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The Working Mom

My mom was a working mom, so was my husband’s mom. That’s just normal to us. Most likely this will be me. I think there are ups and downs with the duty of motherhood tied in with another full-time job. Like I said here, I’m hoping my husband can help with some of the homemaking, kid raising duties (at least at first), but we’ll see what happens.

My mom was a working mom, not because she wanted to be, but because she had to be. She found cheap childcare until I was old enough to watch my siblings after school and during the summer time and we were at home alone. For a little while my mom worked an overnight shift, so she would be home most of the day while we were, but a lot of the time she’d be sleeping so my sister and I entertained ourselves.

I know being a working mom was challenging for her not only because she hated being away from us, but because we were hard work! Luckily, (although we weren’t perfect kids by any means), my sister who is four years younger than I, and myself were pretty good at keeping to ourselves.

Our sister Lauren was next, she is 11 years younger than I. Then my brother, Michael was adopted and closed the age gap between the youngest two.

Being the oldest, I did a lot of help around the house. I changed countless diapers and really learned how to take care of us all. When my parents weren’t home (which was a lot) I was in charge, and responsible for any damage that was done. A lot of times I was in charge of helping people with homework, and making a quick dinner. For a time, I was in charge of making sure my siblings got to their activities and practices, then got home and ready for bed.

Growing up with no parents staying home had it’s up and down sides. The up side is I learned how to do practical things that still help me today. I learned responsibility, and I grew up REAL fast. On the down side, I wasn’t use to many home cooked meals, to this day, I still have a hard time making a meal from a cook book–And I didn’t get much help with homework. It broke my mother’s heart when she couldn’t make it to my talent shows or cheerleading games, but you know what… She still made it to most things. She came to my pageants, helped me get ready for prom. She was working but I remember her being there when it mattered most.

My mom was working then, and she’s STILL doing it! The next child came 9 years after Lauren–My youngest sister is 3. I’m the oldest of five children, and my mother has pretty much been at work the whole time. Quite a bit of the time she was doing it by herself too. My dad was on the road as a truck driver and she had to work as well as take care of us. They separated about five years ago, and divorced a couple of years ago. Now my mother has a 14, 12, and 3 year old at home she’s taking care of alone, AND working MORE than 40 hours a week to support them.

On a slight side note, I’m not writing this to dog on my dad. My dad has (especially recently) been there for me more than anyone in my family. We’ve had our rough patches in life but I know he’s there for me. My mom though, does not have an easy job.

If I am a working mother I think I’ll face different challenges. It’ll be hard for me to feel like I’m missing things. I hate being left out, and the thought of missing the first smile, first laugh, first steps, makes my heart sink already.

I’d like that my sons and daughters would grow up seeing their mother as a professional career woman. Someone putting my degree and skills to good use. They could witness first hand that hard work can pay off with a successful career… But I don’t want them to think I wasn’t there when they needed me.

I think I put extra pressure on myself to be a career woman because of my background. Being a black, LDS woman makes me want to work five times as hard as an average person because I feel like I want to do things people said I couldn’t do.

Growing up people would assume I got into BYU because I was black… No, I was accepted because I had a 3.7 GPA, I was class president, and graduated high school a year before the rest of my class. I hate it when people assume I am where I am because of the way I look. I am where I am because I’ve worked my ‘A’ off.

Giving up what I’ve worked my whole life for, career wise, would be a challenge for me. It’s not something I’m unwilling to do, I just think… I’ve gotten this far so it would be hard to stop now.

Lucky for me I have a great, very supportive husband who already does most… Ok pretty much all of the housework (I’m actually writing this while he’s doing a deep clean in the kitchen). Hopefully we’ll be able to find a balance that works for our family. And I pray that I will never have to raise our future children alone.

Being a mom… PERIOD is difficult. I don’t have to be a mom to know that. I don’t know that from experience but I can tell from the passion of my readers, and by looking at my own mom. I don’t think it matters what kind of mom you are SAHM, WAHM, WM, or just MOM… If I have the opportunity to be at home with my future children I hope I will see it as a blessing…It’s a blessing my mother dreamed of but has yet to have. I think being a working mom must also be very difficult, especially if you don’t have a husband at home taking care of the children, or just someone to help share the duties… But after witnessing what my mother does, for ME…being a working single mom would be the most difficult job in the world.

PS: To read more of what’s turned into a “SAHM Series” click here. Tomorrow I’m writing about my dream job (today)… “The WAHM”


Jenna says:

Hey girl. I just want to remind you, there are many ways you can achieve a perfect balance between career/work time, mom time, and wife time. You don’t have to fit directly into a certain category. I see the various levels of mom-hood on a great spectrum, not in groups. You might have the SAHM on one end, and the WM on the other end. Right now, I consider myself to be a hybrid between a SAHM and a WM. I don’t work full time, but I am not solely at home.

