does something have to suffer or can you have it all???

Tah - posted on 12/19/2010 ( 24 moms have responded )

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I have had a couple people say that if you are a working mom something will suffer, either your children, your marriage/relationship or your job...

Do you think this is true?

why or why not?

if you work or have worked, had this happened to you? if so, how did you rectify it?

or

Can a working mom have a equal balance where everyone is happy or content?

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Isobel - posted on 12/19/2010

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I haven't read all the responses but here's my two cents...You can have it all...but not all at once :)

Amanda - posted on 12/19/2010

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I don't necessarily believe that if you work as a mother your children will suffer. I mean if you work the hours your children are in school than they can't really suffer without you because they would be without you either way...I've never had a relationship fail because I worked and couldn't show my family the attention they needed. I've always worked at a daycare since I've had kids and they were there with me. Now I do inhome daycare and I'm home with them all the time. I think if the mom wants to have valuable time with her family without her work suffering there are ways to balance this out. Knowing how to manage your schedule around your family. Taking the time from work to be with your family. Now if your one of those moms who's ALWAYS working, have a phone glued to your ear as you walk through the door through the entire dinner time and up until you tuck your kids in than you obviously don't have your priorities set. You need to leave work at work and home at home...if you can't do that than you will end up with someone unhappy or something not content.

September - posted on 12/20/2010

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I know my son, my relationship nor my job suffer at all...I on the other hand suffer from lack of sleep from time to time trying to keep up with our busy lifestyle. However I would not have it any other way. I may be tired some days but everyone including myself are happy and healthy and that's all that matters! :)

Tah - posted on 12/20/2010

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I think we can all do with a little of that..lol..I hear some moms who stay at home say they have the same problem with responsibilites, getting all the shopping done, activites, laundry, heck they come on here asking how they can make it work.so that is universal...lol

[deleted account]

"I haven't read all the responses but here's my two cents...You can have it all...but not all at once :)"

Agh, Laura, get out of my head! (it's some marketing/psychology black magic you do isn't it?). This is exactly what I think.

Sometimes it takes time and a whole lot of hard work to find the balance and in the meantime, something has to give, if not actually 'suffer'. Even if your kids, your relationship or your job don't suffer, chances are you'll probably give yourself a hard time at some point or lose some sleep about whether you are doing the right thing. But aiming to 'have it all' is not necessarily something to avoid, I think it is an admirable aspiration for those who want a family and a career/working life. I believe in aiming for perfection while accepting limitations, if you fall short, you learn and adjust accordingly, if you achieve it: LUCKY YOU!

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/20/2010

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Yeah, I defintaely think I suffer. When my son was about 2 I started to have balance, but I have an 8 month old and my 4 year old...no balance right now! I look like shit, and haven't showered in 24 hours...I have lots of gray that needs covering up...and damn,,,the house...oh...the poor house! I guess it is suffering more than me!

Bonnie - posted on 12/20/2010

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I think it can be true depending on the job, the parent, the relationship, etc. I think full-time working moms, need to be more organized and plan ahead a bit more to make sure things get done.

Desiree - posted on 12/20/2010

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SHe most certainly can give it a damn good try. Being a working mother myself I understand this situation perfectly. I have to work really hard to make sure that my kids get enough of my attention and that my husband has enough too. I work really hard at all my relationships because thats the way it has to be. My hubby and I have a pact that if we need to talk we do so if involves the kids or some major decision we take the time to discuss it behind close door any from kids so that we know we have hashed it out and that the choice is one of mutual understanding and acceptance. The same goes with kids and yes both of us miss a lot but that is the way it is and at the end of the day the person who is ussually "suffering" is me because I have willingly chosen to spread myself too thin.

Tah - posted on 12/19/2010

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@Becky maybe that is why it works for us, we do have really good communication, and i don't truly have to clean..i only have to tidy, the husband LOVES to clean, like kick us out the house or banish us to another area, and clean, then throughout the week, after i put the kids on the bus in the morning, i tidy, my children have chores, keep your room presentable and the kitchen clean...counters, dishes..etc. it teaches them responsibility because i won't be on campus with them or living with them out in the real world.



@Krista, i don't think just because the kids are at daycare they don't get 100% from you, there are sahms who kids don't get 100% from, if they benefit from the working, roof over the head, food on the table, clothes on their back, learning a good work ethic, how are they not getting 100 %?...if that was the case husbands and wives wouldn't be able to get 100% because they have to go to work and can't be wrapped around each other all day everyday..lol..They have to seperate for work, school etc and the fruits of all that labor is providing stablilty, love, and encouragment. Also, i doubt every mom that doesn't work sends homemade brownies..lol..



