To the working mom: I understand you.

I understand the passion you have to provide for your family. I understand the struggles of wondering if you’re missing out on parenting. I understand the constant busyness of your days and nights.

While you may look at me now, read about my house full of children, and think there’s no way this woman can ever understand the reality of working and parenting, know that I do.

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I was a working mother and I loved it.

Just as I’m content in this season of being home, I enjoyed working even after I had children. I was able to use my brain, develop skills that I still use today, and learn to balance working life with home life.

I enjoyed being a working mom.

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Of course, there were a few things that I constantly struggled with: making the most of our time together, wondering if I was missing the baby milestones, and second-guessing my choice to work.

As I’ve had time to reflect on my years of working, as well as my years at home, I’ve learned a few things about what it means to be a working mom.

What I Learned as a Working Mom

The Art of Planning

Planning ahead is your key to success.

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Having a plan and doing a bit of preparation for tomorrow night’s dinner can reduce the amount of time you’re spending cooking each evening, meaning there’s more time to spend with your children. Plan to make an easy family meal or two each week to further reduce your kitchen time. Some of our easy meals are: pancakes, eggs, and pasta.

Similarly, building an evening routine that includes a few minutes of house cleaning and throwing in a load of laundry each night are two easy ways to keep on top of housework. Just these simple routines help to prevent weekends from being filled with chores.

The Milestones are Exciting

Over the years I’ve wondered if I missed too much, if my absence would negatively impact my children in the future.

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Milestones did happen when I was working, yet I’ve learned they didn’t become any less special. I still had a first time seeing our babies roll over, crawl, and walk. I celebrated with them just as energetically as I would’ve if I had seen them any other time.

Celebrate the big achievements along with the smaller ones. Cook a feast together each weekend, a symbol of your excitement to spend time together. Spend time in authentic conversation at dinner each night, asking your children what their favorite parts of the day were, what they worked hard on, and what they struggled with. 

The Seasons Change

It was the year I found myself spending over 15 hours a week commuting that I began to second-guess my choice to continue working. Each night as I put my children to bed saying, “I’ll see you later” instead of, “I’ll see you in the morning” the dissatisfaction grew.

This decision to work, growing out of a need to provide for our family, began as a blessing. I was welcomed with open arms by my employer, I grew in my profession, I met new colleagues, and I enjoyed most everything about it.

Slowly though, as I walked through this blessing, I felt my season begin to change. I felt the calling to take a break and return home with my little ones. So, with nervousness about the future, I did.

Be alert, fellow working mom. Watch for changing seasons, and know that the fulfillment from working outside your home can be found elsewhere. If your perspective shifts, don’t be afraid to take the plunge.

The journey is exciting, the bends in the road are exhilarating, and the view is never better when you feel like you’re just where you’re supposed to be.



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Jess Wartinger

Jess Wartinger resides in rural New York with her husband and five children. Formerly an early elementary teacher, Jess currently spends her time loving her kids and holding down the fort at home.



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