The Best of Both Worlds–My Quest to Find it

I’m not sure what’s gotten into me. I’ve gone from the young, ambitious woman, ready to climb to the top of the journalism world–Maybe have a couple of kids at some point. To definitely having kids, still being a reporter powerhouse. To wanting my first kid sooner than I thought–I’ll squeeze it into my career plans. To having a kid and adorable family is my first priority and hoping my fantastic career will fall into place.

I thought I was always ambitious and career minded, but looking at journal entries from years past makes me remember otherwise. I’ve always had big goals for my career, and had a very supportive husband, but been very open to him providing if that’s what we wanted.

I never use to envy women who stayed at home with their children all day. I always wanted to have a career where I could still develop my skills and be a successful woman while still being a mom. And it wasn’t until very recently I became jealous of those women who could be at home.

Last week I was browsing through some friend’s blogs, catching up on their lives and looking through pictures. I stopped at one blog of a girlfriend I use to work with in college. She’s pregnant with #2 and is a stay at home mother. It wasn’t what she wrote on her blog that struck the sensitive nerve inside me, but a picture she had with about 20 other women, all stay at home wives/mothers, and their husbands were all in graduate school.

“That must be nice” was the first thought that came to mind. I found myself wishing I had a big group of girlfriends with playmates for my young children. That I could get together during the day and talk and bake and play while my husband worked outside the home–Or not even worked, just went to school. My main responsibility–though a huge one–Raising our children.

I envied the fact that they may not plan to–Or have to, work a day in their child’s young life, and they can afford to do that. –Knowing that probably won’t be the case for me.

My emotions boiled over, the tears came, and I couldn’t help but express my frustration to my husband–The jealousy I felt for all of the women I knew who were brave enough to live off their husband’s income (or even lack thereof), and not have to work. That simple picture brought a million questions to the front of my mind. Why was I so ambitious? Why do I want to work? Why did I move us across the country for a career I may be doubting myself in a few years from now?

He reassured me things aren’t always what they seem. That that makes me unique, and that there may be women out there who wished they were in my shoes.

To be honest it’s hard to believe someone who has the “best/hardest” job in the world would want to switch places with someone who has a “difficult/not necessarily the best” job.

But I’m trying to keep my chin up. If there’s anything I know about our relationship it’s that everything has happened for a reason, and I’m sure things will continue to unfold that way. I just pray that one day–I can have the best of both worlds.

just stopping by and wanted to say I love your blog!!

Veggie Mom says:

I understand where you’re coming from. I’m a career woman, too. But, I have to tell ya the truth–the best career move I ever made was to have a family!

Kari says:

This is such a heartfelt post. You know, I think every woman probably feels this way at some time or another. I feel blessed to have been a stay-at-home mom, but, we have definitely struggled financially at times. I gave up my career as a nurse and sometimes I feel a little jealous of the women who are out there earning paychecks and having careers. These past few months, I’ve been strongly considering returning to work, and it scares the heck out of me, LOL! You just have to trust in yourself and your husband – you will do what’s right for you.

Emmy says:

You know there are some days were I wish I could send my kids off to day care and go back to work.. not because I miss work as much as at times being a stay at home mom is really hard.
But the best lesson that I have really learned is that I know if I have enough faith that the Lord will direct me where he wants me… and that everyone is so different and you never know truly what is happening in someone’s life, so with the help of the Lord you just have to do what is right for you.

OMG you are such an inspiration to me, im 21 going on 22 in november but im hoping sometime before 26 to be married and have kids of my own! you are a strong person! in journalism? wow. =) im going to major in photography! i can relate to you!!!

Anonymous says:

I totally feel ya! I love ur blog so much because you verbalize what I think about often!

Mrs.Zeus says:

Very well spoken, that’s how Ive been feeling.
Im turning 26 this September, been married for 2 years and yet still trying.

Jennifer says:

Before I had my son, I was NEVER interested in being a SAHM. Now that I am one, I love it… and I hate it. I would not trade anything for all the time I get to spend with my precious one, but I do miss being able to drop everything to go where my job would take me, I can’t do that anymore. I miss my career. I miss lots of things. Oh, I don’t have 20 SAHM girlfriends with hubbies in grad school. I think I’m turning out just fine! LOL!

