5 things I like about being a mom who works part-time

So, I have my first job outside the home since I got married.

I actually saw the notice in the window, put together my pathetic resume (for what felt like the five hundreth time) and printed it at the library and turned it in all by myself. Then I went in for the interview wearing uncomfortable slacks that are at least 10 years old, and answered questions about myself. (Thankfully, I can wear whatever I want for this job as long as I have sleeves and close-toed shoes, so I went back to my trusty old jeans instead.) I was still surprised when she hired me. But excited. And relieved.The work is mostly baking and cooking which I am good at, and confident in, and it is only a few blocks from my house, eliminating commute costs and time.

Until not too long ago, I believed that men and women had both been cursed in the fall, and that part of that curse included our roles regarding work. Adams curse was working outside the home to provide for the family, Eve’s curse was bearing and raising children and keeping the home. The reasoning was, that if men were to help with women’s work, that was like asking them to bear both Adams curse as well as Eve’s curse, and of course the same idea was applied to women in reverse. Women who worked outside the home were taking on both curses, how horribly exhausting for them! Going into my job, I expected that working some early morning, some evening, and some weekend hours would be draining, and yes, some shifts I come home tired. But not any more tired than I am after a shift caring for our children alone!

I’m only working part-time, whenever my Hunnie is home to care for the kids, so I’m not claiming to have the experience of a full-time working mom, but here is a list of 5 things I like about being a mom who works outside the home:

1. The work you do stays done.

Yes, I sometimes have a batch of something fails and have to re-do it. But there is no- one standing over my shoulder picking out all the chocolate chips I just put into the bowl. No one is taking one bite off the top of each muffin as they cool on the counter. No one is dumping the sugar bin onto the floor. I finish each task and mark it off on the list with my initials and I am done! And no one looks at the completed order and immediately throws themselves on the floor screaming at the top of their lungs that they changed their mind and they actually want blueberry muffins, not cranberry.

2. I am not in charge.

This may sounds silly, because who doesn’t want to be the person who runs things? And I have to admit, it is frustrating to be on the bottom of the totem pole. I like being confident and knowing what I am doing, and learning the ropes for the first time is a humbling experience. And my boss is competent and intense and awesome, and frankly kind of intimidating, because she knows exactly what she wants and she expects to get it.

But I like the experience of not being in charge, because I am reminded of what it must feel like to 5 years old, and 4 years old, and 2 years old, and 1 year old. Those kids of mine can certainly feel controlling at times, but in reality they do not have that many things they can control. They rely on me to feed them, respect them, teach them boundaries and help them with their education. Going to work is a helpful reminder to empathize with the plight of a child who really does want to be a part of the team.

3. You can leave.

You know how “A mother’s work is never done”? Well, when I leave my job I am done. I don’t have to feel guilty about what is going undone while I am off the job, people on separate shifts are taking care of it. I sign out, take off my apron, and walk out the door. And I don’t have to think about any of it until I come back for my next shift. What a weird experience!

4. The kids survive without you.

I come home and the kids are fine. They all come running to give me hugs and tell me what they’ve been doing, they might be wearing clothes I didn’t put on them, sometimes there are remnants on the highchair tray of a meal or snack that I didn’t feed them, sometimes I come home and they are all asleep. The mommy guilt is needless, the kids are loved and cared for in my absence, and I did not have to be there to supervise every little mishap.

5. You get a paycheck.

Come on, you know that is pretty awesome. It may not be a huge paycheck, but it was pretty great to get the funds to cover some of our monthly costs. I haven’t ever made money for the household before, and at the moment (while Haley is in school), I am the sole provider. It is a pretty cool feeling to know that you make the money that keeps the electricity on and pays the gas to drive the kids to the zoo. I think this picture of me right after I came home with my first paycheck kind of says it all.

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17046924507335607146 Amy

    Wooo hooooo! I love it, Melissa!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11436136381389948570 Dawn Farias

    I love all your reasons. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17871256362646081536 Amber

    Working. I miss working!!! For all the reasons you listed here. There is something so exciting about leaving and not having to be the boss (though, like you, I kind of like to take charge) and having some time to pee by yourself. I think that was my favorite part. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06410682651072046347 TwisterB

    Haha! I saw this cartoon just yesterday, so I hunted for it again – http://www.nickmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Cooking-With-and-Without-Kids.jpg

    oh and YAY YOU!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12979240361396596001 Amy

    Congratulations! I love reading your posts, and I am very impressed with your courage as you explore new experiences and viewpoints.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06410682651072046347 TwisterB

    P.s. I don't know if I've ever seen your face before, I think you are beautiful!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08135229596877003069 Michelle Hughes

    How awesome! Yes, those are things I enjoy about working outside the home, too. I mean, there are things I don't like, but focusing on the positive is always a better way to go anyway. :) Congratulations on that first paycheck! woo-hoo!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01858152577717538284 Alexandra

    I got all squirmy with excitement at getting to see your face! Thanks for posting a pic. I love being able to put a face to bloggers in my head.

  • http://womenforallseasons.blogspot.com/ November

    That is how I feel about working too. You explain it very well. Also it's nice to see your lovely face :)

  • Rosa

    My favorite part of my first job after having a kid was getting to eat a meal ALL BY MYSELF with no one else touching me or my food. Peeing is a close second, though.

  • Paula G V aka Yukimi

    You really have a satisfied face on the pic, congratulations!

