I work outside the home. I can not express how odd that phrase feels to type out. Why is that strange? After all, our culture is laden with working mothers. I know plenty who work from home, plenty who work outside the home, and plenty who spend each day busting their butts watching their little ones every day. It's not like any of these things are unusual.
I suppose it comes down to the fact that I never expected to be working outside the home if/when I had children. I wasn't sure I wanted to be a full time stay home mother either, but working part time from home seemed reasonable. I've also spent most of my life surrounded by people with negative views of stay at home parents, so maybe that has clouded my own views. No matter how much logic I apply to my brain, sometimes old stereotypes I was raised with lurk in my subconscious.
Stereotypes go both ways though. Part of my reluctance to consider my work to be a "real job" may be related to abnormal hours and feeling odd about calling something I love to do "work". I suspect that is only part of it though, as another deeply flawed idea I was surrounded with growing up is that mothers who decide to work are doing so because they're bored at and these aren't real jobs, but glorified hobbies. It is difficult to reconcile that, no matter how much I logically know it's a bunch of bull, with the fact that I have some rather sizable student loans that drag us down as a family and should not be my husband's responsibility just because he was soft hearted (or stupid) enough to marry someone that was lugging around that kind of debt.
So now I work. I am working my way through midwifery training and doing my best to also take clients for a variety of other things to pay the bills. I love what I do, but I also miss my babies. I worry that I'm missing too much of them growing up. I'm in the very lucky position of being able to take my youngest with me to many things and having two bosses that could not be more breastfeeding supportive, but it is still not quite the same.
It's an odd conundrum, this working mom thing.