Your path is YOUR path, don’t worry too much about timing or about how you’ll do something when the time comes. It is amazing how God can change everything (including your mind) in the blink of an eye. 😉

GypsyFox says:

aww honey, look at this way “the grass is always greener on the other side” we are always going to feel this way, I had My children very young & My hubby is the main supporter & he does a wonderful job, but I always wonderf..what if? don’t get me wrong I am happy & ADORE my kids but sometimes I feel like I could have accomplished more. I still have dreams & ambitions & I know I will do it, just like you should know you WILL do it, you will have a beautiful family & you’ll have done it all! XOXO

I definitely understand how you feel. I work full time and get to see my daughter when I come home from work.

I am going to start a career I love in the next couple years, and I will be on call most of the time and will miss holidays, birthdays, recitals… but I know it’s what I want to do. You just have to do what is right for you.

Jenna says:

Jenn, your husband is right. The grass is always greener. I can’t tell you how I wish I could do it all. It’s hard for me to sit by and watch other broadcast graduates become reporters, producers, even anchors, all over the map while I am at home all day. Yes, it is wonderful to be at home with my sweet baby. A great blessing that I don’t have to work. But you know, some days, I really WANT to work. I want to produce fabulous news shows and I want to create packages. I get very wistful when I think about it all.

I would love to be able to balance everything, but I just don’t see it happening. My family needs me more. I sometimes wish I would have graduated in Home and Family Living so I could use my degree every day! But, I studied what I was passionate about, and now I never use it. And I may never use it in the future. It’s sad for me to think about.

I used to feel this way. First I felt like there is NO way I would ever want to stay home with a child. This was still in my “I don’t want kids” phase. Then I was all, “We could never afford for me to stay home.” Then I finally got to the phase of life where I wanted a baby and was going to do what ever it took to be able to stay home. It has been a challenge financially because we became used to being able to do what ever we wanted with our money and now everything has to be planned out. But I also love every minute I get to spend with my son.

If you ever do decide that you want to stay home, I highly recommend the book by Larry Burkett called Women Leaving the Workplace (or something like that). Lots of great ideas for getting ready to do so.

As a journalist, you may be able to spend more time with your child than others. It seems like you might be able to work out some plan to do some of your work at home?

Bear Bunch says:

This post touched my heart. God has a plan for you and you may not exactly know what it is right now but hang it there. Being a stay-at-home mom is the hardest job I have ever had to do but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Thank you for stopping by my blog! Your comments were so sweet!

Amy Lynn says:

I have always wanted to be a SAHM. I love being able to be home with my little man, but it is not a walk in the park. It is truly the hardest thing I have ever done. If you do stay at home, I strongly encourage you to find a group of moms you can hang out with. I dont have any friends with kids, and it is very tough emotionally. What I would do for some regular interaction!


Nichole says:

I, too, have struggled with this. We waited until we were done with undergrad with the thought that I would stay home “someday”. Things have never worked out how we “planned”, so we’ve had to make adjustments. Like the one where I’ll be returning to work after we have our first in November.

In short, what I’ve learned is this: plans change, circumstances change, desires change. Sometimes, we’re just along for the ride, reading the signs and following where the map takes us. And if you make a turn and find yourself not completely happy with the direction you’re headed, you can make a different choice and go another way. But really, your path is your own. No one else will have the same path as you. And their road may look easier and the grass may look greener, but you never know what potholes they’ve had to avoid or how much fertilizer they put on credit. . .

Chrissy says:

Your blog is amazing!! I want children of my own really bad too. My husband and I will be married 7 yrs next Monday and we still don’t have children. I do love helping out with my sister’s little ones, but there is something about having children of your own:) Thanks for stopping by my blog as well!!

I struggle with stay-at-home mom envy all the time! I think it’s funny when I read blogs from sahm that talk about how the world looks down on them and such. I am not saying this doesn’t ever happen, I just don’t know anyone who it’s happened to. I completely envy the moms who get to be home all day with their children. I love my job and would hate to give it up completely, but I would certainly be willing to if I could be with my son everyday. I think sahm are SO lucky.

I guess I just feel sorry for myself since it’s only been 2 weeks since I started working full time again. I used to have the best of both worlds. I worked about 50 hours a month! It was enough to get out of the house and socialize with adults for a bit (which is nice when you have a little one) but I was mostly at home with my son. I really miss that. I am willing to support my family for the next 18 months while my hubby finishes school, but I REALLY wish I didn’t have to. I guess there is an end in sight and I can go back to my awesome schedule working every other week.