    That's a nice dissecting of the positive aspects of working you like, pretty interesting =) The fact that you can just forget or at least not worry too much about your job is what I loved in my summer jobs (well, the paycheck too XP)

    Try not to feel too guilty about leaving your kids alone, I'm sure the time apart makes all of you more eager to spend time with each other.

  • Rosa

    This is the first time you've shared your picture! You look so cute & happy & confident.

    The paycheck is nice, and I bet the kids are happy, too. Today my son said to me "Can you get a job so I can go back to Summer Program?"

  • Sqrl

    Congratulations! I've been following your blog for a few months, and am just so amazed at your strength and ability to roll with the changes life presents. Enjoy your job (and paycheck)! :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12363069865817097036 Unknown

    I didn't work for years, even though I do have a teacher's degree. I stayed home with my monkey and thoroughly enjoyed it. I didn't realize how much I missed other people until I went back to work last year. Good for you, getting out and socializing. You're setting an amazing example for Ms. Action for Kindergarten this fall <3

  • Meyli

    Hooray!! Bringing home your own paycheck is a special sort of rewarding. Congratulations on your job! :D

  • http://lotuslandfineart.com/velvetrope/ wlotus

    I love it, and I love seeing your face! Way to go!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03638353612528890128 Traci

    You are beautiful! Congratulations on your job and your paycheck. Having beena work outside the home mom and a stay at home mom, I think working part-time is really the best of both worlds.

  • lisbet

    Aw, your photo is so cute! How far into your journey away from being fundamentalist were you when you cut your hair short? Mine's been short for most of my life, so I was just curious :)

  • Anonymous

    Awesome! Congratulations on you first job! I hope to go back to work sometime in the next year or two as my son starts school, and your list reminds me of some of the reasons I like working. I would also add adult conversations to my list and (as someone else mentioned) peeing without interruption. :)

  • http://rollforpainting.wordpress.com/ rollforpainting

    Yes! yes! yes!!!!

  • http://frommyfrontstep.wordpress.com/ frommyfrontstep

    Yay!! Congratulations! :D I too love seeing a photo of you! :) Good luck in your job!

  • Caravelle

    I've found all of those things to be true of salaried work too, although I wasn't comparing it to the life of a stay-at-home mom but to that of a student. When you're studying there is the time you spend attending classes and the work you do there, and then when you get home you've got homework and reading to do and basically, like with taking care of a house and children the work is never done. There is always something more you could be doing. I'm back on that particular hamster wheel right now but I remember the times I just had a job I did during the day and could forget when I got home as being so. relaxing.
    And the paycheck. Paychecks are nice :)

  • Kris

    Ok that cartoon had me snorting my coffee. So true!!

  • Kris

    There's really something to be said for balancing burdens. It would be really stressful to know that your family is solely responsible to you for their material needs and there is no fallback. It's nice for both my husband and I to know that if one of us loses our job or becomes seriously ill, times will be tough, but either of us can be a provider….. just like it's nice to have some flexibility in who does the domestic duties at home.

    This job sounds like a perfect fit! I'm glad you're enjoying it!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04738076740941616678 Rebecca

    Congratulations! I love how you are beaming in that picture.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03519675898483081005 Mrs. Searching

    Congratulations on your job! I too have just begun a part-time job again, and I love it – I am NOT a homebody. I just wish I could afford a babysitter so I could work more than two afternoons a week. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10254315970336710941 Catholic Mutt

    I'm glad you were able to find a job! And I love how well it seems to be working out for you!

  • http://nowealthbutlife.com Rae

    Congratulations on the job!

  • Awol

    Congratulations, yes! I have no doubt you will do fine when you begin taking college classes, too, if that is a route you choose (I think you mentioned that somewhere). Totally awesome, Melissa! Like your pic, too!

  • Anna

    Congratulations Melissa!! Sounds like a fantastic move for you! As another Mom who works part time I absolutely agree with all of your reasons. Full time work would be too much time away from my baby (though I know some Moms have to do it) but I love the ability to move unencumbered at work and focus on a task for more than 30 seconds at a time. It also gives my husband time to develop his own way of doing things with our son while I'm away. Part time work rocks! And I love your picture!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa

    Literally laughed out loud. :) Sooooo familiar.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa

    Thank you! :) It's the first time I've put my picture on my blog.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa

    I love putting a face to bloggers too. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa

    I cut it above my shoulders for the first time a few months after I got married. I didn't cut it really short until last summer.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa

    Thank you! :) And I agree, part-time really is the best of both worlds.

  • http://www.pslibrary.com/ MrPopularSentiment

    Congrats! Here in Canada, we get a year off for maternity leave. That's an absolutely wonderful thing, but it can be very oppressive if you spend it all on the baby. Some of the moms I met at playgroups and such were bursting at the seams, desperate for a grown up to talk to, or for a little time to be themselves rather than just the "mom" part.

    I "worked" part time by volunteering, and that was really fantastic. It gave me that lifeline to grownups, to feeling useful outside of the home, and to doing work that gets noticed and complemented (much as I love my "little master," he's not quite at the "thank you" stage yet).

    I've since gone back to work full time, and that's just not working for us. The balance is gone and I feel like the baby isn't getting as much of my time as he needs. So I'm in the process of working out a way for my working life to follow the model of my volunteering life during my mat leave.

    Anyways, congratulations on your new job! It's great that you've found something you like, and I'm sure that paycheque probably helps ;)

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