Working Moms

First let me clarify and reiterate that I believe being a mom is a job. When I talk about being a “working mom” here, I am referring to working at a business or location outside the home. One that brings in money. I know that we are all working as moms 24/7….trust me. I get it!

Yesterday was my last day working Sunday’s.

A little background on my job if you don’t know: I work(ed) about 20 hours a week at a gym. (I have worked in gyms since freshman year of college….. seems like forever.) I work nights/evenings and some weekends when my husband is home to watch the boys. They never go to day care and I will not work during the day– unless my husband (he is an elementary school teacher  is home on a random holiday or something. We don’t have any family here to watch our kids, and I will not put them in day care all day, so this is the the way it has to work. I usually work till 10pm.

The day care decision isn’t about the money – although day care is very, very expensive! – it’s just a decision that my husband and I made a long time ago. I would rather work at night and make less money then put them in day care and make more money at a better job. (Of course, once I paid for day care, it would probably be about the same amount of take home money anyways.) My evening job at the gym is simple and easy, and one I do to take home a little cash each month and have a free gym membership.

Unfortunately, working evenings like this doesn’t allow me to use my degree as much as I would like, but I’m okay with that right now. I imagine that when my kids are both in school I will be working close to full time hours doing something during the day that is much more fulfilling to me in the career department.

Right now, I’m working towards my personal training certification so I can use that with my health degree to train people and help them reach their fitness and health goals. I have always wanted to do this! This is something that allows me to set my own hours, continue to work nights/weekends, and make more money. Not to mention, fun!!

Because I am home with my kids all day, every day, I generally think of myself as a stay-at-home-mom.
My kids are my #1 priority, and they always will be. I could go on and on about this topic. I think the infant years are very important for a child, and even though I did work part time starting when Joshua was 6 weeks old, I pumped at work or my husband brought him to me so I could nurse him. I also slept with him at night, especially evenings when I was away. 
I like working outside the home for obvious reasons like bringing in money to pay bills, but I also like the social aspect and adult interaction it provides me. I’ve met a lot of great friends through my work. It can be nice to go to work at the end of the day and chat with adults. I have never thought that I would be a stay-at-home-mom 100% of the time, nor do I ever think I will be. 

Okay, History lesson DONE. (Sorry, I rambled.)

So, as I was saying, yesterday was my last day working an all day Sunday shift.

This means a little less (um, 8 actually, I guess that’s a good chunk.) hours for me, but it also means my family and I can finally start going to Church together and truly enjoy what is – and what should be- a family day. I have missed those days, really. Doing this means a drop in our monthly income, which is a little scary and sometimes makes me question our decision, but I’m hoping it was the right one.

This just means that I need to get serious about making (and keeping!) a budget for our family. I. Can.Do.It. No more Target shopping trips when the kids and I get bored. Ha — I’m totally kidding.

I hope it will be the right decision for our family. Trust God’s plan, right?!

I don’t think I’ve ever asked before, so I’m curious….

Do you work outside the home?

If so, what do you do and how many hours do you work a week?

Why have you decided to work, or not work?

Do you enjoy working (outside the home) or do you absolutely hate it?


Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

18 thoughts on “Working Moms

  1. I tried repeatedly to get into grad school, and failed. Finally, we followed my husband's job hops and started a family. With JUST a regular college degree it's almost impossible to get a high paying job. Therefore, by the time I paid daycare and gas, it wouldn't be worth it $ wise. $20 is not worth trading taking care of my child all day and making sure she's okay. I'd rather cut $20 out of my budget.

    I DID consider doing some part time work about a year ago, but our house was being built and it would be SO sporadic it would be impossible to get child care for something so odd-timed, so I said no.

    I consider the fact that I am a mom, I pay all the bills, do all the housework and laundry, and budgeting, and etc. etc. MORE than a full time job. You wouldn't expect your baby sitter or day care provider to do any of that extra stuff at your house, so really, moms that stay at home really do several jobs in one. Obviously, if your child is out of the house all day, it's not going to be nearly as messy as if he/she is at home all day. No one at home = no mess. Does that make sense? I rarely had to clean my house when my husband and I both worked, we just weren't there often enough to dirty it. Now that I'm at home with a 2 year old, it's a constant dirty tornado that needs cleaned up after!