LeNesha says:

I struggle with having the best of both worlds myself. I find that now that my desire for children has grown and I have had time to really think through plans, ideals, and what I truly want, I realize that I value staying home with the children (at least one parent) more than career. One solution that I am working on is starting my own business in order to be able to have the best of both worlds in my mind: A family that I’m there for and a career through my business. My husband is also looking into buying a business so that he can continue to provide financially, but be available for his family on his schedule.

It’s normal to have these thoughts, and I even cry about things myself. I find that I wish I had characteristics of other families, but remember to bring myself back to reality being happy with the opportunities and situation that God has blessed me with. Grass is not always greener on the other side, no matter what “appearances” say.

Chris says:

I think that most women in our Church feel the way that you do. My wife struggles whenever she hears talk after talk in Relief Society about how women should give up their careers for their families.

I want my wife to do what she wants, if she wants a career- great!, if she doesn’t- great! We need to empower women, not bring them down. We also need to make sure that when there’s stay-at-home mom there’s not a stay-at-work dad.

Your DH is right…why do women always envy what the other woman has? Having lived both lives, I can tell you nothing is what it seems. I worked for 10 years making a name for myself in my career and watched all my female colleagues have babies (some came back, but a lot didn’t). I do admit to feeling like my turn to start a family would never come. But I kept focused on the plan that me and hubby agreed to…grad school for both, financial stability, and we both had to be ready. When he went to grad school FT, I worked and paid the bills. When he graduated, we moved for his new high-paying job and started “making our baby.” I honestly tried to find work when I got here because I always thought of myself as a working mommy. But God had other plans. An economic downturn, a hiring freeze in my profession, and a baby on the way all conspired against me. Now I am a stay-at-home mommy-to-be and my friends all make comments about how lucky I am and how it must be nice. The truth is that it’s a blessing and a curse. I am glad my husband’s job affords me the chance to stay home and raise my little girl. On the other hand, my brain needs more stimulation than getting ready for baby projects. Not to mention that missing second income means no money for extras. I have not been to the hairdresser in a year! I have to watch every penny and have become a coupon hoarder. Some days, I want to go back to my mover-and-shaker life where I woke up every day with places to go and people to see. Where I got dress in my designer suits, put on make-up, went to business meetings and wowed people with my smarts. See sweetheart, the grass may look greener, but…

Karen says:

It’s hard to say this right- we’re always experiencing the best life has to offer, if we are following our heart.
You’re finding new parts of yourself because you’re open to seeing them now. Trust your God and follow your heart and it will all work out.
I can trace just about every challenge in my life, including parenting, to not trusting/following my heart.

Anna says:

It is so hard to be a woman in today’s world. There is so much pressure/guilt no matter what decision you make to stay home or to go to work. We probably put it on ourselves, but it is such a difficult decision. When we got pregnant we made the decision that I should stay home. We just didn’t want to put our daughter in daycare. I feel guilty a lot of times because I spent a lot of years in school and we don’t even have all of my student loans paid off and I’m not even using the degree I worked so hard for. There is also guilt about him having to work while I get to stay home. I would never reverse the decision though because I love staying home with our daughter. Every woman has to make the right decision for her at the time.
You have a great blog! Thanks for stopping by mine!

Helen McGinn says:

Hi, it’s lovely to meet you. I thought I’d share a bit of my story with you just to give you another perspective. Every woman, every situation is different and things tend to evolve; emotions, feelings and ambitions change and merge and become different…I’m sure you know this and you’ve already discovered this on your journey, from what I’ve read.

I loved my job, I was a bank manager studying for my MBA when I first became pregnant. It was an easy pregnancy and I continued working and studying, completing my first year of study easily and then taking time off work to have my first child. I took 6 months off and went back to work 3.5 days a week. That was great.
My daughter was not even a year old when I got pregnant again, this time with twins. That is when everything changed. I was so heavy…not so with my first…it was hot, I had a few health issues, I was trying to work, study and look after my wee lass. It wasn’t a nightmare but it was too much and I looked forward to my 6 months off work. The twins were born and it was wonderful. Going back to work this time was incredibly hard and everything had changed. It was as if all my hard work had been for nothing. I’d say we were both to blame (work and I). I decided I could not give so much of myself to work and study so I decided to take a year off work to do my dissertation. I’d been working hard from the age of 12 and it was just such a relief. Everyone thought I was also doing research but (don’t tell anyone) I was not. I just enjoyed being with my kids. I did my dissertation in 1 week. Disgraceful? Yes, but I passed and by then, that was all that mattered.

