Many of us are working moms because we have to be. Fortunately, we recognize that there are benefits to being a working mom.
Obviously there is more income to be shared with our spouses, and almost every working mother I know appreciates the sense of accomplishment she gets from working outside the home.
But what about our children?
Sure, they benefit from having things like food, clothing and shelter provided to them thanks to our paychecks. The economic advantages of having a mother who works full time seem to be the main motivating factor for mothers to remain in the workforce after they have children.
But I think my children are gaining more than just financial stability because I work.
My kids are independent because I work. My four year old daughter has been getting herself dressed in the morning for over a year now. She can pick out her own clothes, knows to change her underwear, and handle most of the buttons and zippers all on her own. My son can get breakfast for himself and his sister - and usually does. It’s vital in this house that we all pull our own weight, and my children are very good at trying to do things on their own before asking for help.
Of course, sometimes that means we’ve got cracked eggs on the floor and shoes on the wrong feet and they do still need their mommy - obviously. But that sense of independence that they’re learning will serve them well in life.
My kids are confident in social situations because I work. My working necessitates the kids going to daycare. They’re used to meeting new people and having to interact with adults who aren’t family members. And they have had to learn to do it without the safety net of Mom standing near by.
Unfortunately that means that they have, at times, been exposed to behaviors I don’t approve of in my own home. But I’m proud to see how well they interact with new people because of the developing they’ve had to do apart from me.
These are just a few characteristics I’ve noticed in both of my children over the past couple of weeks. I’m amazed at how well they’ve adapted to having two parents who work, and I’m appreciative of the life skills they’re gaining as a result.
Of course, I don’t mean to suggest that the children of stay at home moms are somehow less fortunate or that they can’t develop independence and social confidence. But I know that in my own family, these behaviors have come as a direct result of my working - and I’m not sure I would have known how to instill them in my kids if I wasn’t working.
It’s nice to remind myself that everything can provide an opportunity for my kids to grow and learn - even my working outside of the home.
How has working outside of the home helped your kids?