Today I’d like to share a Facebook post from a friend.
Dr. Jennifer Evans is a wife and mom of two teenage boys and an Assistant Professor of Nursing.
Unlike myself, Jennifer knows who she is now and who she plans to be when her boys are out of the house and she is an empty nester. I am envious and inspired, to feel less guilty about being a working mom, by her post.
“I had someone recently ask me if it was hard not being a “full-time” mom. That statement really made me reflect and I wanted to share my answer. I am not sharing this because I need to defend myself and my choices, but for those young women who are new moms and are returning to work with guilt in their heart of not being a “full-time” mom.
Being a mom is hard, but it is not harder because I choose to work and it doesn’t make me a part-time mom role. It is hard because I am a “full-time” mom and that alone is one of the most challenging roles God will ever bestow on a woman.
Yes, I also have a career outside the house. However, I am still responsible for all of the same things stay at home moms do. I manage my children’s schedules; take care of their physical needs; take care of them when they are sick or just sad; I try very hard to help them with their emotional development (which with teenagers is becoming harder); I worry about their safety every day (multiple times throughout the day); I make sure they have homework done (and I set high expectations for what they can achieve in their academics); I chauffeur them to where they need to be and if I can’t take them, I arrange rides for them; I discipline them, and I show them love everyday (even on those days they are not physically in my house, which is a whole other post).
But here is what I also do for them as a mom with a career (I don’t call it a job because it is more than that to me)…. I teach them what it looks like to never give up on your dream of pursuing something you love to do, I was a mom when I decided to start teaching and pursuing advanced degrees and they saw me work hard to achieve that goal; I show them how women too can be strong, independent providers who are not dependent on others to “take care of them”; I teach them how to be responsible and accountable by showing up even when you don’t want to get up early and work late on grading papers; I demonstrate how working hard provides financial peace and security; and I show them that a “job” doesn’t have to be something you do to live, but it can truly be your passion.
My “JOB” outside my full-time mom role has taught me so much that impacts my role as a parent. My students have taught me patience, acceptance, perseverance, humility, and what it looks like to work hard and sacrifice to reach your goals. I am so proud of my students as they break through obstacles and reach their goals. Seeing former grads get the nursing role they have always dreamed about, traveling the country caring for others, and advancing their degrees to become more than they ever imagined is liking watching your own children spread their wings and soar.
So for the person who asked me about how I feel about not being a “full-time” mom, my answer is that I am not only a “full-time” mom, I am so much more and quite frankly I am proud! I am not perfect, sometimes I miss things, sometimes I do have to tell my kids no we can’t do that (and that’s ok) and sometimes I may be busier than I like and a little more ragged, but I would not change one thing. For me this is my passion. I love my kids beyond belief and I never fail to tell them how important they are to me and how much I love them. But I am also blessed to be involved in preparing the next generation of nurses who will impact countless lives throughout this country.
So for all you moms out there, stop judging other women and support them in whatever decision they make. And for you moms returning to work or continuing to work, embrace it and understand you are still a “full-time” mom and SOOOOO much more!”