Once you have a baby, you’ll probably realize some major adjustments will have to be made in order for you to keep your sanity and for your family to function optimally. I had to make some big changes when Audrey came around. No longer could I work part-time. I couldn’t even go to school full-time; 2 or 3 classes at a time was more than enough! I feel like, by taking 7 credit hours that first semester back, I was really overdoing it. Sad to say. But once I found my “groove”, things started to flow nicely and I wasn’t as stressed.

With the Internet today, your possibilities are really endless. I probably would not be able to graduate if it weren’t for online classes. I did 4 or 5 of them during my pregnancy and after Audrey’s birth. I feel like the modern technology we have at our fingertips allows mothers to be even better than they once were, because it opens up a lot of opportunities for us to expound upon our natural abilities and strengths while still spending a good deal of time at home. It’s a win-win.

thecooks says:

Hi Jenny, i think situations vary from person to person as you mentioned earlier, my mom had to lock me up in the house when i was two years so she could put food on the table and i had to drink milk water and juice in the bottles that she prepared for me before she went to work not that she wanted to but she had too as our dad had left us,. but she did a great job with the time she had with us after work and during weekends.and sometimes i think im a better person because of the experience i had it makes me wanna work harder for our children when the time comes.
ps. you have a beautiful mom and grand ma :)They look so young.

Kiki says:

Ever since I was a child all I have ever wanted was to be a stay at home mom. Is there a more important job out there? I don’t know of one. I hope that I’ll be able to pull if off but now days it’s not easy for a one income family to live comfortably. My parents did it and I believe I am better for it. So naturally I want the same for my children. It won’t be easy though. You have a wonderful mother. Women possess so much strength when it comes to their children. To sacrifice everything so their children can have more.

Crystal says:

I am a working, single mom of two. The flexibility in my schedule allows me to be there for everything because I don’t work full-time, nor on the weekends, and I set my own hours doing contract work. This works for me.

Hopefully you will be able to find a work from home position but working from home is no easy task. Managing the home and work and a child(ren) is difficult. I find it impossible to get all of the things I need done when my son is home and we made the decision to put him in daycare a few days a week.

I think this is a wonderful post honoring your mother. Moms really do all they can for their children and she is blessed to have you as a daughter. Taking up the slack while your parents worked was no easy task.

Brittanie says:

My mom was a working, single mother for 10 years. I know it was SO hard on her. And, I was her helper from the time I was 2 cause that’s when she was alone. Life’s so hard on mommys! But, (you’ll hear this over and over again) it’s all worth it for your little angels!

Jaycee says:

SHUT YO MOUTH GIRL!! That is NOT your momma in that top picture!! Well, God Bless Her, cause she stayed youthful and fine through all that hard working and raising kids alone.

Anne says:

I think everyone would agree that ALL moms are “working moms”….the difference comes when mom is working for a paycheck in addition to serving her family. Both “jobs” (paycheck and family) present rewards as well as sacrifices. Unfortunately, some mom’s are not in a situation to choose family over paycheck or paycheck over family, and must juggle both rolls as best they can. Having been single parent to over 40 foster babies, one birth daughter, and 5 adopted daughters for the past 21 years while holding down a full time paycheck job has taught me alot about the pleasures and sacrifices that come with this dual role. I have a stronger testimony every day of the gospel plan that is structured to provide all children with both a mother and a father, and every mother and father with a mate to share the trials and joys of raising a family. I also firmly believe that children need to be reared from infancy in an environment that supports their parent(s) eternal goals and nurtures their innocent faith in their Heavenly Father..all this said, I also believe that a family that is not made up of a mother who is the primary caretaker of the children and a father that is the primary support of the family is not the only kind of family that can raise healthy, happy, righteous children. Selfless love, unfailing service, and teaching by example are skills that paycheck moms are just as able to perform for their children as non paycheck moms. A righteous and loving parent is not defined by the number of roles they perform, but rather by how faithful they are in teaching and caring for the spirits in their home. I truely believe that my role of service to the children I care for and teach is as much of service to my heavenly father as it would have been had I been married and caring full time for my children and husband. Often I feel like it is harder for a paycheck mom, because we miss out on alot of the little special moments with our children, we also often have to leave our children in daily care situations that would not be our first choice..both of these situations can be heartbreaking. On the other hand, I can honestly say that even though I love my children as much as it is possible to do so..there are times I anticipate dropping them at daycare and heading off to work to tackle challenges and be rewarded by a feeling of accomplishment that comes from completing a job with my team there. I am good at my job and get alot of personal satisfaction from it. In fact on weekend and days that I am home full time with my children, I love it, but always feel that I did not get nearly as much accomplished as I do at work…( this is likely really not true, since I surely work harder, and longer when I am at home..LOL…and surely it is more emotionally draining…being a 24/7 non paycheck mom is hard work and just as exhausting as working outside the home for part of the day, and trying to fit all the mommy chores into the time that is left…I think both kinds of mothering take amazing commitment, love, creativity, and sacrifice. There are days that I am not a very good Mommy, and days that I am not a very good employee, but there are also days that I am the best ever mommy, or the most productive employee. It is truely a juggling act, and I also know that I would not be able to keep the balls in the air if I did not have the help and support of my Heavenly Father. He has provided what I need for each and every one of my children everytime a need became apparent…He loves my children whether I am wearing the paycheck mom hat, or the serving my family mom hat, and thankfully I have found lots of support from both kinds of moms every day, and my daughters are growing up to know that their Heavenly Father loves them, and even though our family does not match most of the pictures in The Friend, we are still an eternal family and we love each other and serve each other because that is what makes a family “forever”.

