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.

Brave New Life: Part 2: Coming Out When You Expect The Worst
Re-Post: I'm Not Afraid Anymore
Motherhood: Same and Different
No Blurred Lines