worked part-time as a college professor when my first child, now 8, was
a baby. But then due to my husband's job as a military officer, I
decided to quit and stay home with her and our subsequent kids.
And yes, even though it ended up leading to a pretty amazing career
as a blogger, writer, and entrepreneur, I was still always with them all
the time, cramming in work at naptime and bedtime when I could.
Of course, hindsight is always 20/20, and there are lots of things
I'd probably do over, but the big one, which isn't generally the popular
opinion, is that I'd work more than I did.
Maybe it's because my
kids have been off school for going on almost three weeks and my sitter
just returned a few days ago, but it's pretty clear that I am a way
better parent when I am not around them all the time.
I look back at all the craziness of being with them 24-7 and I can't
even remember the coolest moments because they are all jumbled together.
Thank goodness for pictures, though I honestly didn't even take much of
Because we were always together and my husband traveled so much, I
spent a lot of my time wanting a break, a little peace and quiet, some
respite from what was an extremely challenging and lonely existence for
For much of their babydom, I was struggling to keep everything
together, and between my own hobby turned work plus keeping the house
clean, it was so hectic, so much so that I honestly don't have as many
memories of their first years as I would have hoped.
Now that I have a regular work schedule, with older kids in school
and my youngest with a sitter for part of the day, I get time to myself
-- to work, to run, to breathe -- and so when I get home with them, in
the afternoons and evenings, heck even the mornings before school, my
attention is solely on them.
And those times they have with me now, which would be less total time
together before when I wasn't working, is quality time. Memorable time.
I realize that not everyone can work when they have babies, and that
for lots of people, the grass is always greener; maybe if I had worked
more, I would be pining to be with them. But I can say that in not being
with my kids every minute of the day, it's made me much more
appreciative for the time we do have together. And it's allowed me to be
a better parent, which is what they need and deserve. Too bad I didn't
know this when my kids were babies.
Do you wish you had worked more or less when your kids were babies?
I had more or less similar situation that Kristen describes. When my daughter was born I started to work from home and combining work and care after a baby is not an easy thing for me. Sometimes I was too stressed out to be a great mom. And I totally agree that " I am a way
better parent when I am not around them all the time". So I wish I'd work more and away from home.
Although now I'm happy that I've switched my career from office to home, because now my daughter is in kindergarten and working from home seems to be a way better option! :)