I was recently offered an incredible job opportunity. Not only was I going to be able to further my career, but I was also going to work in an office environment outside of my home. With people. With adults. Someone other than my toddlers.
Since June 2020, I have been working from home and working more steadily. I was getting busier and had contemplated looking for an office space outside of the home just to get some work done because my three year old and one year old are home full time. Then I was presented with what I thought was going to be the best decision ever. It was a long interview process — almost three weeks. In that time, I kept contemplating how happy I would be if I got the job and how proud of myself I would be.
As a single mom, you want the best for your kids and your family, so I thought this opportunity could provide it. I ended up getting the offer and, a week later, the day I was supposed to start, I declined it. It was not an easy decision by any means.
I struggled that week. I tried to figure out babysitters, how I was going to get my kids to and from school and activities, who was going to cook dinner, and everything in between. The stress was overwhelming. I’m incredibly fortunate my work-from-home job is flexible. I am able to work full time but also pick up my kids, take them to the doctor, and if emergencies arise (which with four kids is inevitable), they understand. Being a single and the primary parent, I do not have another parent to help out with all of these situations. Managing the house, the kids, and a career is all dependent on me.
This was a very personal decision for myself and a very individualized decision. I think I asked eight people what they would do if they were me because I had no clue how to handle it. I would have loved to work in an office, but the stress of worrying about my kids and everything getting taken care of would have affected my job performance. And I never thought after the three interviews I had, I would have declined this opportunity. It was not even at the forefront of my thinking. I share this because every decision you make is so personal. The decisions you make are probably not the best decisions for your neighbor.
I felt a lot of internal pressure to take this job because I felt like I was going to let so many people down who were excited for me. But in the end, the people I wanted to let down the least were my children. I thought about it, put a plan in place, and woke up and knew what I hadto do. I am at an incredible amount of peace with my decision.
Social media pressures how a working mom should look but ignore that. Only you can determine what works best for you. There’s pressure for a mom to do it all, but it takes a village. No one should pressure or tell you what a working mom should look like. Because that’s different for everyone. Big decisions like this are not easy and the pressures from people do not help, but in the end only we can decide what is best for us and our family.
Single moms can find more information and community at Fort Worth Moms Neighbor Group Tarrant County Single Moms.