Fast forward, I took on a few contracts, the worst of which was working 5 nights a week. It seemed like a good idea at the time but it wasn’t. After a long hard think, I decided that I could take the financial cut and with my husband’s agreement, started to take on jobs from home…anything I could get; painting (mainly and artist now), party organising, running courses, personal shopping. The twins are now 8 and I still do this. It works for me and I’m grateful and happy. Never in a million years could I have foretold this story. xxx

B.o.B. says:

Such a heartfelt post. I have a friend who is/was going through the same thing. Stay positive and know that there’s a plan for you. Oh, and thanks for stopping by my blog!

Mama Mel says:

I used to be a nurse assistant at the hospital, and I loved being able to help people. I was working towards becoming a PA (physician’s assistant), then we decided to get pregnant. Big change of plans! Now I am a stay at home mama, and let me just say, there is not a day that goes by when I don’t realize how blessed I am. I truly am so lucky to be able to stay at home and raise our son while my husband works. I love being able to do things with my son, cook for him, read to him, teach him new things. I’m sure the money situation would be even better if I also worked, even part-time. But, my husband insists that I not work since neither of us wants to put our son in daycare. However, there are some days when I feel like I just need to get away. When all I can memorize anymore are nursery rhymes, children’s books, and the theme song from every Nick Jr. show… I think, “It would be so nice to feel smart again…” I sometimes wish I could just work one day a week so that I could do something non-kid related, and use some of my smarter brain cells… My outlet now is blogging. It’s a different way for me to feel smart again. 🙂 Thanx for sharing your blog and thanx for visiting mine! 🙂

I had a wonderful career and never had a desire to stay home with the little ones. Over a year ago an injury caused me to end my career and I was forced to be home. There are days when it is wonderful, the kids are great, the house doesn’t smell, dinner is served, and the budget balances out. But there are days when none of that falls into place and I long for the days past of adult conversation and the satisfaction of achieving my career goals. There are ups and downs that come along with working or being a SAHM. I think you are carefully weighing them all and deciding which ones you can live with and which ones you can’t live without. Thanks for sharing. This post was great. I love your writing.

Jessica says:

I think most women stuggle with this at some point. I am currently a working mom and I still struggle with it. We are working towards me being able to stay home, but it’s not going to happen overnight. I think staying home would be of great benefit to my daughter.

My biggest concern about staying home is what it will do to my relationship with my husband. We frequently talk about work and relate on those issues. I fear if I’m home all day with kids, I will have nothing but kids to talk about. I worry that staying home will be detrimental to my marriage.

Over from SITS and loved this post. I never wanted kids growing up. I wanted to be a surgeon, a travel writer, or join the peace corps. Kids were always a “someday.”

Now I have two wild Indians, and have also always worked full time. I love my Indians more than I ever realized, but also know for my mental health – and theirs – it is best that we all have breaks from each other and learn to be a bit independent of each other. This was how I was raised – and (I think) I turned out okay!

The thing to remember most is nothing is forever – and if you can stay home, and want to, do it. If you need to work (or want to work) that’s okay too! The most important thing is you do what is best for you – and thereby your kids!


Robyn says:

I’m a SAHM and it’s not all peaches and cream. It’s really hard work and it takes heaps and heaps of patience. There are so many days (okay, every day) when I’m counting down the minutes and seconds until bedtime, when I can sit down, take a deep breath and let the dust settle. Children are so physically and emotionally draining. The times when my husband stays home with the kids when I have somewhere to be, I think to myself, “It sure would be nice if my days were more like this – someone else watches my kids and then I come home and kiss them and put them to bed!”

But who could possibly replace me? Who could do what I do for my children? And do I WANT to be replaced? What would I be doing away from my children that is more worthy of my time? Is there anything more important than the work I’m doing at home raising them? No. Nothing on this earth is more worthy of my time. It’s such a sacrifice, and it’s hard, hard work, but I will never regret it. When my children are grown, I’m pretty sure I won’t think, “Boy, I wish I would have let someone else raise them.” But I can’t imagine the regrets I would have if I didn’t stay at home with them.

