Stuck in the Middle

A recent chat with a colleague reminded me about why I started this blog.  Being a “part-time” working mom means being stuck in the middle.  A lot.

We don’t fit in with the SAHMs as they frequently judge us for putting our kids in daycare or camp and cannot relate to why we work.  Nor do we have the same issues as full-time working moms – those working outside the house 5 days a week.  Many of us “part-time” working moms find it difficult to fit in and find support.  And if that wasn’t challenging and frustrating enough, we are often judged by both of these groups.  Regardless of why we work – strictly financial reasons or because we feel fulfilled by our careers or somewhere in between – why do other women exclude us from their groups or look down on us?!

Every family’s situation is different and we each need to do what works for us.  Sometimes that takes some trial and error and sometimes what works well changes over time.  I wish others, especially other moms, would understand, accept, and respect this.  Fortunately, I’ve found some great friends who are supportive and I cannot express how much I appreciate that.

For me, it took some time to figure out where I wanted to be and how things would work best for us once we had kids.  Thanks to my husband’s unending support and the encouragement from some fantastic women from the Women’s Success Network, I put my MBA education to good use and launched a bookkeeping business.  I’m pleased to say it is turning out to be a successful and rewarding venture.  I find balance by having a flexible schedule and by having a mix of work at clients’ sites and at my home office.  I am able to take the kids to after-school activities, earn some money, and feel like I’m using my education and skills to help small business owners.

Some weeks are crazier than others and my husband complains I’m too busy in the evenings, but I do my best to multitask and manage my time wisely in order to have quality time with Rob and the kids.  So if I can continue to do my best and have supportive friends and family, then I’m happy.  I won’t let others make me feel stuck in the middle.  I’m sure those who judge me negatively are struggling to find their own balance anyway.

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4 responses to “Stuck in the Middle

  1. Moms should respect all moms wether they work full-time, part-time or 24 hours a day as a SAHM!

  2. As women, we’re square pegs being shoved into a round hole, whether you choose to be a SAHM, to work, or to do a little bit of both. Plus let’s be honest, not all women do too well at one or the other, and there are some prefer one over the other but sometimes feel guilty for it. Preferring to work (or stay at home) doesn’t mean that they love their children/family less; it’s just that we’re all wired differently when it comes to providing for said family and that all families have different needs in varying degrees.

    I’ve been a SAHM for roughly 5 years; before that, I worked full time (Child Services, etc) while my spouse was a Stay-at-Home Dad, and before that, I spent 8yrs of my life in a high-mobility/worldwide-deployable unit in the military. So if anything, I can more than likely relate to most women (& some men), more than they can relate to me/my experiences.

    What you choose to do with your life is your choice, and as long as that choice isn’t impeding upon the growth, safety, or love you have for your family — then go for it! 🙂 Don’t worry about where you “fit in” (with SAHMs, working moms, etc), none of that matters unless you like wasting your precious time/energy catering to the kind of folks who do enough catering to themselves… 😉

  3. Wow, what a variety of experiences! I switched to 3 days per week when our firstborn came along and have some time in as a SAHM, but mostly part-time. I agree not to worry about fitting in – just gotta do what works for me. Thanks for your feedback.

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