8 Advantages of Being a Working Mom

Wondering if you made the right choice to go back to work after maternity leave? Check out these advantages of being a working mom, for you and your family.

Advantages of Being a Working Mother

After my eldest was born, there was no question about it: I had to return to work. We simply couldn’t afford to live off of one income, especially living in Los Angeles. Whether I liked it or not, I would be a working mom.

Many moms can relate. You may have wanted to stay home but, for financial reasons, remain in the workforce. Maybe you do have a choice and decided to keep working full-time but feel overwhelmed with guilt.

No situation is perfect, but each has its advantages. Fourteen years later, I can tell you that going back to work has plenty of benefits, not just for you but for all your family members. Take a look at the advantages of being a working mom to help ease any doubts or concerns:

1. You’re earning money

For many of us, money is the determining factor in going back to work. Even with all the penny-pinching, my family and I weren’t able to live off of one income. It’s one thing to live a simple, minimalistic life, but another to constantly feel stressed about money.

Even if that’s not the case for you, going to work still offers a financial benefit and allows you to make the choices that are important to you. With your income, you can save for your child’s college, buy good food and support your farmers market, or expose your family to different cultures through traveling.

You also likely receive work benefits you otherwise wouldn’t if you left the job market. Perhaps you’re padding your retirement with a 401(k), are covered with medical and dental insurance, and take advantage of educational perks and self-development programs.

Even with the costs of going to work like childcare or commuting, having the freedom that money offers is a fantastic benefit.

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2. You don’t leave and re-enter the workforce

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 Even if companies don’t mind large gaps in your resume, your skills might be outdated after a long hiatus.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 what has been called 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 parent plans to resume work in a few years.

Tip: If you do find yourself in this situation, include notable tasks you did on your resume. Perhaps you had a leadership role as the PTA Treasurer, planned the school’s Multicultural Night or Walk to School Day, or volunteered for your city. You can also consider taking a post-graduate degree or signing up for classes with your local community college for more career opportunities.

3. You have meaningful work

It’s all too easy to get burned out being with kids 24/7. Perhaps you get bored and crave the camaraderie of other people. Maybe you feel unappreciated for your efforts or simply want a break.

Working outside the home offers a different challenge. You’re finding the best strategies, collaborating with coworkers, and are “in the zone” for hours at a time. Your work might even make a meaningful impact on real-world issues and give you something to be passionate about.

As fulfilling as it is to be with your kids, you can find additional meaning and purpose in the work that you do.

4. You can socialize at work

I’m an introvert all the way, but even I recognize the benefits of socializing with other people regularly. Going to work allows you to engage with other adults.

I’m not only talking about socializing at happy hour, either (we all know how difficult it can be to spend even more hours away from home after a work day). I’m talking about simple things like telling a coworker about your weekend or grabbing lunch with your team. Even saying “Good morning” to those you pass by can feel refreshing at times.

5. You get a break from the kids

Before I had kids, I looked forward to the weekends, as most people do. But once I had my first baby, I started looking forward to Mondays. Not necessarily because my work was any different, but because it allowed me to take a break from being with my baby.

Now, admitting that you don’t always like being around your kids isn’t saying you don’t like them. Instead, one of the advantages of being a working mother is that you can take a well-deserved break from that role.

We all need time away from one another. Spouses need their own time to pursue hobbies, while kids need time for independent play. And yes, we need time away from mommy mode.

For many working moms, going to work is that blessed time when we don’t have to deal with tantrums or change yet another diaper. We can surrender the challenges of getting them to take a nap to other people’s capable hands. We can reunite with our kids with the extra vigor of having recharged while we were apart.

Because sometimes, you just need to relish the ability to brew yourself a cup of tea and sip it as long as you like, even if you’re at your work desk.

6. Work is easier than parenting

For many of us, parenting is the most challenging job we’ll ever have. Talk about 24/7, on-call, round-the-clock shifts. Barring high-stress jobs, I’m betting most working parents can agree that parenting is harder than a typical job.

In the early years, I would take a few days off of work and stay home with the kids. By the time I put them to bed, I was beat and ready to go to work for a more “relaxing” day.

7. You’re promoting gender equality

With both parents working, childcare and household duties are more equally divided. As women enter the work field, men are required to put in their time at home. And this is a good thing.

Your kids can see that moms can rise to executive levels in the workplace or be the breadwinner like dads. And just as importantly, they see dads as equally capable of caring for their children at home.

Because here’s the thing: Most men don’t feel guilty about being a working dad. You don’t hear fathers asking one another whether they should be stay-at-home dads or go back to work. They don’t worry about “missing out” on their kids’ childhoods.

We’re all moms and we’re always parenting, whether we’re at home all day or come home by 6pm.

8. You’re raising happy kids

You might worry that your kids won’t be happy without a stay-at-home parent with them all day. However, researchers at the Harvard Business School found good news for the children of working moms:

“They wind up just as happy in adulthood as the children of moms who stayed home.

“Harvard Business School Professor Kathleen McGinn hopes the findings bring a big sigh of relief for guilt-ridden mothers who either have to hold down a job to make ends meet or simply choose to work outside the home while raising their children.”

Turns out, you’re raising happy, independent children after all.

Final thoughts

Every decision has its pros and cons. I could have easily written an article titled “The Disadvantages of Being a Working Mom” and come up with several reasons we can all likely relate to.

Still, it’s good to embrace the choices we make and remind ourselves of the benefits of returning to work.

For some, being a working mom isn’t their first choice, while for others, they can’t imagine life any other way. Regardless of your stance, remember these advantages of being a working mom — there are plenty enough reasons to celebrate your decision and ease the guilt.

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