Last week I completed my first week back at work and I learned something new about myself: I need to work. Granted, I’m only in the office 2 days a week and I mostly think of myself as a stay-at-home mother, but I am already feeling more and more like myself after just one week back!
Here are a few reasons why:
- Productivity – while there is nothing more important to me than being at home with my children while they are young, I enjoy being productive. I like contributing to the real world in tangible ways. I feel like my energy gets all pent up inside when I’m at home all day everyday, in my sweats, and there are so many “real world” things I am interested in (photography, the environment and nature, art and creativity). I enjoy being successful and good at my job, and I have come to realize that there is nothing wrong with that.
- Adult Time – I love my kids, but every person needs time to themselves. It felt great to get up with a bigger purpose, shower in peace, put on makeup and heels and be amongst co-workers my age for 8 hours. Many of my co-workers have become close friends and I enjoy keeping up with their lives at lunch. I didn’t have to worry about nap times, spit-up, diaper changes or feedings…and it felt good to focus on something else, even for only 8 hours.
- Better Mother – without a doubt, being away from my children for just those 2 days has already made me a better mother. By week 6 of my leave, I found myself so frustrated, worn out and just plain exhausted, and my temper and patient were always on their last drop. I’m not sure how full time stay-out-home mothers keep their sanity. Now, by the end of my work day, I am always ready to go home and spend quality time with my kids. I found I am more focused on them, in a much better mood, and just plain happier when I am with them. Working makes me treasure the time I do have with my kids and not take them for granted.
- Role Model – while I’m not a high-power career woman, I want to follow my dreams and passions, as cliche as that sounds. I don’t want to wake up 10 years from now and find out my skills are dated and irrelevant and I have to start back at ground zero. Even part time, my resume stays fresh and current. I want them to know that the amount of your salary is not nearly as important as living a life of passion and being fulfilled in your work. I want to take chances in my life to do what I love and I hope that one day, I can be a role model for my kids. I want them to be proud of me and know that they can be whoever they want to be growing up.
Balance. Keeping life in balance is key for me and my mental health!