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Do You Wish You Had Worked More or Less When Your Kids Were Babies?

Posted by on Jan. 6, 2013 at 7:35 AM
  • 13 Replies

Spending Time Away From My Kids Makes Me a Better Mom

Posted by Kristen Chase

Confession: I wish I had worked more when my kids were babiesI 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 those.

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 me. 

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?


by on Jan. 6, 2013 at 7:35 AM
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by Silver Member on Jan. 6, 2013 at 11:12 AM

 when my duaghter was a baby i worked 6a-2p, not a bad schedule, when she was a toddler i worked 7p-7a, also not bad since she was asleep most of that time.  i was lucky to be able to stay home for my sons first year & i loved it.  wish i had had that opportunity with my daughter.

by on Jan. 6, 2013 at 1:23 PM
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No, I loved being a working mom. I was a single mom so I really didn't have a choice. I was a stay at home mom for about 2 years and I hated it. I couldn't wait until I went back to work. My son loved daycare and preschool.

by on Jan. 6, 2013 at 1:33 PM

i like when she said "it's pretty clear that I am a way better parent when I am not around them all the time. " I feel the same way. I went to school full time when mine was a baby; so we can have the life that we do now. There is no right and wrong answer; everyone has a different set of believes as well as cercumstances. But this momma is happier Working, no matter what age they are.

by Emerald Member on Jan. 6, 2013 at 2:29 PM

I wish that I would have worked more for sure.  I was a SAHM from the time my oldest was born and I was with them every single waking moment of the day.  I absolutely hated it and felt trapped most of the time.  The best thing that I ever did was get a part time job outside of the house.  I needed it more that I ever realized and wish that I would have done it sooner.

by on Jan. 6, 2013 at 2:44 PM

 no i don't agree, but then again we are all different and maybe some of us need less time at home.. would not have been me i enjoyed being with my kids at the tender ages, however its a sacrifice many of us make because while we are caring and raising our families we as individual suffer from the lack of social lives and the work world, so when the kids are older and more independent and now you have some free time on your hands and do wish to get a job you snubbed because you lack expereance  so there are pros n cons to the whole thing...

by on Jan. 6, 2013 at 6:56 PM

I was a single mom for a while starting when the boys were 1 and 3 and ending when they where 3 and 5. I had to work full time and I hated it. I missed my boys and missed the few years I had with them before they headed to school. I really wish I could have those years back and have no desire to miss anymore years now. 

by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 1:53 PM
I enjoyed working when my babies were little. But I wore them in a sling the majority of the time. I worked from home and they were right there with me unless I was doing something impractical for wearing baby.

Being so close to my babies all the time made me a better person. Their maturity, independence and confidence is evidence enough for me to believe all our time together was good for them too.

The way I did it might not be the answer for anyone else but I can't imagine doing it any other way.
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by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Well, when Caden was small, I worked full time as a first year teacher, and went to grad school.  i came to the realization that it wasn't all :( :(.

So, I quit my job and decided to stay home withi m.  And I am glad I did :).  I went back to work when he was a year old.

WIth Leo, I don't work as much but I still feel like I don't get to spend a lot of time with him.  And he's got food issues, and i want to work with him on it....but its so hard when hes only with me 2 days a week at most :(.  We made a ton of progress over the long break though :)

by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 5:32 PM

No I was a SAHM and loved every minute. Hubby and I both felt it was important for me to be home to take care of them. Even now I am only a part time aide sub at school so that I can be here when they need me . 

by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 5:37 PM
ohh when my son born I worked more then full time do to my husband illness. who past away 4.5 years ago. I was so unhappy without my son. it was pure hell. I wish I could have been a stay at home mom. but one got to do what one got to do. sucked and now im working less sense no more medical bills to pay. And landed a really good job. so now I can spand more time with my boy.
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