@Amanda, exactly..it may depend on the job, my kids can't climb all over my pixas machine where i get my meds..lol..but i can choose hours where they would be at school, or in the bed. When my husband deploys i have to work way less to give them more attention and to be there when my husband needs me, and we do make time, i think that can be done without suffering, it's like someone said, if it's what you aspire too, you will do it. I loved visiting virginia and jersey etc for family vacations when i was a child, i loved family dinners and driving around to see the christmas lights that the "rich people" put on their houses..lol. I just never felt i suffered, if i did, i would probably make different choices for my children, i just never got the concept that i couldn't have it all and make it work.

[deleted account]

I don't know. Every family is different and it's silly to make comparisons. For me personally, my career had to suffer even though it hurt for a while. I don't think everyone should raise their children in exactly the same way as me. I bcame a SAHM because it works for us.

[deleted account]

I've never been a working mom, so maybe I can't really answer. But here is my viewpoint and what works for us...

Jason and I like simple. We also like to be available...to each other, to our extended family, to our friends, to our church. We couldn't do half the stuff we do if I was a working mom. I'd be spending the very large majority my non-working time with my family, which is how it should be. And if I had chosen to be a working mom then, yes, other "things" would suffer. Not necessarily my family or job (in any horrendous way)...the other important (to us) things would.

[deleted account]

When I worked full time the only thing that suffered was the house work but now that I don't work my house isn't any cleaner. LOL

Krista - posted on 12/19/2010

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I think that as a working mom, you become very, very familiar with the phrase, "That'll have to be good enough."

Can I give 100% to my job? Not really. I can't stay and work late. I've sometimes bowed out of social things for work. I've had to leave in the middle of the day if Sam was sick and the sitter called. I DO, however give 100% of my effort to my job when I am there, and make sure to get all of my work done well and in a timely fashion.

Can I give 100% to my child? Not really. He is at a sitter's during the day, so he doesn't have Mommy 24/7. But when we are together in the evenings, weekends or days off, he has my undivided attention.

Can I give 100% to my marriage? Not really. There are so many other things sucking away at our time and energy. But we do make a point of reconnecting often, even if it's just going to bed a half-hour earlier sometimes to lay in bed and talk and catch up with each other.

And then of course, there are all of my other things: the rest of my family, my friends, COM, my blog, my housework.

Do I spend as much time as I'd like on any of those things? Nope. But at least when I do spend that time, I don't do it half-assed.

And sometimes yeah, you've just got to say, "That's good enough." Sam will likely never have homemade Halloween costumes or homemade baked goods for the school fair. But I will go to all of his Christmas concerts and I will take him out trick-or-treating every single year.

My mom worked full-time. I don't resent not having homemade baked goods. She was there when it counted.

And I plan on being there when it counts. And if the laundry has to wait another day, well, fuck it. It's not like it's going anywhere anyway, right?

Becky - posted on 12/19/2010

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If I was working full-time, the state of my house would suffer, I am sure of that. I don't like housework at the best of times. If I worked 8 hours a day, then had to come home and get supper, take care of my kids, get them bathed and to bed, by the time all that was done, there'd be no way I was cleaning my house. And my marriage would probably suffer as a result, because dh and I would fight over it.
However, I think that you can have a 2 income family without things suffering. I think it takes really good communication, a good routine, and a lot of committment to making sure you make time for family and for couple time. It probably also requires an ability to say "No" to a lot of outside committments. One of the things I love about being a SAHM is that I can volunteer my time in areas I'm passionate about. If I worked full-time, I'd have to give that up to be able to manage everything else and ensure my family still got my best.

C. - posted on 12/19/2010

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Working parents in general can have a balance. As long as they don't work too much to ruin relationships with their kids or spouse, I don't see a problem.

Also, in the case where the parent has to work a lot to make ends meet.. That's a little different. Sometimes they have to choose to either provide a roof over their family's head and food on the table and miss out on certain things with their kids. I think in that situation, where they are thinking of their family's well being overall, then it's Ok.

Stifler's - posted on 12/19/2010

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Yeah. Working part time I don't think kids really suffer, they go to daycare and play with other kids they still have days home with mum. Both parents working full time like 50 hour weeks, the kids probably do suffer.

