One of the ways I am able to balance work and family is I have a good support system. It’s how I’ve managed to continue working (part-time) and be a (part-time) stay-at-home mom to my son. My support system includes my husband, babysitters, neighbors, and family.
My husband is my single biggest supporter. He encouraged me to follow my instincts and choose what to do with my career after my son was born. He didn’t pressure me to return to work, and he also didn’t pressure me to stay home to take care of our son. He wanted me to be happy with whichever option I chose, and he was 100% behind me no matter what. I’ve ultimately choose to do a little bit of both – working and staying home with our son. And he’s helped me make it work.
My husband has taken on all the financial and tax responsibilities. He also does all our yard work and house maintenance. He is very handy and usually can fix most household problems without us having to call a tradesman. This saves our family time and money. My husband is also a great listener. He doesn’t mind me calling him every day (sometimes several times per day) to discuss our toddler son’s behavior, or work and how I have too much work to do and not enough time during my son’s nap. When I feel like I really won’t be able to get my work done, he often offers to come home from work early to watch our son so I can focus on my work. Or he’ll do little things to help like stop at the grocery store for me on his way home.
I also could not work part-time without great babysitters that I trust. I was lucky to find two sisters whose father we’ve known through work to be our babysitters. They are in college, so each sister works for us one day a week on a day they don’t have classes. My son is always excited to see them in the mornings when they come to the house and sad to see them go in the afternoons. That lets me know how much he adores them, and I can tell the feeling is mutual. If I have to work a longer day in the office or add a day here and there, they’ve always been very accommodating of my schedule. It makes it so much easier to get work done and be productive knowing my son is in good hands.
We lucked out when we moved into our house just over two years ago when I was still pregnant with my son, and we found out that our next door neighbors were an engineering couple, like us, with two sons. They both own their own businesses and have worked out a schedule where one is always home with their youngest son, so they are willing to help me out if I need someone to watch my son so I can get work done or run an errand. Plus my son loves their two boys and wants to spend as much time with them as possible. I couldn’t think of a more fun childhood than having your best friends live right next door. I really enjoy spending time with our neighbors too. I feel like we don’t hang out together nearly enough, considering we live right next door, but when we do it is always easy conversation and fun.
The final piece of my support system is our families. My husband and I have the most wonderful, loving and supportive families. I can call or text my mom and sister anytime to vent about my son or work, discuss personal issues, or talk about a happy experience. They are always willing to talk and they don’t judge me. I always feel much better after talking to them than I did before I called.
My husband’s family is the best too. I know they are there for him in the way my family is for me, and his parents are both retired so they are always willing to come visit and babysit whenever we need them. Just a month ago my husband and I both had to go on a long day trip for work. We would be gone from home for up to 16 hours and didn’t know what to do with our son. We were going to ask our babysitters to work a double shift, trading off at mid-day, but his parents offered to come visit and watch our son. He loved having his grandparents come visit for a few days and they loved getting so much alone time with him while we were working.
There are so many things I love about being a working mom, and I doubt I would love this life as much without my wonderful support system. They make my life happier, easier, and more productive. I couldn’t do it with out them. I know most of you in my support system are reading this, so I wanted to tell each of you thank you, thank you, thank you for all you do to support me!
Do you have a great support system that allows you to be a happy working mom? Send them a message to let them know how much they mean to you. 🙂