  2. i've done a little of both..when my first child was born, i worked “full” time (Tuesday-Thursday 8:30-6:00) and i continued that schedule after my second child was born until i was laid off back in march. now i stay home during the week with the kids and only work part time (a half day on thursdays and half day every other friday) i'm a dental hygienist and jobs around here are hard to come by, so i also do occasional fill in work, but have not been able to find another full time position. i have loved being home with my boys (they are now almost 3 and 1 years old) but i also love working. my house seems to stay cleaner since i've been home more, and we have also been able to make it to the gym more regularly!! 🙂 i'm enjoying my time with the boys, eventually i know i'll end up going back to work..but i'm hoping to make this last until the boys are in school full time!

  3. I also agree with the clean house thing… When I worked my house was always cleaner:)

    I used to work before my kids were born and for a while after. I always felt guilty and missed them.. But after I started staying home I realized that I am really not cut out for being a stay at home Mom. I just can't seem to get motivated on my own:( I WISH I could be one of the Moms (like you) that enjoys taking their kids on outings and making the best of the time they have during the day.

    I have come to realize that the longer I stay home (with no outside job), the more depressed I get, and the more run down I feel. I just don't know how (or lack the ambition) to self-motivate myself. It has gotten a little better since I started praying about it, especially since the weather is warmer. But honestly, unless I have someone to answer to (like a boss), I just end up talking myself out of doing anything. When I worked and was in the outside world all day, it was easier to come home and be more excited/active/motivated with my kids. Maybe because I had adult interaction/stimulation??

    I hope people don't bash me for being honest:( I am a single parent (my kids' father passed away), and I just feel overwhelmed most of the time, to the point of exhaustion. I LOVE my kids though, and I wish I could be a better SAHM for their sake:)

    *On a good note: By reading your blog, I feel inspired to be a better parent.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing.

    I TOTALLY get what you're saying about being motivated… I actually find that on weeks or days when I don't work or we don't do anything, I get even more un-motivated myself and get depressed/bored. It's strange, it's like the busier I am, the happier and more productive I am… if that makes sense.

    If anyone bashes you for being honest, they will not be welcome here anymore. 🙂 I don't allow bashing!!

    I am so sorry for your loss, too. Is there a way you could maybe find a small part time job so you could get out and get some adult interaction and get a break? Even if you had to pay for day care and didn't take home much take home money, maybe it would be worth it for a couple hours a week? If it overall lifted your spirits and helped you in other ways in your life…. maybe see if that is an option?

    Thinking about your girl. Keep your head up.

    Hugs! 🙂

  5. I'm fortunate enough to be able to be a full-time stay at home Mom. We saved money before we had kiddos and learned to live off of one income prior to having our first. We have a budget and it has been fairly easy to stick to it. I always wanted to be a Mom and stay home to raise our children. I was so thankful that my hubby agreed when I told him that I didn't want to work until the kiddos are older. This works for us and I love my life.

  6. I work outside the home. A lot. And I feel guilty every second of the day. My son is 2 now and people ask when/if we're having another. I used to think I wanted 3. Now I don't know if I could handle it.

    My position is salaried. Which means overtime without the extra pay. Which was fine before we had M. And since we've started trying to follow the Ramsey plan I've taken on additional jobs to bring in extra money. Which I barely have time to do.

    I feel like I'm always on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Like I'm letting my family down because I'm not spending enough time with them. Like I'm letting my job/co-workers down b/c I'm not 100% focused anymore. Like I'm letting my contract positions down b/c I'm just trying to fit them in & I know I should have a schedule for them, too.

    We can't continue with the lifestyle we have on a single income. It's not possible. And with a 12yr old step-son who looses glasses, takes medicine, will need braces…I don't know if we'll ever be able to. Even when we're debt free (my goal is by the time I'm 30, 23.5 months!)

