Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Working Moms

When faced with a difficult decision, how do you know that you are doing the right thing?  It’s hard.  I have been a mom now for over four years (close to five if you count during the pregnancy) and I just thought making decisions before was hard.  It is sometimes excruciating when there is a choice to make and you aren’t sure what the right choice is…especially when it comes to your children. 

It starts from early on….what OB/GYN do I use; what pediatrician is right for us; will I breastfeed; how in the world am I going to take care of a baby???  Unfortunately, I believe that as the kids get older it only gets harder.  I prayed concerning just about everything when it came to my kids because I was terrified of making a wrong decision.  One of the decisions that was hardest for me was if I go back to work, when is the right time?

I worked full-time at Baylor before Rachel was born and after she was born, I only worked PRN.  I worked PRN until Lauren was 9 months old.  I struggled with the decision of going back to work full-time and I got more than my fill of advice from those that thought they knew what was best for my family.  The thing is that it really was a choice for my family.  Fortunately, my husband has a great job with great benefits so I really did not have to work.  As we sat down and looked at the pros and cons and after many months of prayer, I decided to return to work at Texas Health Arlington Memorial full-time in December of 2009. 

I had many of my own friends tell me that it was selfish of me to not put my kids first and I had friends who also work who understood the turmoil that I faced.  I missed my kids.  I felt incredibly guilty for putting them in someone else’s care and I did not get as much quality time with them as I did before.  Those were the “not-so-good” parts.  On the flip side, my kids have excelled in their preschool programs!  We have found a wonderful place for them to spend their days where their teachers love on them, teach them , and discipline them.  Our time together in the evenings and weekends is so sweet!  I love on them and we play. 

I absolutely do not think that someone else should be raising my children for me but for this time, me working is what is best for my family and although there are days when I wish I could stay home with them, I have never regretted going back to work.  If you are struggling with the decision or feel guilty for working, please know that you are not alone.  You have to do what is best for your family regardless of whatever anyone says to you.

Rikki Hester is a social worker at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital and Mom of two girls with another baby on the way.

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