The Most Important Job


The Most Important Job | Duluth Moms Blog

Since the time my son was born, just over 3 years ago, I have been a stay-at-home mom, a work-from-home mom, a part-time working mom, a full-time working mom, and at one point I was even working 3 part-time jobs at once. In his 3 short years, I feel like I have experienced almost all the aspects of non-working to over-working mom life. But the one thing that has stayed consistent throughout? Being a mom. It’s my most important job.

The first year, I was a stay-at-home mom (with a little bit of work-from-home mom mixed in). It was an enjoyable time but I started going a little restless; I needed to get out of the house, I needed to have time away. I think the trick to being a successful stay-at-home mom is being able to find time and balance. You have to be firm about the importance of making time for yourself–getting out and being an adult–while also giving your all to your children and family. That was really hard for me because we were new to the area and I didn’t really know anyone. I didn’t have anyone I could call to come over or meet up with for the adult conversation I needed. I was struggling, and so I decided to enter the working world again.

I got a part-time, three days a week, job that was 6 miles from my son’s wonderful daycare. Finding the right daycare or caregiver for your kids is the first and most important step to succeeding as a working mom. In order for me to focus on my career while I am at work, I need to be completely confident that my son is being cared for and nurtured as if I am with him. My husband I were lucky enough to find just the right fit for us just a few blocks from our house and on the way to my office. It was nice to slowly ease into working by starting with a flexible 3-days-a-week schedule. 

Soon a friend of mine who owns a local business asked me if I could help out at her store a couple Sundays a month and of course I said yes. I started that gig and then my husband and I decided we really wanted to focus on paying down some of our debt. I needed to either find a full-time position or get another part-time job. Throughout college and after, my full-time career had been in retail, so I found a flexible 3 nights a week job at a local retail business. I worked Monday through Wednesday 8am-4pm at my day job, and Tuesday through Thursday 6pm-10pm at my evening job. I did this for almost 6 months and it was definitely a grind. I made Thursdays and Fridays all about my son: we went on adventures and visited lots of fun places (and some days we just laid in bed and watched movies together). 

Eventually, a full-time position opened up at my day job and I decided it made more sense to take that position and give up the evening retail job. I still help my friend out at her store a couple Sundays a month.  So now I am an 8am-4pm, Monday-through-Friday working mom. I have realized that I cannot do all the things anymore and need to prioritize what needs to get done. 

Some things that help me are the fact that I get done with work at 4pm and my son can be at daycare until 6pm. This means I have time to run to the grocery store kid free after work or can go home and clean for a couple hours until my husband and son come busting through the door looking for dinner. I also try to meal plan simple meals when I know we are going to be busy on a certain night or make sure I have stuff ready so my husband can cook if I know I am going to be gone or busy with other activities. 

Sometimes I ignore house work so I can spend time with my family. The dust bunnies under the couch and the laundry waiting in the basket aren’t going anywhere, but a little boy grows up fast, so some nights we go to the park and have a picnic until it starts getting dark and we need to get back home for bed. Then, because I need to take care of myself, those dust bunnies and laundry continue to be ignored while I eat ice cream and binge watch The Real Housewives before falling asleep by 9:30pm. 

Communication is also key. My husband and I have a shared Google Calendar that we can both see and add things to. This helps with planning who does daycare pick up, who makes dinner, and so much more. I feel like this will become even more helpful and necessary as our boy gets older and becomes involved in more activities. 

The Most Important Job | Duluth Moms Blog

{Photo Credit: Megan Emily Photography}

Make sure you have that quality time as a family, as just a couple, and also make sure you give yourself quality time. Sometimes it’s alright to pick up McDonald’s on your way to the park with your kids while you have piles of laundry waiting for you back at home.  There will always be things to clean, laundry to do, and meals to make, but time spent with loved ones won’t always be there. No matter what type of mom you are–stay-at-home mom, work-from-home mom, part-time working mom, full-time working mom, or multi-job mom–make sure you give your child(ren) and partner quality time because your most important job title you will ever have is “Mom.”