Tah - posted on 12/19/2010

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i think because i make my own schedule maybe..but even when i didn't i never felt like anything suffered, i think my kids are pretty well-adjusted, they are both honor roll and my 3 year old is on target, my husband and I make time for each other, even if it a just a movie, a lunch date at panera bread or chilis for soup and salad or just laying in bed feeling the love, we take time with the kids, i take karate with them, we do family time and trips and i even asked my children how they felt about me working(9 and 14 on christmas)..they don't feel left out or neglected, i was offered aa higher position but i am good with charge nurse and team leader as i make my own schedule and am still attending school and i also think it would pull too much time from home if i did that monday-friday..on salary and away from the family. I also do some orientation when they need me too. I think it can work. Before i went and broke my butt we were gonna go see the light show, but the in-laws are in town, and i am feeling the burn now that i have slept and woke up, not the whole body is sore, so we will do it tommorrow. I think it's because we do what we know sometimes, my parents worked, but i remember family time, dinners, and alot of love and my parents still act like newlyweds 43 years in, joking and stealing kisses, so i think it depends as well

Jenn - posted on 12/19/2010

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I think it can work. I went back to work when my son was 1 and I was able to still nurse him before work, on my lunch break, and then at night. I think having some time away from the kids can help you to appreciate the time that you do have together even more, so it may be more quality time when you are together. And I'm not sure why it would affect your marriage unless you were working total opposite shifts all the time.

[deleted account]

PS April--Why does having breast milk in a sippy cup cause it to have less immunities? It shouldn't change the make up of the milk unless you're heating it in a microwave.

[deleted account]

I think it depends on your definition of "suffer". Since having children, my husband and I don't get to have as much alone time as we would like, but we make time for each other and enjoy our time together to the fullest! We still love each other deeply and our love made 2 beautiful little girls. Our relationship is stronger because we have children. I work part time. We need the added income, but I don't want to be exhausted all the time and not have any energy left to spend time playing with my girls. I don't think my work life, or my children suffer for it. They see 2 parents working hard to take care of each other and their family. And we're lucky enough to have 2 sets of grandparents who love to babysit, so our girls get to know them as well. We make life work for us, and we're all happier and better for it. If anything, our house suffers, because I'm not the best housekeeper, and we're generally home long enough to sleep, eat and bathe and go on to the next appointment or church or the grocery store...If you're unhappy with the way things are, CHANGE THEM and end the suffering!

Rosie - posted on 12/19/2010

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i believe it's definitely possible to have it all without something suffering, but i don't think it happens all that often.
i am not to thrilled with our situation, my marriage gets put on the back burner. we work opposite of each other so we don't have to have a babysitter. in turn, i see my hubby maybe 30 min a day.
if we made more money, maybe he could work during the day instead of at night, and we could maybe get a sitter for the few hours i work. time as a family doesn't come very easily for us. :(

Tara - posted on 12/19/2010

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I have been a working mom with my ex, we worked opposite schedules, so one of us was home to homeschool and care for our children. What suffered? Us. I was very clear that we would have to find time for us, if our days and evenings were spent apart. He neglected to keep up his end of the deal.
I worked and came home to a messy house at 1 in the morning, got up at 8 etc. etc. etc. you get the idea, it didn't work for me, but a lot of that was him.

I think it truly depends on you as a woman, and your expectations of yourself. If you expect to do all of it and do it all well, you will aspire to that. If you expect something will suffer, you will either make the appropriate changes so that it doesn't or you will find something will suffer.
I do think it is a lot harder for me anyways, to be away from my children. I don't make a good mom when I have to work full time. I love my work now, it's relaxed, we set our own schedule and we take the kids for the most part.
I wouldn't go back to a management position in a communications firm that is for sure!! The stress followed me everywhere.
It's all personal and depends on so many factors, though we all do what we hope is the best, and if we are wise we spot things before they suffer and we try to do what we can to create balance.

April - posted on 12/19/2010

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Tah: I think it depends on the Mom! Some women are really good at multi-tasking and keeping an equal balance. I am not one of those women. Here's an example: If I go back to work, I wouldn't be able to directly nurse my son as often as he wanted. I'd have to pump and let him have it in a sippy cup. He'd therefore get less immunities from the milk and his health might suffer a little bit (more susceptible to colds, etc.. during this winter season). That's only one example, but there are a few others that deter me from becoming a working mom at the moment.

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