The other day, some girlfriends and I started trading “Motherhood was toughest for me when” stories. One friend, who I will call Kelli, admitted that when her kids were infants, she felt like she was going stir crazy. “They weren’t even talking to me yet. Being home full-time just wasn’t right for me.” That’s when Kelli decided she was a better mother when she worked. (Later on, she was able to work part-time, which made everything balance out.) Another friend who I will call Lila admitted that she adored those hibernating infant years, but when she eventually went back to work full-time, something didn’t feel right. “Seeing the sitter take my daughter everywhere killed me.” Lila eventually started working from home part-time, giving her the best of both worlds.
Another mom who I will call Dara worked as an attorney for years. Had Dara not quit for good when she decided to be a mom, there would have been no way she could balance it all with her two kids. I could go on and on (and I will eventually, believe me) about my experience as a working mother. The bottom line is I’m at my best when I’m working from home part-time. That’s where I feel like Jackie. That’s where I feel the most balanced. If my kids are sick, I can stay home with them without feeling guilty that I’m missing work. I can walk them to the bus stop, pick them up from school, and never miss a practice. When I was working full time, the pressure of missing work for a practice or coming in early so I could leave early for a pediatrician appointment was emotionally and physically draining. I have to hand it to those moms who work full-time, I don’t know how you do it. I don’t know how I did it! I can’t tell you how much stress I carried on my daily commute. But I’m happy to say that although I still have my days, I’m much happier today as a work-from-home-mom. (And I think my boss is a pretty cool lady.)