefit of being a working mom is the chance to have a social life, even though you have kids.
Work is easier than raising kids
Barring high-stress jobs, I’m betting most working parents will agree that work is easier than taking care of kids.
I periodically take a few days off where I stay home with my kids. By the time I’ve put them to bed, I’m beat and ready to go to work the next day. Other than the cushy naps my twins bless me with, I’m exhausted.
When I returned to work from maternity leave, I marveled how I was actually able to sip a cup of tea at my leisure—no need to gulp it down because it’s time to nurse the baby.
You don’t leave and re-enter the work force
Taking leave of your career with plans to re-enter can be one of the biggest challenges facing stay-at-home moms. Even if companies don’t mind large gaps in your resume, your skills might be outdated after a long hiatus.
Some moms end up on the “mommy track,” where we sacrifice career ambitions and opportunities to tend to parental duties. Careers can be difficult to re-enter and require strategic planning if a mom plans to resume work in a few years.
You’re more likely to be equal with your partner at home
With both parents working, child care and household duties are more fairly divided. As women enter the work field, men are required to put in their time at home. And this is a good thing. If we want to promote women to executive levels at work, we need to encourage men to do just as much at home as well.
Being a working dad doesn’t suck
Enough with the double standards. Not nearly enough fathers ask one another whether they should be a stay-at-home dad or go back to work.
Fathers don’t worry about “missing out on their kids’ childhoods” the way moms do (it’s because working dads don’t miss out, just as working moms don’t).
We’re all moms, and we’re always parenting, whether we’re at home, at the grocery, at work, sleeping, or at the bank thinking about what to pack for our kiddo’s lunch.
Every decision has its pros and cons—I could have easily written an article titled “The Downsides of Being a Working Mom” and come up with some serious reasons.
Still, it’s good to embrace the choices we make. For some, being a working mom isn’t her first choice, while for others, they can’t imagine a life any other way. Regardless of your stance, consider the benefits of being a working mom — there are plenty enough reasons to celebrate your decision.
Get more tips:
- The “How Do You Do It” Working Moms Guide
- Bring Your Kids to Work Day Activities and Action Plan
- Why We Need to Ask Dads about Their Work Life Balance
- The Working Mom Pep Talk: What Do You Tell Yourself to Keep Going?
- Being a Working Mom Isn’t Always a Second Choice
What are some of your benefits of being a working mom (full-time, part-time, freelance, etc)? Share in the comments!
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