November 5 08

i work. full time.

(actually, i have three jobs. an 8-4 job. a side business. and a gettingoftheground media gig through my gossip website, where i get to interview celebrities and go to awesome events like the Gemini awards.)

(go ahead and judge. i’m okay with it. aliat30 is okay with it. aliat30 doesn’t even feel guilty about it. well, 90% of the time. heh.)

sure. there are days when i wish i could be a stay at home mom. i want to be able to plan playdates and pick Isabella up at school at noon. i want carpool to NOT be such a struggle. i wish i could be there for doctor, dentist, eye appointments without having to take off work. i want to be able to cook dinner every single night. i want to not have to rely on a nanny. i want to show up early at carpool in my lululemons to chat with all the other moms instead of showing up at the last minute in my work clothes. i want to be able to volunteer at school and go on the pumpkin patch trips.

sure, i want those things.

but i also WANT to work.

Being a working mom makes me a better mom to my children. it makes me a better wife to my husband. and it makes me a better person to myself.

it’s as simple as that.

(and i know i’m not alone)

i spent 3 1/2 years as a SAHM. and while i enjoyed spending the time with my bunnies and taking them to mommy and baby fitness and the park (well, that’s a lie. i absolutely hate the mothereffing park) and music classes and meeting friends for lunch/playdates it was HARD. there were days in the dead of winter where i would cry at the thought of having to bundle both children up in snowsuits, buckle them in the car, take them out, buy the milk, and schlep them back home. i resented my husband who used to be able to get up and LEAVE and then come home to a home-cooked meal and a family room that had been cleaned seventy eight times.

i would shove the kids at him. TAKE YOUR CHILDREN, i’d say. i resented my children at times and felt like a total asshole.

so, i went back to work.

where i now spend the hours of 8-4 on my own. i drink my coffee in peace. i answer emails. i get to use my brain (i have a masters degree, god damnit). i can pee without an audience. i can wear heels! i can eat my lunch without cutting someone’s food, getting someone a drink, and cleaning up a spill. i can gossip around the proverbial water cooler. i don’t have to wipe anyone’s ass. i can become an actual for reals published author. i can be ME.

but at the end of the day, i’m theirs. i come home and I’M HAPPY TO SEE THEM. i can’t wait to get the hugs when i walk through the door. i can’t wait to hear about their days. i can’t wait to listen to them reading their books to me. i actually enjoy my children.

and while i don’t get as many clocked hours with my kids as stay at home moms do, i get quality time.

(here’s the portion of the show where i give you that little disclaimer and tell y’all that even though i know some of you are judging me…i’m not a judger by nature. if you are stay at home mom…awesome! if you are a working mom…awesome! you have to do what works for you.)

and my children? THEY KNOW. i can see it on their faces. they know.

os. if you want to know what i dragged my husband to did last night, click over here. interesting tidbit. miss motherbumper was there, sitting in the row behind me, only i didn’t find out until this morning. she promises that she isn’t stalking me…only now that i think about it, i kinda wish she was…heh.

  1. I totally get that. Whatever works for you, ya know?

    Marias last blog post..And tears stream down my face…


    Comment by Maria on November 5, 2008
  2. I’m a SAHM. But I hate playdates, I hate the park. I generally dislike being around other people’s kids because I always end up being the babysitter while the other moms chat it up and relax. I had to find a job I could do from home just to remind myself that I am intelligent and that my college education was not a total waste. Not sure I would deal well with the corporate world because I tend to not sumbit to authority without lipping off first, so this is a nice mix of both for me.

    I don’t understand the need to judge others on this issue at all. I think a lot of it stems from a little jealousy of what the other side gets to enjoy. I say to each their own, what makes us the happiest makes us better moms, and that’s the number one priority.


    Comment by AJ on November 5, 2008
  3. I am about to return to work following an extended mat leave and this is EXACTLY what I needed to read today. Thank you so much for posting this.


    Comment by NEWMOM on November 5, 2008
  4. I’m a stay at home right now, but never rule out the possibility of returning to work someday. This post makes me respect you even more, Ali. :)


    Comment by Ashley on November 5, 2008
  5. Amen Ali! My feelings EXACTLY.

    TrenchesofMommyhoods last blog post..Wii Need Your Help


    Comment by TrenchesofMommyhood on November 5, 2008
  6. This is exactly what I needed to hear today. Exactly. I’m right there with ya.