heather says:

Man I am just reading all of your old posts. I wished I could have commented earlier but Mrs. Foote took the words right out of my mouth. It’s hard to teach kids what they need to know. But like any job it has it’s ups and downs and easy moments and hard moments.

Okay, so my mom was the working mom. But that is just her personality. I don’t think she would have liked staying at home, but at the same time she didn’t have a choice. She had to work. So growing up I always wanted to be one of those moms that worked. To this day it is still hard for me to be at home, but I know it is what is best for my kids and I am constantly getting blessed for it. I guess it all depends on the person. Heavenly Father knows us best and knows are intentions. I think when that time comes up for you, you will know what to do and don’t care what others think b/c they are not you. Everyone is different.
Also, your mom sounds amazing. She is also BEAUTIFUL!

Am I the only guy who follows this blog? Beautiful family!

Yaya says:

Congrats on being featured at the Flip Flop Find!

Celine says:

I saw you over at Patty’s blog and wow, I love your blog!
I’ll definately be back!

Tanya says:

Good morning..over from SITS 🙂

I was a sahm for awhile. It was a wonderful wonderful time with my boys that I wouldn’t give back for anything.

3 years ago I entered back into the workforce and I thoroughly enjoy it. I’ve learned to balance out both and I love having some social time at work as well. There are great aspects to both scenarios, and neither is perfect!

Great blog!

San says:

Your mom sounds wonderful! And the fact you grew up the way you did is testament to her motherhood 🙂

It is a balance. I am a working mom, and it saddens me a little to not be around for my baby all the time. I guess we all have to find that middle road. So long as you feel good about it, whether you are a SAHM or otherwise, your kid WILL love and appreciate you for it!

Lanie says:

Droppin in from SITS to say hello! Whatever you decide, you will be a fantastic mom. I can tell. My advice is to not lose yourself. It takes along time to get back if you do! Congratulations!

You write beautifully.

Karen says:

When I was pregnant for the first time, I didn’t doubt for a moment that’s I’d return to my job after my baby. I arranged for daycare, set up my fmla leave with my job, trained my back-up for coverage of my work. I was ready.

Ready for everything except what happened. I couldn’t believe how much I wanted to stay with my daughter. It was not what I expected at all. When I went back to work, I just didn’t feel as passionate about my job as I did about my baby. I eventually quit, but we made some major changes to make it financially possible.

I think you’ve got it right, that there’s necessity and choice, and there are people who find/create paying work that fits their priorities. What’s most important to me is that moms feel supported in making the choices that fit them best. I feel disappointed that all women don’t have that support, and that women are judged for the choices they make with their heart.

I enjoy your blog.

LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE your blog!!! So real, so honest! I too was the oldest child…of TEN kids! So I feel ya! I *know* what you’re going through! My mom was a “SAHM” though hardly home because of a business she and my dad started so I did a lot of the same things you did and grew up really early. Your story is amazing and when kids finally do come for you, you’ll be more prepared than most!

Bonnie says:

Congrats on being a featured blogger today at “Little Miss Sunshine.” I look forward to exploring your blog and getting to know you.

DawnS says:

Thanks for stopping by my blog and for what it’s worth – I think your future kiddos will be both stunning AND adorable! I can see I am going to have to hang around since I am a “WAHM” and you had such great conversation about SAHMs. I like that you are exploring all of this before you have kids – I guess your kid’s will be stunning, adorable and smart too 🙂

Well it’s not easy either way! Sometimes working from home with screaming children is not easy LOL I know this.
While I was growing up my parents worked full time, and when my sister was born 10 years after me, for me it wasn’t easy. I baby set, I fed I changed diapers. At 16 I baby set my sister who was 6 my aunts girl who was 2 and two neighbors kids who were 2 and 4. My life sucked at the time since no one payed me LOL but I gained some experience with kids (which is nothing comparing to being a Mom since here I’m the one who is 24/7 the mom, I can’t just get my stuff live and go home)
In my family after my grandmother(my mothers mother) I am the first one to be at home full time with my child. My family sees me as an alien from mars because I don’t use my degree and because I didn’t pursue my career as all of them. Also to them I am the one with too much time on my hands…there are days when this really pisses me off, because in my family no one really wants to know really what my days are like, they measure everything by how much you make and how good job you have.
My home business is a “Joke” to them and it’s ok!

