29 September 2015
Curiouser & Curiouser: Full time momma with a part time job.
(I know that I haven't written in a long, long time. There are other things I could write about, but this is what I want to write about now. Maybe I'll blog more, maybe this will be my only post for the rest of the year.)
I've started working part-time at Old Navy. My availability is 5 pm-close on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays; and all day on Saturdays. Most of the weeks I've worked TWT 5:30-10 pm and Saturday 10 am-4 pm. It's been amusing the way different people have reacted. Because I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt that they were asking out of curiosity and not judgement, I thought I would explain how that all works logistically. Because before I worked I wondered how families kept themselves family-centric when both parents worked. Families are big in the LDS faith.
"But who watches your kids?"
Jeff works from home. He works in our basement. He starts around 8 and gets done around 4:30. We go down and visit him throughout the day some times. He comes up and eats lunch with us. It's really nice. So he is the one who watches the kids when I'm working. This means he has to take them with him to mutual (youth group) on Wednesdays because he is in the Young Men presidency. This is fine because he is their father and because the church is family-centric and it's a lay ministry. I did the same thing when he was traveling out of town for work and I was in the Young Women presidency. It is also an awesome time for the kids to have dad time because dads are important.
"You don't get to spend much time with your husband, then."
I mean, I guess. But it is more time than when he was gone 75% of the time for work. Also, I am a firm believer that quality of time is more important than quantity of time. You can be a parent who works and still puts your family first. I know kids who have awesome relationships with their full-time working mothers and kids who have not great relationships with their stay at home mothers. Your family can tell where your priorities are.
And for me, having a part-time job (especially at this season in my life) helps me to be a better mom and wife. SELF CARE IS IMPORTANT, PEEPS. You can't give from your love bucket if it's empty. There are lots of ways to fill your bucket. You may be able to fill your bucket from inside the walls of your own home. That's great! Right now working part time helps fill mine. That's great, too. We are all different and there are lots of ways to achieve the same goal of having family as top priority.
Jeff and I do companionship inventory and we are open with each other about how we're feeling about stuff. When he was working out of town all the time, we both wanted him to be home more so he could spend more time with all of us, even if it meant some other sacrifices. Now, he supports me in this because we both think it is good for the whole family. He has actually been encouraging me to do something like this since I started staying at home when I became pregnant with Ezra. He knows that the work I do inside the home with Ezra and Lucy is important and worthy and vital. He also knows that my doing something outside of the home fulfills a different part of me that helps me be a better mother and wife at this time in my life
But if our marriage fails or our kids turn out rotten, I guess you can blame it on me being a greedy, worldly workaholic.
"Will you always work?"
I don't know. I'm not really doing this for financial reasons. But like one of my fellow part time working mom friends said, "Who wouldn't want to get paid for spending time outside of the house?" Part of the reason I am working retail is because it wouldn't be a big deal if I had to stop working. Like I said, we're always talking about what is best for our family at the current time. I do plan on getting my masters at some point. But for this season of my life, 10-20 hours a week folding clothes is good for me.
Because this is the Internet, I just want to reiterate that all you parents who are doing the most that you can to fulfill yourselves while having your family as top priority are doing the best thing. This may mean Dad working full time with Mom staying at home. This may mean Dad and Mom working full time while kids get care from a family member or a thoughtfully selected daycare or nanny. This may mean Mom working full time with Dad staying at home. This may mean Dad working full time and Mom working part time. There are countless ways to reach the same goal, and being family-centric is a worthy goal. Because families are important. They are where we learn the most, and are the unit our society is built upon. Love yourself. Love your families. And trust that others are doing the same.