    Teris last blog post..Dear Knitter


    Comment by Teri on November 5, 2008
  7. Totally get it. I’ve done both. I suppose I’m doing both on a quasi-level now with the part-time gig (at which I will absolutely be suggesteing “Salad” to anyone who asks for a book!). Some days I’ve done one part better than the other, other days I’ve wanted to chuck both. It all comes down to what works for you.

    differentkindofgirls last blog post..i believe paula abdul said it best…


    Comment by differentkindofgirl on November 5, 2008
  8. Exactly. It’s all about what makes you a happier person, and you can see it on those faces that it’s WORKING for you. Congratulations. :)

    maggie, dammits last blog post..I had no idea I would feel this way.


    Comment by maggie, dammit on November 5, 2008
  9. Thanks for writing this. It’s the message we need to get out. That we are all different, with different choices and needs and different things make us happy and make us the best moms we can be.

    Shannons last blog post..Culture Shock Post #3: The Trust Edition


    Comment by Shannon on November 5, 2008
  10. Ali, this is a really wonderful post.

    She Likes Purples last blog post..Lessons


    Comment by She Likes Purple on November 5, 2008
  11. Awww, I think you’re Super Mom, even more so because you do work 6,597 jobs. And I heart you!

    Camels & Chocolates last blog post..You Call THIS a Vacation?*


    Comment by Camels & Chocolate on November 5, 2008
  12. I had a very similar post recently. I couldn’t agree w/ you more!


    Comment by Lori on November 5, 2008
  13. I am SO glad you wrote this. I am not a mom but I want to one day and I used to feel guilty b/c I know I want to keep working when I have kids. I have worked hard for my education and I really want to use it in the field, but I want to be a good mommy-and guess what we can do both. Thanks for writing this, because when you do it supports the idea of a happy working mom with a happy working family. Great post.


    Comment by Sensibly Sassy on November 5, 2008
  14. I didn’t know you were on Etsy. You are a jill of all trades :)

    I work full time and I would love to opt out for a few years and stay home (doubt that will happen). But I think that is more about the fact that I don’t love my job. I agree, what ever works for you, do it.

    Chantals last blog post..Who sucks?


    Comment by Chantal on November 5, 2008
  15. this post is excellent. and all the comments are great. It proves that what is important in raising a family is the balance you create for your kids AND yourself. There is no right and wrong – but there is a way to make a happy parent and happy kids!


    Comment by Sarah on November 5, 2008
  16. I grok what you are saying. (Sorry, I am NOT dropping my g’s for a while; enough of that from the past few months!). All of us who are parents, at least the ones I know, feel that tug of war all the time. My wife stayed at home for some months after the birth of our daughter, but she always intended to go back to work. I know she felt pangs about doing it, but she also knew that it would be best for all concerned. The first day we dropped the Wee Lass off at day care, both of us barely made it out the door before we each started crying, so it was not a choice made lightly. And it has always bothered me that, societally speaking, the issue of myself (working male) being able to easily take time away never seemed to make it to the table. I guess its poor form for a male with a job to want to stay home, even if just for a little while.

    As for myself, I wish I could take more time away from work to spend it with my daughter. Life circumstances have worked against that, and I am also very aware that I also would need some time outside of child care 24/7. I don’t believe it serves anyone’s interests to live in such a way that fosters unhappiness and misery. If we as parents are miserable, the child will be, too. It really is about balance. We all need to do what works best for us, and no one needs to endure the self-righteous criticism of those who feel morally superior because of the choices they made.

    Speaking of that, I get the feeling that many of the most vocal critics (of both sides, SATH vs. Working) do so because subconsciously, they aren’t truly happy with the choices they made, and criticize because they want you to be unhappy as well. How about THAT for dime-store psychology? (My office hours are by appointment only).

    To do the best we can within the framework of our lives is all that we really can do. Good, thoughtful post, thanks!

    IrishGumbos last blog post..Gobsmacked By The Wee Lass


    Comment by IrishGumbo on November 5, 2008
  17. I totally get it.


    Comment by gorillabuns on November 5, 2008
  18. You are one of the coolest Moms I know. You are doing what makes ALL of your family happy.

    Angellas last blog post..Sunday Is A Day Of Rest


    Comment by Angella on November 5, 2008
  19. I’m a SAHM, and sometimes I wish I could work. As it stands, it wouldn’t be smart. I’ve yet to go back to college, so the minimum wage jobs I’d qualify for would barely cover the daycare and gas. BUT! I think some moms truly are better when they’re away from their from their kids some, just like you’re saying. Thanks to Florida’s VPK, my kiddo is now in a free pre-k program 3 hours a day. He’s learning so much that I just didn’t have the energy to teach him when I was him 24 hours a day – and oh, I was, at least for the last couple of months of it after my husband deployed and I didn’t know a baby-sitter. And with 15 hours a week free to nap or clean or watch tv or workout or do whatever. I. want. – and in silence?! I am SUCH a better mom. We play more, we go out more, we watch tv less, I cook real meals more. I am no longer completely burnt out on mommy-dom. So I know EXACTLY where you’re coming from.

