She Works (kinda) Hard for the (not very much) Money

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” – Maya Angelou

I am a very indecisive pregnant lady. When I found out I was expecting my decision-making process disappeared and I became incapable of deciding what I want for dinner, what to wear, when to sleep and any big life decision is just too much to handle. One of these big life decisions included my career.

In the last 6 years I have taught public elementary school, coached middle school dance and drama, tutored kids, taught overseas for an international elementary school, nannied, coached gymnastics, dance and yoga for fancy Manhattan preschoolers and managed social media for the same fancy pants preschool. Clearly, I like working with kids and being active, but cannot really decide what I “want to be when I grow up”. Six months ago, we decided to leave NYC for the country life in Tennessee AND discovered I was pregnant.

Being pregnant and not clear of what career path I want had me taking 400 different paths… I decided I definitely 100% wanted to be a stay home blogger… for exactly 4 minutes. Then, I applied for some public school teaching jobs…then, some private school jobs…preschool jobs…daycare…coaching…social media… Pretty much anything that sounded half-interesting was worth filling out an application. Two hours later, I made the final decision to work on the house, have a calm relaxing pregnancy, learn to cook and garden and prepare to be an awesome stay-at-home Mom. That lasted for a day. See the pattern?

My indecisive-self kept me from completing most applications or following through with interviews (“Mrs. Positively Panicked we’d like to interview you!” Ummm…yeah, I ‘ve changed my mind, thanks anyways.) All of the non-decision making and busy life stuff lead me to where I am now…blogging (read: making nothing), tutoring and substituting. So, basically I work randomly, have no schedule and I am kind of loving it.

I love schedules, being busy and especially adore deadlines (I need structure!), but I must say that choosing whether I not I want to go into work kind of rocks. For example, this morning it was raining/snowing, freezing outside and I slept for a total of 30 minutes last night. So, when the phone rang at 5am and I was asked nicely to come in and sub for 8 hours I said, “yeah, no thanks.” Coffee, pj’s, a big blanket, my laptop and Good Morning America just sound SO much better.

Then on days when I feel like I need some structure and motivation I get up at 4:45am, take a sub job, teach all day, tutor all night and come home feeling productive. So productive that after working 14 hours yesterday I came home, did the Asylum and made dinner! BAM. Badass.

AND, I’ve been keeping a secret from you guys, with all my time off the last few months I have actually began learning to cook (gasp!). Like, real meals not just frozen pizzas and grilled cheese, though we still eat our fair share of both. I want to transition to full-time stay-at-home Mom when Luna arrives. I want to cook healthy food for her, sew costumes, do Pinteresty crafty things and grow vegetables in the backyard, but who knows what I’ll actually do. I think that maybe all my life decisions and job changes have led  up to my biggest role yet (world’s most awesome Mom), but I can’t rule out the realistic possibility that I might want to re-enter the work force at some point.

Honestly, my indecisiveness stems from all the labels and judging I keep reading about. Every single person and their Mother seem to have very strong opinions about whether Moms should stay home or work, and I just don’t want to be labeled or a part of that argument AT ALL. Recently, I realized that I’m not judging the other women and Moms, no matter their career choice, so why am I being so hard on myself? I just need to do what’s right for us, my family, and right now, things feel good, really good.

What about all your Mom’s and Mom’s to be out there? Do you work? Stay home? Wish you were doing the opposite? Have a good combo of both? Are you even decided yet?

Either way, I just feel so very very lucky to have these options, a Husband that supports me either way and part-time job with VERY flexible hours.

Or am I? The wind may change tomorrow.


2 thoughts on “She Works (kinda) Hard for the (not very much) Money”

  1. This is such a tough subject. I’ve wrestled with it quite a bit. I thought it would be the contrary, but studied what the Bible says about it. I believe working as a mom is ok but requires having a really good balance. And like you said, it’s a personal choice that has to be what’s right for your fam. Sometimes it’s a terrible catch 22….you want to be home in the early years and not miss anything but you also want to have adult interaction and exercise your skills/talents. Ideally, if I had a set-up where I worked part-time or chose when I worked, that would probably be awesome. Who knows for sure but I think if I could choose, I’d stay home and go back to work at the preschool stage.

  2. In this day and age, most households cannot survive on a single income. Therefore, many women don’t have this option. Saying that a woman shouldn’t return to work after a baby is like saying children are a privilege for the wealthy (wrong). Many scrimp and save their entire pregnancy just to be able to afford 6 weeks of unpaid leave.

    She drops her child off early in the morning, picks him up right after work, and still has to attend to housework and cooking dinner. Unfortunately, this is probably where a lot of the judgement comes from. She undoubtedly works extremely hard and has made a huge sacrifice for her family. She would like to stay-at-home with her baby and is admittedly jealous of those who can. Really, who can blame her? She labels you as “lazy” even though your days are full and busy (no one is saying that a stay-at-home mom is an easy job)- hers are undoubtedly much harder. She feels that you do not see her and that you think you both had the same options when in reality you were fortunate to have more. You didn’t see the tears she shed that first day back or the grief she felt. She may feel today’s world is unfair- not even her mother had to face this.

    Likewise, the woman who chooses to stay home despite knowing the financial burden this will put on her family is judged as well (family, friends, in laws)

    The woman who loves her career isn’t required to give it up because she loves her family too- is she?

    So, if you are lucky enough to have the option- do what is right for you regardless of what others think (because they will judge you “regardless”). But it is by no means a “final” decision. One day we are on a diet- the next we are eating ice cream. One day we may take a birth control pill- the next we may decide it’s time to have a baby. One day we may decide to go into work- the next we may choose to quit and stay at home. Maybe play it by ear? It’s something you can’t truly know how you will feel about until the baby is thrown into the mix. Hence- the indecisiveness!

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