Becoming a Professional Mom

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The following is a guest post approved by Rebecca @ Love2EncourageYou. Please enjoy our special guest writer today, Erika from Prey Species.

Imagine for a moment; you, in a great outfit, heading out for an evening with new friends. They know nothing about you and only see the person standing before them, totally put together
without an ounce of spit up or baby poop anywhere to be seen. The new 
friend turns to you and asks, “What do you do?”
What do you say? As much as I want to stand up proudly and shout, “I’m a Mom.” My
answer is often somewhat different and I name my previous occupation
or mutter that I stay at home into my jacket. The decision to stay
home can be tough. Not only are there significant social pressures to
return to work, but financial realities often hit hard.

The US Census Bureau, reported that the majority of
stay at home moms in the US are young, uneducated, living in low
socioeconomic situations, and often of foreign descent. For these
women, staying home is often less choice and more economic reality,
secondary to high child care costs and lack of opportunity.
Individuals in underpaid professions, such as teachers often have an
individual income made insignificant in the face of child care costs
and work expenses. I have spoken with several teachers who “choose”
to be home with their children because they would actually lose money
by working; paying someone else to monitor their children while they
cared for someone else’s.

For a professional, the opposite is often
true. There is frequently, but not always significant incentive to
return to work. The mounting debt suffered through student loans is
often a severe enough burden to keep both parents in the workforce.
The data collected from the US Census Bureau supports this with the
vast majority of professionally educated moms returning to work after
maternity leave.
I fit neither of these categories. I am a professional, but I choose
to stay home. I shocked the expectations of colleagues, friends,
family, and even myself with my choice. My decision to be home for my
children, started with the realization that I craved more time with my
daughter and family. As it turns out, lots of new parents do. Time at
work means time away from home, and while my co-workers continue to
prosper and excel during my absence, my baby and marriage do not.

Although we may not make up the majority of at home parents, there are
plenty of stay at home “professional” Moms and Dads who have chosen to
put career and professional life aside to stay home with their
families. I know this because I have found them online. I have
encountered medical doctors, veterinarians, lawyers, psychologists,
software developers, teachers, writers and many more professionals who
have made the choice to put family first. Blogging for me has been a
welcome and therapeutic creative outlet where I have found solidarity
online. So, if this is you and you’ve found me online I hope that I
can give you words of encouragement and let you know it’s worth the
time, cost, and energy to be present for your family!

red head profile shot - Copy (480x640)

Wishing you joy in parenting and life,
Erika ~ Prey Species
Erika is a writer, entrepreneur, educator, and veterinarian with an
educational background in business, psychology, and physical science.
Her whole world changed the moment she held her first baby in her
arms, and she’s been a full time mama and wife ever since. Prey Species is a
blog focused on enjoying the dramatic transformation from full time
working professional to happy homemaker. Each day is an adventure!

Unlabeled Images used in
this post are courtesy of openclipart.org
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10 thoughts on “Becoming a Professional Mom”

  1. I have had trouble when people ask me what I do as well. Not because I’m ashamed, but because I can’t decide on just one title. I am a mom, a homeschool teacher, gardener, small-business owner(I knit and sew items to sell),gardener, farmsteader, blogger… I love being at home with my children and able to pursue all of my creative interests!
    By the way, I used to be a vet tech. I miss it sometimes but I think a lot of those skills have carried over into what I do now 🙂

  2. @Katrina – being a Mom truly is the best job! I wouldn’t trade where I am now for the world 🙂 I love that you have so many interests – those are some lucky kids! And…I completely get that vet tech skills come in handy with littles – a dear friend of mine said it best with “trying to get my 7 month old into a diaper is like trying to get spanx onto a python!” So glad you commented!

  3. I had a chuckle when I read the first part… I never know quite what to say when people ask me what I do. I was always the overachiever, driven, career-minded one. Now I change diapers for a living. =D

  4. @ Elisebet – thank you for saying that 🙂 I’m proud to be a mom, but am still working on stating it as what I do 🙂 Hopefully in the future it will become easier for both of us!
    I think professional diaper changer is potentially a pretty good answer – brought a smile to my face!

  5. Interesting! I didn’t know that statistically most at home moms are uneducated. That is the opposite from my community. I would say 95% of the moms in our neighborhood stay home and many (most?) have college degrees. My sisters and I all stay home, all worked before kids, all have degrees. We are out there!!

  6. @ The Mrs – I think it’s amazing how we reference our own group to determine what’s “normal” – for me, no one in the group of professionals I worked with had ever stayed home with baby and they thought I was weird for wanting to do so 🙂 There was some kind of misconception that you would have to be rich – I got a lot of comments like “Wow, I’d love to do that, but we can’t afford it – your husband must be rolling in it for you to be able to stay home.” Trust me so not the case!!! Lol – but it’s worth every bit of “sacrifice” and I’m so grateful to those of you professional moms out there who dare to blog and were there when I googled like mad to show me I wasn’t alone!!

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