Mama, I have a confession. I love and want to work. Working makes me a better mom. How do I know?

I have been fortunate enough to try on different mommy hats—full-time working mom, part-time working mom and stay-at-home mom. Okay, I only held the title of stay-at-home mom (aka Chief Domestic Officer) for a couple of weeks before I realized I was happiest when working outside of the home in some capacity.

Even though I grew up in a household with two working parents, I often asked myself nagging questions, such as, “Am I being selfish? Am I a bad mom for not devoting more time with my kids?” I regularly fretted and agonized whether I was making the right choice by working outside the home.

But I always came back to conclude I am personally a better mom because I work outside of the home. Why, you may ask. Let me count the ways…

1. I feel more balanced as a person because working helps me maintain my own identity.

I have responsibilities outside of being ‘mommy’ to my two girls. Which is an amazing gig that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Buuut, as much as adore my kids, I also need to do things for myself. I love my job and pursuing my interests makes me feel content. Happy mom = happy kids.

2. I am more efficient and productive on the home front.

How does that old saying go? If you want something done, ask a busy person? Well, I think it should be ask a working mom. I know I don’t have time to waste, so I put every minute of the day to good use. It’s amazing how much I can get done from the commute to and from school, for example. Dentist appointments? Scheduled. Booking the babysitter for date night? Done. Coming up with a kid-friendly dinner menu? Check.

3. Working offers a steady routine in my life.

I joke that I’m like a toddler. Having a set schedule is something I value and crave (as boring as that may sound). My weekends are filled with kid-centered activities, family obligations and never-ending household chores. By the time Monday rolls around, I welcome the predictability the work week offers. My job helps provide consistency, which brings me to my next point.

4. Working makes me feel more at ease about the future.

I’m a mom, therefore I worry. I worry A LOT. But one thing I am not as anxious about is money. With two paychecks, our family can lead a more comfortable lifestyle than on one income alone. Thanks to my contribution to our family’s finances, we are able to save for our kids’ college funds, a rainy day fund and our retirement funds more easily.

5. Last but not least, I’m more appreciative of the time I spend with my girls.

While at work, I’m provided the space to miss my little divas. As a result, I am more patient with them when I do spend time with them. I find myself being able to handle parenting struggles better. For the record, I’m not claiming to cherish every moment with my girls by virtue of working, but it certainly helps to put things into perspective for me.

For all the reasons above and probably many more, working makes ME a better mom. And while there are moms like me who not only need to work outside of the home, but also want to, there are also lots of moms who thoroughly enjoy being at home with their children. Whatever your working status may be, there is no right or wrong answer to what makes you personally happy.