First I must say that I love being a mom. I am actually surprised at how much I love being a mom. I do not mind changing diapers, I do not mind being spit up on. My darling little girl has a fussy period where she screams for at least an hour every evening. Not just crying, but screaming so loud that I sometimes worry that the neighbors will call DCFS. However, I find the crying cute. I sit and hold her and laugh at her personality. See, we have discovered she does not cry from hunger, or needing a diaper change, or anything like that. She cries because she is tired and does not want to sleep. She is so mad that she feels tired. Then she completely crashes into a deep sleep.
Now, having said that, being a working mom in Utah seems to be very difficult. I really want to know if this is a general experience for Utah, mormon moms everywhere, or moms in general. When I was in New York I worked with many moms who did not seem to have the problems I am having.
First, let me say I love my job. I do not like getting up in the morning, and I am right out the door when my day is done. None of this lingering too long. But when I am here, I enjoy my job. I love working with clients, meeting people, helping people, etc. I also enjoy going home and being with my precious baby. She is taken care of in the day by my mother, so I figure I have the best of all worlds.
So, where is the problem? The judging. For good and bad I am judged everywhere I go. Some people at work mention things like "don't you just cry when coming to work?" "How can you be happy away from your baby?" At church "I would never work and have a child. My husband would work three jobs rather than send me to work." "Women who work are just selfish and do not know how to live on a budget." "You do not need to work. You can have medical insurance through Medicaid."
I also get the women who say "I wish I could have a good job and get out of the house". "You are so lucky. If my mom would watch my baby, I would work, too."
I know I do not need to justify myself, but I feel like I do. My husband and I do not work for luxuries. I would love to see how people handle it on one income, but as a teacher (my husband) and a Rehabilitation Counselor (myself) we do not make a fortune. Yes, we do live comfortably. We are getting a nice starter home next month thanks to my husbands saving skills. I have a good education. In fact, my job is paying me to take an online Master's Degree program. Why not take advantage of that? If I have to work, why not let it be something I enjoy? I had another working mom tell me "I have to work, but at least I hate it. At least I know that I would never choose this!" I think that is kind of stupid!
I guess I do feel guilt. But it is guilt about not feeling guilt! Isn't that stupid? People tell me my feelings will change as I miss more and more of her "firsts". Perhaps. But knowing that my family is taken care of, and that my husband's family in the Philippines is taken care of, I feel good about my life. We have our struggles, but I love that we have educations and that we can provide together for our family.
We are moving into a new ward. I am worried about being looked down upon. I know I shouldn't care, but I do care about what people think of me. Call me weak.
Anyway, I write this because I hope to find others out there who have to work, but make the best of it. Those who know that God leads their lives and do not feel guilt about it. Is anyone with me on this?