I am in the opposite position as I gave up a career for family life and honestly I envy you. Your hubby is right, the grass always looks greener on the other side. What I admire about you most is you are dedicated to finding out more before you just jump in head first to deciding to have a family unprepared. I sure wish you were around to have set an example for me then. Don’t get me wrong though, there is nothing like mothering your own – especially one like mine (I love my peanut). Keep your focus and when the timing is right that transition will come as naturally for you as it is to bat your lashes. If nobody else has told you, the grass is equally green on my side as it is yours! Take care & stay encouraged – you’re doing wonderful!

First I want to say that I love you blog and will be back often!! Thank you for such an honest post…you don’t know what it means to me to hear someone else voice those concerns/feelings! I often feel like that as well! I have gone from wanting a big career any maybe children someday to my number one priority being haveing children and being home for them and my husband! For me though getting pregnant is not all the easy and I am now in the position of having a job where i can be home more but not being able to easily get pregnant! Thank you for letting me know that i am not alone with these concerns/yearnings/fears! Have a great weekend!

Tamara says:

Awwww, its ok, its gon be alright, lady, woo woo woo lol. I feel you tho. I wish that I could afford to just be a sahm to take care of my kids. However, thas not how my world works. I know many sahms worked dang hard to get where they are and to do what they do. I am forever mindful of the fact that someone else’s greener grass got that way because of all the *bleep* that they had to put on it to keep it fertilized….i say that to say you never know what that person had to go through to arrive at the life they are living now. I am curently putting down my own fertlizer to become a wahm and my husband a wahm dad. I have no inkling or desire to be wohm but even i sometimes get envious of how they live their lives. Like, where did they get all that energy and drive to work a fulltime job AND come home and raise kids?! But everyone is gifted in their own way and whenever i feel the green eyed monster breathing on my neck, i consult with the Lord and abide in the comfort in knowing what He has for me IS for ME.

Sarah Mae says:

Your sweet mommy instinct is kicking in.

I am one of “those” women who has a college degree but decided to stay home and raise my babies (three of them now) myself. It is a challenge…but I know I won’t ever look back and say I regret not being there for all of the firsts, the conflicts, the beauty, and the training.

Just remember, if you were to ever decide to stay home, you can still be a driven “career” woman – make your career raising those little people to be the best people they can be! 🙂

Sarah Mae says:

Here is a quote you might like:

“Mothers, please don’t let the world rob you of the incredible joy of a life invested in your children.

They are your mark on the world.

They are your legacy, your testimony, and your contribution to mankind.

Don’t let some other woman steal your influence.

Remember, ‘The hand that rock the cradle is the hand that rules the world.’

That saying didn’t just show up one day.

That proverb is the result of centuries of observation.

A mother’s influence is unmatched.”

-Voddie Bauchaum, Family Driven Faith


Jasmine says:

I wish you’d get out of my head! I understand where you’re coming from and of course I can’t speak from a working mom’s perspective or a SAHM’s perspective but from the same lenses you’re looking through and in all honesty I am still determined to do well in my career and be a fabulous mom. I realize at times I’ll have to give and I’ll have to take but I also want to give my children what I had and more and that won’t be able to happen just off of my husband’s income. I’m not even talking about the latest and greatest toys , I mean an A+ education. So when I eventually become a mother…I’ll love my children and tell them how hard mommy works for them and I’ll make EVERY second count when I’m with them.

Kristin says:

It is so true that the grass is always greener. Although, I wouldn’t change my decision of giving up working to be at home with my little man…I’m infinitely jealous of my career gal friends who get to go to work every day and have adult conversations and mental challenges that I don’t get in my house. You’ll figure out what is right for you when the time comes!

Cascia says:

When I was young with just one child I thought I was going to have a fancy career (I went to law school for a short time) and live in a beautiful home supporting my family with only the one child. But that all changed. I believe that we do not have control over how our lives turn out. God has plans for all of us and we may not understand what path he is leading us down at first. But after a while you will understand.

I would love to have a nice high paying job but I have small children who need me to be with them. I chose to stay home with my children and God has blessed us because I made this choice. It took me a while to realize that this is all a part of His plan but now I know and I couldn’t be happier.

Marly says:

I think this is something you really do have to think about. I mean being a stay at home mom isn’t easy, but its really what you make of it. You can either be bored at home with your kids or you can find activities to do, still nurture your own interests and be the best mom/person you can be.

As a mom I’ve never worked and I could never imagine working. I have been lonely as a mom and its something I’m always working on. Finding those other moms out there who also need a friend. It really is ok to be a mom and not have a career and that’s something you have to work out with yourself.

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget


I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.

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