    As a sahm to a working mom, I’ll be the first to day, you’re doing what works for your family. And doing what works for yourself and the people you love, no matter what anyone thinks of it, is ALWAYS the best thing.

    Angelas last blog post..43lbs in 2 weeks


    Comment by Angela on November 5, 2008
  20. She’s so great, she’s Ali Martell.


    Comment by slynnro on November 5, 2008
  21. you must have crawled inside my head today. I have a post brewing similar to this – but I am a WAHM… sooo different from a SAHM.

    Hollys last blog post..A or B


    Comment by Holly on November 5, 2008
  22. I feel the same but often wonder if I do get quality time? By the time dinner’s done, kitchen is cleaned, clothes are folded, it’s bed time. I struggle with this on a daily basis! My husband works evenings so he’s with them all day and goes to work when I get home, he is OFTEN very cranky at that moment. Ahhh, don’t think I would change a thing though – even thru my complaining.


    Comment by Maria on November 5, 2008
  23. Yes, being a stay-at-home mom is the hardest job in the world. It’s constant sacrifice. It’ll be GREAT, though, when they’re in school! But, I’m in no rush….

    Haley-Os last blog post..Cheaty Gets a Life Coach


    Comment by Haley-O on November 5, 2008
  24. I SO get this. I have these asprirations of being a SAHM, homeschooling, even but I’m starting to realize that ultimately, I’d like to get to be ME for 8 hours a day that don’t only occur after bedtime. I’ve figured out that an ideal would be getting to be home-based, but having my daughter away from 8-4. Now…how to get that going.

    Zoeyjanes last blog post..On Boundaries


    Comment by Zoeyjane on November 5, 2008
  25. Your job sounds pretty ideal. And at times I resent my friends who work. Because of the challenges with Cuy, I NEED to be home for now.
    And sometimes I fell like I need to not be.

    I’d love to be a published author. It was what I thought I would be doing. Was all set to go to Ryerson…plans changed
    Maybe one day I will be.
    Socks, anyone…?

    Christines last blog post..


    Comment by Christine on November 5, 2008
  26. Ali, THANK YOU! You just all the time make me feel better about who I am–both as a mom and as a woman in general. Thank you! I sometimes feel guilty that I NEED to go to work, but you said it best, working makes me a better mom! THANK YOU!


    Comment by aMom2E on November 5, 2008
  27. I’m so glad you wrote this. I go back to work in a couple of months, and I’m forgetting all of the reasons why. And, every single day I feel like a horrible person because I’m going back.
    Seriously, I’m bookmarking this and reading it every time I feel so guilty.
    I’ve been a SAHM for 7 months now, and I try to appreciate it, but it’s so freaking hard.

    LDs last blog post..Happy Halloween!


    Comment by LD on November 5, 2008
  28. Such a touchy subject but you handled it beautifully. Thank you for writing this in a way that didn’t make me feel badly about my decision to stay home. It’s sometimes hard not to feel threatened or judged by the ‘other side’…I can’t believe I just said ‘the other side’…how wrong is that????

    porters last blog post..


    Comment by porter on November 5, 2008
  29. Great post! I think it is amazing when women find the balance that works best for them.

    Kristens last blog post..New layouts


    Comment by Kristen on November 5, 2008
  30. Now that I’m a SAHD I can totally understand the look of burning hatred my wife used to greet me with at the end of the day. Ok, it’s not that bad, but I do miss my quiet time.

    Captain Dumbasss last blog post..Guest Post


    Comment by Captain Dumbass on November 5, 2008
  31. I’ve always thought I’d be a SAHM. But now that I’m nearly finished my degree I’m thinking I too would want to work and get a career.

    I think it’s great you work! Everyone is different. I’m hoping to try both situations out & see what works for me! :)


    Comment by Bronnie on November 5, 2008
  32. I love this. A lot.

    Kerri Annes last blog post..As Mr. Sloan always says, there is no “I” in team, but there is an “I” in pie. And there’s an “I” in meat pie. Anagram of meat is team; I don’t know what he’s talking about.


    Comment by Kerri Anne on November 5, 2008
  33. I have a feeling this will be me:). Thanks for being courageous and posting your TRUE feelings!

    Kaleighas last blog post..Priorities…


    Comment by Kaleigha on November 5, 2008
  34. I’m kinda like you, except in sweatpants and no bra in my home office.

    Dis last blog post..How do I say no?


    Comment by Di on November 5, 2008
  35. I think you’re fabulous. And although I’m older than you–I’d still like to be you when I grow up :)

    The Over-Thinkers last blog post..Wordless Wednesday: Pink Surprise Edition


    Comment by The Over-Thinker on November 5, 2008
  36. Interestingly, I have a post about this already written for tomorrow.