    I envy the SAHM's that I know. I'm not saying you have it easy. But I do the things you do all day, plus more. I'm the checking account balancer, the cooker, the (primary) cleaner, the family organizer. My husband is wonderful with our son and does help with him. A lot. If he didn't I wouldn't be able to function (although, I feel guilty because he spends more time with M than I do.)

    Ugh, the mommy guilt goes on for years. Are there any working moms out there that don't feel guilty for every decision they make?

  7. There definitely needs to be more support for working moms than there is! I have always worked full time since having my first child (except for a few months late in my pregnancy and into the early few months of my second born's life). I actually look forward to working now with a 2-year-old and 1-year-old at home…it's easier than being home and I need a break!!!!! HOWEVER. My job now is as a Paramedic and so I work 40 hours in two days, so it really is just a mini vacation, not at all like a “real” job. When I worked a regular job, it was horrible and I still feel guilty about having to miss what I feel like is all of my first born's life. 😦

    Anyway, I do NOT want to SPAM up your beautiful blog, but these last few comments captured my heart and so I wanted to share some things I've written about being a working mom with the rest of us out there: . Just scroll down to the “Working Mom” posts!!

    Much love and strength to ALL of you mothers, whatever your “job” may be!

  8. SuthernStrawberry – I wish you peace. I'm sorry you feel guilty. 😦 Wish I had more supportive words for you… hugs.

    LifeMoreSimply- WOW! That sounds like a crazy, busy, fun job!! 80 hours in two days, you must go home exhausted!!

    I'm like you, and sometimes I look forward to going to work too. I need the break sometimes too! We all do!!

  9. I don't work outside the home but there are many times that I wish that I did!! I have a couple of online positions that I hold to bring in some extra money but that means I spend a lot of time late at night trying to get them done or on the weekends in between naps, laundry, and wrangling kids. I miss the adult interaction a lot but like you, I just couldn't do daycare. And at this point with almost 4 little ones, there really isn't a job I could get that would pay me enough money to cover it! I love being home with my kids and I do consider myself very fortunate, there are just some days when I miss being able to carry on an adult conversation! 🙂

  10. I've been a stay at home mom since my son was born, but am going to have to go back to work soon. I've been on unemployment but that has almost run out, and I have not been able to find a night/weekend job so I can avoid putting my son in daycare, which is what I was looking for. We had originally planned for me to stay at home once we had children, but it took 9 years and I had been told I was infertile, so we hadn't planned and saved because it was unexpected.

    I was making good money before, but it is not the sort of job I'd go back to with a small child at home (prison officer on 12+ hour shifts), and doesn't translate to many other positions, so I'm looking at 1/2 my previous salary on any job I get.

    I do have a real estate license, and was working as a realtor part-time before my son was born, so I am probably going to go back into that if I can't find a job that won't require daycare. As crazy as it will probably be, with real estate, I'll have more flexible hours, the option of taking my toddler with me, and will be able to work from home on some days.

  11. I have two little girls: 2 years and 4 months old. Right before our youngest was born (a month actually) my husband was laid off from his job unexpectedly. Thankfully, the insurance that went with that job was good through her birth (she was born 4 days before it expired!), except no one told us to add her to the insurance so her hospital stay was covered. Call me stupid, but that was certainly the LAST thing on my mind those last 4 days of insurance (and I spent those last days in the hospital since she was a c-section). Because of this we got hit with a $5000 bill for her hospital stay and when we tried to add her to the policy, we were told to contact the old employer because they could only add her. Well, the HR with that company won't call us back and the hospital wants their money. So, I had to take on a part-time job to pay the bill.

    Oh, I should mention that my husband was hired to a much better job in April, but it doesn't pay as well as the last job. We get by with his wages, but not enough to pay off that bill…

    I got a job at Target (which I was super happy about since that's my favorite store ever, like you! Employee discount!) but it's late at night most nights a week and on the weekends. There would be no point for me to have a job if I had to put the kids into daycare, so I work after my husband gets home. I don't think it would be so bad to have this job if I wasn't also a college student trying to finish my bachelors (which has been interrupted twice now due to my kiddies. And no, I'm not upset about that at all–my girls bring so much joy into my life. I love them to pieces). The girls stay with my wonderful mom, so we, once again, don't have to pay for daycare. Being in summer school and working part-time while trying to keep the girls out of trouble, the house clean, and my husband happy makes me one exhausted person. I have already knocked some hours off my job, but it's still so much on me. I'm so physically and emotionally fatigued, and boy, do I miss my family. But, what can you do, right? C'est la vie. I'm just so glad to have God in my life to keep my afloat. 🙂

