When are you going back to work?

I get asked this all the time. I usually stammer some awkward explanation about being on perpetual maternity leave because I feel like “I AM working, and when the kids grow up and leave the house, I will be enjoying my well-deserved retirement,” isn’t quite the answer they are looking for.

As an aside, I feel obligated to mention that if you are looking for a discussion on whether “working” moms or “stay at home” moms are better or have a harder life, then look elsewhere. I have never been a working mom, so I am not going to presume to speak on something about which I have no knowledge.

Back to the topic of this post, I’m not sure the answer they are expecting. When the kids are in school? At that time, I have big plans that include: sitting down for more than five minutes, going to the bathroom by myself with the door closed, eating a meal without having to share half my plate, learning to no longer be anxious about prolonged silences, and running errands that don’t involve drive throughs.

I used to practice law before I had my eldest, and I hated it. Being a “stay at home” mom has truly felt like my vocation in life. It is by far the most difficult thing I have ever done, but it is also by far the most fulfilling. I love being with my little blessings, and I feel very fortunate to be able to do so. Don’t worry, I am putting that law degree to good use. My children are the offspring of two attorneys, and I have put my legal training to the test in presenting my closing argument to my eldest on why using the potty is superior to diapers. So far, it has been a loss, but I have high hopes for the appeal.

I look back and wonder why I feel the need to make excuses when people ask me whether I am going back to work. The next time someone asks me that, I am merely going to answer that my children are my life’s work right now, and that is what I am focused on. I have no idea what the future holds for us, but as my sister says, any steps we may take in the future will be purposeful, and not just because it is what society expects us to do.

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0 thoughts on “When are you going back to work?

  1. Sudatta

    Oh my God, this is so relatable!! I’m not a blogger, but so many times, I feel like writing down my feelings about this,couldn’t have said it better.
    I love the “my kids are my work” argument. Definitely going to use that going forward. I’m so happy to come across your blog.

  2. Holly

    Oh I hear ya. I’m back at work part time & getting hell for it by my work. I was a career woman. Now I’d much rather play toy cars or watch Peppa pig all day with my daughter as it’s what feels right. Wish I could stay at home every day instead of having to work sometimes.

  3. Eowyn Fair

    I am not a mom yet, but I feel like my reply to the question will probably something sarcastic, like “When are you going to mind your own business?” Unless it’s a family member. lol.

    Good post. I hate the “what do you DO all day?” Question. I work part-time and manage the household, and that’s enough to do without having kids!

      1. Éowyn Fair

        I think they just expect people to hire out someone to clean, or something. It can be especially difficult when you are doing the majority of the work.

  4. juliaattheritz

    I love, “My children are my work.” I will be using that one. It was striking to me how many people just could not process the fact that I am staying home. Indefinitely. I constantly get asked, “Oh are you going to transition from teaching to something else? Are you switching careers? So….what do you DO all day?”

  5. Where Lily Lives

    I am attempting to merge the two – I’m studying child care and development and starting next week at a kindergarten so I get to take my daughter to work with me 🙂

  6. Ashley

    Great post! I am a “working mom”. I have a 21 month old and a 7 month old. I teach second grade at a catholic school. I love my job as a teacher but have often felt the tug to stay at home with my children. It is a difficult decision in alot of aspects. Much respect to all the women who stay at home with their children. I’m sure it is difficult yet rewarding. Keep posting! Alot of us moms can relate. This is my first response but I love reading all your posts. Since my son was five months when I found out God had blessed my husband and I with another child… You can imagine the comments we received 🙂 thanks for sharing your experiences. It keeps us motivated!

    1. sylcell Post author

      Congrats!! Oh yeah, my first was five months old when we found out we were pregnant again. Now, they’re thick as thieves!