    Bottom line, you have to do what’s right for your family, not what other people think.

    Good for you for knowing “when to say when”. I don’t know if I could have done it.

    SciFi Dads last blog post..Meeting


    Comment by SciFi Dad on November 5, 2008
  37. Good for you!

    In my opinion, there is nothing better than coming home to your kids after a hard day of being an adult and those first hugs.

    That’s just me. I have much respect for mom’s period. Be it stay at home or working, or whatever. As a dad, I am proud of all mothers and fathers who just take an interest in all aspects. Dirty and fun.


    Comment by Hockeyman on November 5, 2008
  38. I’m definitely a better mom because I work. While my job allows me to be flexible and only be in the office three days a week, sometimes those are my solice days. I’m a better person for working.


    Comment by steenky bee on November 5, 2008
  39. It’s all about quality, not quantity.


    Comment by Teena in Toronto on November 5, 2008
  40. My wife is the same way. Every once in a while she wonders, ‘what if.’ I just wait until she thinks it out and says, ‘yeah, no.’

    Jims last blog post..Awards


    Comment by Jim on November 5, 2008
  41. Ali you are great mum! and we all have to do what works best for our families.i am exhausted and think working at a job would be easier than being home…


    Comment by LAVENDULA on November 6, 2008
  42. I know I would work at least part time if that would work for our family, but we need the income from both of us to pay bills.
    Every time I read a post like this I get sad, because I miss my kids when I only get to see them an hour in the morning, and an hour and a half at night. Sucks.

    monstergirlees last blog post..Primary Colors


    Comment by monstergirlee on November 6, 2008
  43. I do get it. I like being a stay-at-home mom, but I have sahm friends who are MISERABLE and are just not happy being around their kids all the time – their families would likely be better served by them getting a job. I really think children do best when their mothers are able to be happy as parents and as people at the same time.
    (And oh my god, i hate taking my kids to the park. BARRRRF.)

    Becks last blog post..Doctor, Sometimes I Cry For No Good Reason


    Comment by Beck on November 6, 2008
  44. Today, as I was dressed, ready to leave my house this morning, I almost cried. My daughters wake up in the morning and beam when they see me. It’s so great- and then I have to leave because mommy has to work. I enjoy working, bec I would go crazy at home- plus I need to financially… but it kills me to not spend a few hours in the mornings with them.
    There’s never a good enough solution, I guess.

    Mayas last blog post..Hi, I’m GeminiGirl…. and I’m a Spend-a-holic


    Comment by Maya on November 6, 2008
  45. It definitely has to be about what works for you. Right now I’m loving staying at home with her, but some days I want to scream and I just want to go be ME and not MOM for a second or two.

    Courtneys last blog post..Thank. God.


    Comment by Courtney on November 6, 2008
  46. Good for you, Ali. Be proud of who you are, and of your accomplishments.

    Sherendipitys last blog post..Don’t blame me for my randomality, blame nablowme.


    Comment by Sherendipity on November 6, 2008
  47. WORD. You already know how I feel about this. :)

    metalias last blog post..One more reason to love Target


    Comment by metalia on November 6, 2008
  48. 2 points…

    1) Damn, girl. You get lots of comments!

    2) This post totally captured the complexity of being a parent these days. Modern parenting is harder than our parents had it, I say.

    Mikes last blog post..XXX! SEX! XXX!


    Comment by Mike on November 7, 2008
  49. Everyone is different. And I have plenty of friends that flourish as SAHMs. And I have plenty of friends who are just not good in a SAHM role because they need to work. And whatever you have to do to be the best parent, you do it. It doesn’t make you a bad parent either way. I wish people would stop thinking that way.

    Kristabellas last blog post..Minnesota: Where They Like To Spell


    Comment by Kristabella on November 7, 2008
  50. Whatever works best for you & your family! It’s important that you have your balance. I’m glad we live in a time where women have that choice.

    Nadines last blog post..Penis conversations


    Comment by Nadine on November 9, 2008
  51. I like going to work for the break, but my job is stressful, physical and my office environment sucks a bit.

    This is my first real job after over 10 years of being a SAHM and I’m jonesing to quit. Seriously. I hate it.

    Now I’m always yelling at my kids. I’m always stressed when I get home. I feel behind on everything and just plain tired. And the guilt. Oh, the guilt.

    I want my SAHMommyhood back. Huh. All those years I couldn’t wait to get out of here and turns out I always wanted to be here. ;)

    Chantals last blog post..I’m sorry


    Comment by Chantal on November 9, 2008

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