  12. samantha, I think you're pretty familiar with what I do… I work full-time and hubby, as of right now, stays home with the kids. I've been working in the sports performance industry for 10 years… I work mostly with athletes, but I also do some personal training as well.

    i work 40 hours a week and i'm gone some hours in the day, but I work mostly from about 1pm to 8pm. again, sometimes i have some morning hours too.

    I like my job… i love what I do. and it's our only source of income so it's really really important. every woman is different and every family is different. i think you have to do what's right for your family.

  13. I work at least 40 hours a week, and if overtime is allowed up to 10 hours a day. I work on large commercial airplanes doing hands on engineering work While I work my husband stays home with the kids. Before my son was born we looked into a lot of day cares but in the end my husband wouldn't make enough to cover the cost of day care. So at that point we decided that I would work full time and he would stay home.

    Is it hard to do what I do? Yes. I work with all guys every day and my job is decently stressful. Is it worth it though, yes. I know exactly where my kids are every day (give or take outings they do). We have never had a sick visit to the pediatrician. Also with my son having asperger's syndrome my husband can work with him a lot during the day.

    The best thing I do to make it work is having one on one time with them every week. Both kids take gymnastics and I use that as one on one time with every week. Its only a couple of hours but I feel that it certainly helps.

    So in the end do I like working, yes I do. I love my job and what I do. I also love how our system is set up so the kids are taken care of.

  14. Ugh I go back and forth on this topic all the time! Southern Strawberry I know exactly how you feel! I have a 5 yr old and a 2 yr old and not only have I always worked but I have been in school the whole time too! Double whammy! I was just starting my undergrad in Social Work when I found out I was prego with Ethan and I am now 5 months away from getting my Masters. It has been a loooong tough road! I was laid off my job though in June, but I still am doing an internship of 25 hours a week and will be beginning work on a big graduate paper soon so I still don't feel like much has changed! ha But I do have 2 days off a week which I LOVE to be able to have that time with the kids. I am on unemployment now and I SOO wish I could just keep doing this. I will be done with my internship in December and seriously keep toying with the idea of just not applying anywhere else and being a SAHM, but I just know we can't afford it! I will probably have to start working AS SOON as the internship is done. I too feel constantly guilty that I am not with my kids enough. At my last job I was working 50+ hours a week and it was like a 24/7 hour job and I HATED all the time I missed with them. I know now that I can NOT do another job like that, I don't care what the cost, it's just not worth it! I think when I do go back, I will be kind of picky (well as much as I can be til I am desperate!) because I don't want them to grow up thinking I was “too busy” for them or never there. I want to find a happy medium if possible! The reality of it though is money always ends up getting in the way. 😦 In a perfect world, I would stay at home and maybe volunteer somewhere like 10-15 hours a week. I think I would still have to do SOMETHING outside the home or I would go crazy! But I am super envious of those moms who are able to be a SAHM!

  15. Thanks for writing this post. I wish I could have a very part time job like you do where our kids wouldn't have to go to day care. I have worked full time since I graduated college. I am a teacher though and really appreciate having an earlier starting evening and all the breaks throughout the year. Of course summer break is ending soon and I get very sad every summer thinking about going back to school and missing my boys. Teaching is not an easy job and I often feel guilty that my energy and patience is spent on other kids during the day and I'm often very tired when I get home. I teach Kindergarten. We are fortunate to have always had family babysit our boys. This year will be a little different as my mom will watch my boys 2 days a week and they will go to day care for the first time for 3 days a week. If I had to pay for day care full time it just wouldn't make sense for me to work at all, but we could not just live on my husband's income. It's a hard decision for women and we feel bad, get down on ourselves, question our parenting skills over it and just downright give ourselves a hard time all the time with the working vs. SAHM and it's silly:)

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