Sorry I kind of took over here on your blog (but you know they read mine so I can’t really say all this or I’ll be baned from the family LOL) lets hope they don’t read this 🙂

Michelle says:

You were featured on FFFF.

I’ve been here before when SITS had it’s spring fling…still hoping to win that headband.

But I really enjoy your blog and I’m sure I”ll be back.

We are currently TTC; seems like you are currently thinking about it.

Having been a single, working mom, I can tell you I really appreciate being a SAHM now.

Missing even one single smile would drive me bonkers. I dropped my little guy off with grandma so I could go to a concert with my olders. I prayed he didnt take a step while I was gone…he has only taken 3 all together.

I cant imagine how that would feel to know that someone else was teaching my child everything they needed to know. WHEW!

I liked your post about trying to find a happy medium…working but maybe from home. I homeschool so that’s not really an option for me, but if I ever had to work I pray I could go that route.

BarterBabe says:

Your blogs are spectacular. I enjoyed reading all of them. ta ta

BarterBabe says:

Your blogs are spectacular. I enjoyed reading all of them. ta ta

Lanie says:

Droppin in from SITS to say hello! Whatever you decide, you will be a fantastic mom. I can tell. My advice is to not lose yourself. It takes along time to get back if you do! Congratulations!

You write beautifully.

Anne says:

I think everyone would agree that ALL moms are “working moms”….the difference comes when mom is working for a paycheck in addition to serving her family. Both “jobs” (paycheck and family) present rewards as well as sacrifices. Unfortunately, some mom’s are not in a situation to choose family over paycheck or paycheck over family, and must juggle both rolls as best they can. Having been single parent to over 40 foster babies, one birth daughter, and 5 adopted daughters for the past 21 years while holding down a full time paycheck job has taught me alot about the pleasures and sacrifices that come with this dual role. I have a stronger testimony every day of the gospel plan that is structured to provide all children with both a mother and a father, and every mother and father with a mate to share the trials and joys of raising a family. I also firmly believe that children need to be reared from infancy in an environment that supports their parent(s) eternal goals and nurtures their innocent faith in their Heavenly Father..all this said, I also believe that a family that is not made up of a mother who is the primary caretaker of the children and a father that is the primary support of the family is not the only kind of family that can raise healthy, happy, righteous children. Selfless love, unfailing service, and teaching by example are skills that paycheck moms are just as able to perform for their children as non paycheck moms. A righteous and loving parent is not defined by the number of roles they perform, but rather by how faithful they are in teaching and caring for the spirits in their home. I truely believe that my role of service to the children I care for and teach is as much of service to my heavenly father as it would have been had I been married and caring full time for my children and husband. Often I feel like it is harder for a paycheck mom, because we miss out on alot of the little special moments with our children, we also often have to leave our children in daily care situations that would not be our first choice..both of these situations can be heartbreaking. On the other hand, I can honestly say that even though I love my children as much as it is possible to do so..there are times I anticipate dropping them at daycare and heading off to work to tackle challenges and be rewarded by a feeling of accomplishment that comes from completing a job with my team there. I am good at my job and get alot of personal satisfaction from it. In fact on weekend and days that I am home full time with my children, I love it, but always feel that I did not get nearly as much accomplished as I do at work…( this is likely really not true, since I surely work harder, and longer when I am at home..LOL…and surely it is more emotionally draining…being a 24/7 non paycheck mom is hard work and just as exhausting as working outside the home for part of the day, and trying to fit all the mommy chores into the time that is left…I think both kinds of mothering take amazing commitment, love, creativity, and sacrifice. There are days that I am not a very good Mommy, and days that I am not a very good employee, but there are also days that I am the best ever mommy, or the most productive employee. It is truely a juggling act, and I also know that I would not be able to keep the balls in the air if I did not have the help and support of my Heavenly Father. He has provided what I need for each and every one of my children everytime a need became apparent…He loves my children whether I am wearing the paycheck mom hat, or the serving my family mom hat, and thankfully I have found lots of support from both kinds of moms every day, and my daughters are growing up to know that their Heavenly Father loves them, and even though our family does not match most of the pictures in The Friend, we are still an eternal family and we love each other and serve each other because that is what makes a family “forever”.

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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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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