My husband and I have this ongoing joke that one day, I’m going to retire him and he’ll be a stay-at-home dad while I’m the working mom rushing out the door each morning with a tea in one hand and briefcase in the other. I don’t know how much of a joke it actually is, because one day… it honestly might happen.
The truth is, I love working. I love feeling accomplished at things other than keeping my son occupied long enough to wash the dishes and throw the clothes in the washer. I love showing up unapologetically in the workplace and not always having to tiptoe around the house out of fear of waking up my baby just so I can get some things done.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t love the duties that come with motherhood and staying home with my child, because I wholeheartedly do. But I equally enjoy the fulfillment of working. And not the work that drains me and cuts into family time and has me dreading Mondays, but the work that doesn’t feel like work. The work where my passions have room to thrive and I get to be a walking example of what it means to operate in your purpose.
And I think my kids need this from me. Though I’m only a mom of one right now, years down the line when we’ve expanded our family and our kids are doing their own things in the world, I want them to remember how much their mama loved doing what she did.
I don’t want them to feel like their mama gave up her career or her dreams to raise them. That's how I viewed my mother growing up, as the woman who stopped everything she was doing and poured her all into her kids and family until it seemed she had nothing left to give.
But raising children is a revolutionary act. And so is continuing to chase your dreams while doing so—if that's what you want to do.
For so long I always wondered if she regretted it. I know she made the decision to become a stay-at-home mom (I mean, she did have nine kids) while my dad worked endless hours. But I know she had dreams and I always wondered what they were and if she just felt like she didn't have room to chase them after becoming a mother.
I think that’s often the case in society. Everyone thinks a woman gives up her dreams once she has children. But raising children is a revolutionary act. And so is continuing to chase your dreams while doing so—if that's what you want to do.
And I've decided that is what I want to do. Because being a working mom is important to my identity. Doing what I love is how I continue to ground myself, which fills my cup and in turn, gives me more to pour into my family. I don't feel depleted or empty when I have something that I can call my own. Being a working mom gives me a sense of independence in the midst of me having so many people who depend on me.
Related: Working makes me a better mom
I see it as a blessing that I have the ability to do what I love simultaneously: raising my son and working from home.
I love it all. And I can do it all. Because I’m not just a mom. I’m a woman with a dream in mind.
So when people ask me if I’m still working—the answer is yes.
And when they ask me what I do? Well, I’m building my career and I’m also building my child’s future.
And for those who want to know how I balance it all? Well, it’s easy when you’re doing what you love.
I love working. And I also love spending time with my son and husband. And I also love meeting career goals. And getting the clothes folded and put away. I love it all. And I can do it all. Because I’m not just a mom. I’m a woman with a dream in mind.
I don’t want to say my life stopped because I had kids. I had kids, and then I continued. But this time, with more passion and more drive. Because I want my kids to see how much I love what I do so that they chase after their dreams and do what brings them joy, too.