Wednesday, February 26, 2014


1 year ago I went to the wrong place for my first day of work. It wasn't my fault, but I felt foolish anyway. When I showed up at the right place, my new boss and I talked through some strategies and business ideas. We immediately got along very well.

During the last year we've done a lot of adjusting. 
  • Josh took on more household responsibility and I gave some up. 
  • My boys have adjusted (or are trying to adjust) to seeing less of me. 
  • I spend more time talking to adults than little ones.
  • I cook and clean less.
  • Josh knows more about kids than he ever dreamed he didn't know.
  • We spend much less time with our entire family. 
  • We pay all our bills with significantly fewer financial-emotional breakdowns.
  • We discovered that cereal is a viable dinner option. 
  • I learned how to answer my cell phone without knowing who it is.
  • I got a grown up wardrobe.
  • Josh has new respect for all the stay at home parents in the world.
  • The boys cry to Josh before me when they're injured.
  • I became the pushover.
  • I listen to talk radio.
  • The boys have awesome relationships with their cousins (minus Little John and Ian who are still deciding if they like each other or not...) and the love-fest is continuously melting my heart.
  • I regained confidence in my ability to do things. Like answer my phone and talk to adults. 
  • I'm leaning all kinds of new skills and abilities. Securities laws and limitations, business design and (begrudgingly) Quickbooks. Again. 
To be totally honest, I'm still deciding if it's worth those adjustments. We make a lot of sacrifices, we enjoy a lot of benefits. (Like not losing our house, and being able to pay our bills.) It's hard. Really hard. My kids miss me. I miss them. We want the park instead of the carseat. I want to cook dinner before bedtime. I want to have a pajama day just because I feel like it. I want Tommy to KNOW that I will always be the one to pick him up from school. I want to play with word families with him while Josh plays wrestle-mania with the Little "The Maniac" John. I want Josh's days off to mean family fun days.

But staying home was hard - really hard - too and I wanted a lot of changes then. (like wearing real clothes, being asked a question harder than "what's for lunch", the boys to see Josh more often, a break from them long enough to miss them, and the ability to buy stuff they need.)

I recently read a blog post by someone I truly love and respect, and she took a very firm stand that choosing to be a working mom is not a good choice. I read that post and cried. It hurt, because I'm still deciding what is best for me, and this stance left no room for personal choice. Blanket statements and generalizations implying that it's selfish or irresponsible or harmful to my children, made my heart ache. I retreated to my very favorite (and safest) corner of the internet with the women I trust more than any other women - to both have my back, and tell me when I'm being unreasonable - and I cried to them. They backed me up. Because they love me. The pain of reading those words in that post made me do some soul searching and decide if I really thought I was doing the right thing by working out of the home again. And today, right now, I am sure this is what I needed for 2013. 

I'm honestly thankful for my experiences at work during this last year. I've had some life changing conversations with my boss that had nothing to do with my job. I've gained a new respect and appreciation for not doing it all and slowing down. I've learned to let go of stuff that simply doesn't matter. I'm working on better managing my time. And oddly, my kids have become a higher priority to me. I spend many more quality hours with them and I think about them when I'm gone. Something about absence making the heart grow fonder..... Mostly I appreciate my time with them more. I'm far more willing to snuggle a little longer, sing one more song, read one more story, and watch the ants for one more minute. I'm learning valuable life skills, gaining confidence in what I already knew and rediscovering my priorities in life. I get an enormous amount of satisfaction from doing something that makes me think.

My kids? They know I love them. They are building social relationships with kids their age and learning to interact with adults that aren't me. They get opportunities that they wouldn't get if I was their sole caregiver and the opportunities I normally give them. They are with a person who does love them. Whether she's paid to or not, she is an extraordinary soul who has the ability to love people she didn't give birth to. She also happens to be family, and for that I am extremely grateful.

For me, right now, this is the right choice. An excellent balance of office work and mother work.

So, happy anniversary to me and my job. Who knows if we'll celebrate a 2nd anniversary or not, my time here might be done and I'll be a full time mom again, or I may stay at this office until I retire; but either way, I'll know that I'm making the right choice for me. Because I truly believe that choices which so intimately impact an individual family are choices that can be made only by that family.


  1. Oh Amy! I love you. Thanks for writing this. It seems like every mom in the whole world struggles with this balance. I'm so glad you've found your balance and I'm glad you've grown confident in your decision. I'm proud of all the work you're doing at work and at home. You're inspiring. And I'm glad you know I love those boys of yours. I really, really do. AND last time John and Ian even loved each other. They were doing teamwork trouble making. Ohhhh boy are we in for it. This is the good life. :D

  2. I like all of this. I think it's a VERY respectable thing that you are a working mom. I see it as a sacrifice, and an act of bravery. It takes a strong woman to balance self-fulfillment, financial security, and a whole family and household.

    Also, I know what you mean about learning to answer the phone with phone calls you don't know :) Haha! Me too.

  3. I love you, Amy. I think that you are amazing. Life is definitely hard, no matter what you choose to do with it, but I think we each just make the decisions that we think (hope/pray/feel) is best for us and our families and make the most of them. You are a great mom, and I know how much you love your kids. I'm so glad that you have a job that you are enjoying, learning, and growing from too. I admire you so much and I am glad that are you feeling less stressed about everything. Keep hanging in there, and enjoy it!

  4. I really don't like those kinds of posts. Even reading your short version made me want to jump through the computer lol. Wouldn't it be WONDERFUL if we could all be at home with our kids? But not all of us have that option. I HAVE to work. It's not much of a choice. I have the best medical benefits, and with a child who is looking at his third open heart surgery...working out of the home for him is the best thing i could do. If i was a stay at home mom i'd be trying to figure out how we'd medically care for Asher and pay all his medical bills. I think it's rude of other women to generalize what they seem to think is ideal, not only that I WORK FOR THE CHURCH! so trying to bring any sort of religious commandment into it i'd just have to slap them...:) I love you, and i know you are doing everything you can to make sure your family has what they need. It is a very hard balance. i've taken asher away on weekend vacations and it's hard. Being at home is hard, and juggling home and work is hard. Being a mom period is hard. You want to be the best. And your kids will look back and see that you were and are the best so don't be too hard on yourself! Love you! :)

  5. I don't know why but this post has me bawling my eyes out. Blanket generalizations are pretty much always a bad thing; there are exceptions, changes, factors that we don't know everything about. YOU, my friend, are an amazing mom!! And the fact that you are willing to work to help provide for your family makes you even more amazing, in my own so humble opinion. You know my family, my mom was very much a working mom, at least for my childhood, and I have nothing but the utmost respect and love for her, as your boys (and any future possible children) will have/do have for you. What works for one person may not work for someone else. If the world were perfect and we all had enough money for our needs, I still think a lot of women would prefer to work, at least a little, just for their mental state. And there is nothing wrong with that!! Everyone needs something different to function and be healthy in all aspects.

    I'll get off my soap box now. Just know that I love you and you are one of my heroes and I think you're awesome and amazing and one of my most favorite people.

  6. Thanks for writing this. You're wonderful. The end.

  7. Amy, I think I read the same blog post. And I was also hurt by it. I have always been able to stay home with my kids, but I was raised by a working mother. It has been YEARS since our church leaders have said that a mother should not work. It is just not possible for a lot of people. There are a lot of well-meaning self-righteous Mormons out there who think their way is the only way. You know what is best for your family. I think you are a great mom.

  8. I love you, Amy! I think you are SO amazing and articulate and wonderful!! Thank you for being you and sharing you with me! xoxoxo


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