Thursday, December 5, 2013

Why I'm a Working Mom Who Is NOT Guilty

Having gone through a wonderful professional transformation recently, I have had too many conversations to recount as to what my career change means for the time I spend with my daughter.

In short, now that I am working for myself, I have more control over my time.  My days and nights are not ruled by breaking news and sports schedules.  Unlike before, I am able to enjoy nights, holidays and weekends with her but I am busier than ever and loving it.

When I mention that to friends and colleagues they are shocked.
Thanksgiving 2013
"Didn't you want to spend more time with your daughter?" they ask.

"Sure, but I'm still working," I respond.


That simple question leads to lengthy discussions of career goals, working motherhood and choices.

Simply put, I enjoy working and love my "job".  Granted, having been a fulltime sportscaster for almost 20 years, I have had more fun on the job in one day than most people have throughout their careers.  Now that I am consulting for great clients like D&M Leasing and the Dallas Cowboys, the work is just as rewarding.

I am happiest when I am productive.  As a mother, I value the fact that I provide for my family and am setting an example for her.  The income I am able to contribute to our family enables us to travel and have experiences we wouldn't otherwise be able to enjoy.

I believe if more working mothers adopted this philosophy there would be less "guilt dialog".

Paris 2013
I am asked about feeling guilty.  Candidly, I haven't had an ounce.

Okay.  Check that.  It sucked when I had to miss her first birthday celebration in 2012 because a colleague called in sick and I had to work late on a Wednesday to do the 10pm news.  Sure, I missed the celebration that night but that weekend, we had an even better celebration that lasted two days.

Beyond that, there has been no guilt.  None.  In fact, I feel guilty when I am not working.  I want my daughter to realize that anyone, man or woman, can accomplish his or her goals through perseverance, hard work and dedication.  I want her to realize that she can achieve what she wants by working for it.  Trust me, I'm a testament to it.  Can you imagine the shock in 1992 when I told my parents I wanted to study to be a sportscaster?  Blank stares.

That's not to say working for an employer or running a business is right for every parent.  I have many friends who are fulfilled being at home fulltime, running their households and taking care of their families.  It works for them and that's fabulous.

The concept, though, of every working parent, particularly mothers, sitting at the office and saddled with guilt is false. There are plenty of us who are content balancing the challenges and rewards of working, being a parent AND taking time for ourselves.

We are out there.

And loving every minute of it.

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