A few weeks ago my friend Ashley and I put her heads together and decided to do some guest blogging. We opted to do posts and the differences between a stay at home mom and a mom that works outside of the home. Ashley is a fantastic friend that has gone from an online friend to a friend in real life. I think you'll find what she has to say very interesting. And don't forget to check out my guest post on her blog!
"Ashley Here! If you don't know me, I am the author of What's on your mind, you ask? and a mother of almost 3 year old Hayden. I have been friends with Shaun for about 2.5 years also.. This friendship with this awesome lady is the product of online message boards. I am so happy I found a group of girls to hang with who understand me.
Anyway, I have been working ever since Hayden was born. It wasn't really a decision for me, it was more of an expectation. I knew that until we could get to a secure place where my husband was making enough to cover half of my pay, I wouldn't be able to stay at home. And you don't even know how much I longed to stay at home with Hayden. I did have the ability to stay home for the first 8 weeks. Benefits of a state job. When I headed back, we only needed a part-time babysitter: 4 days a week, about 4 hours a day. I worked 1st shift and my husband worked second. It worked out well because then, my mother in law watched Hayden during those times. We'd give her money when we could but we never officially had to "pay for a babysitter" at that time. I can't say that I never once felt guilty about working. I missed a lot of his firsts that way. I almost felt like he was growing up without me. But I was doing what needed to be done so he had what he needed.
In 2008, I went part-time at work... working 20 hours a week. Having no car payments gave us that ability. That's as close to stay at home as I got. I worked 3 days a week and loved it. I got to see Hayden take his first steps and didn't feel like my child was growing up with someone I didn't trust. But, that only lasted for a short time. We needed to move out of our 2 bedroom apartment so back to full time I went. But it proved to be harder because my husband has also started school. Which meant we needed 4-5 day babysitter, all day.
The search for a babysitter kinda was easy for us both times... we found people we trusted after the first interview. But when I saw both times.. I mean we had to fire our first babysitter. I realize now that she wasn't very truthful to us from the beginning. She never mentioned exactly where she lived until we needed to know because she knew she lived 45 minutes away from my job and 30 minutes away from our home. We stuck with her though until ... lets just say we has an unfortunate mishap with my face and her dog and all was lost. We once again relied on my mother in law (during school break thank god so the hours weren't long) until we found another babysitter... 2 minutes from our house, cost were less, and the nicest lady I've met.
I can't say that I've ever felt judged by a stay at home mom at any point of time. I did feel like I wasn't able to do as much because I worked. I would have loved to cloth diaper Hayden but I felt that we me working I wouldn't have the time to do it.. and I wouldn't want to put that on anyone else. But i can say that I think we have found a good balance between work and family time. Yes, my husband works full time and is in school so he isn't home as much. But we have 2 nights where we are all together and all day Sunday. Hayden gets his private time with both of us so I think he understands.
So don't think that you can't be a working mom and a mother. Just think of it as an added challenge that you can always conquer."