Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Working Mom: Sarah (on Working Part Time)

I am a working mom (and I love it); but, if I'm being honest, I feel like most days I'm more "surviving" and less "making it work."  So... I enlisted the help of some dear blog friends to share their experiences, advice, lessons, and encouragement on all kinds of topics related to life balancing a job outside the home and a family. I think this goes without saying, but please know that this series is - in no way - meant to belittle or undermine the work of stay-at-home moms - you are doing an incredibly important JOB, and I have so much respect for you!  That said, I do feel like working moms are sometimes under-represented in the internet world... So, my hope is that this will be a place for working moms of the blogosphere to unite and feel understood, connected, strengthened, and supported (plus, maybe pick up a tip or two)!   Overall, I hope this will be a reminder that (regardless of your situation), you are NOT alone, and you are doing a darn good job! Please introduce yourself and  "join the conversation" in the comments.  

(More from me on being a working mom and all the posts in this series here.)

I hope you guys have been enjoying this series as much as I have... We are going to be wrapping it up soon, but I wanted to take the last week (or so) to share about the experiences of some "non traditional" working mommas.  Today, my real life friend Sarah (our husbands were roommates in college and now they live way out west in the Seattle area) is talking about her life working as a part-time physical therapist and the full time mommy to one year old Sawyer.

Sarah and I pre-babies in the summer of 2010 eating crab in Seattle when Jeff and I drove cross-country

Like E, I love my job. I'm a physical therapist.  I spent 7 long hard years in college and graduate school earning my doctorate.  I've since earned two additional certifications in orthopedics and manual therapy.  I still have LOTS of student loans to pay off.  I'm lucky that I work for a great company that I've been with my entire career.  I love my clinic and coworkers, I (mostly) love my patients, and I love what I do.

As we thought about starting our family, I knew that I didn't want to quit my job, but I also knew that I didn't want to leave my child in the care of someone else the majority of the week.  I was working 10+ hour days - leaving the house at 7 am and not getting home until 7 pm.  If I kept that schedule, then I would only get to see my child for 30 minutes 4 days of the week.  I knew that I would want and need to cut my hours to feel like I was raising my child but still working the job that I love.  Fortunately for me, the healthcare industry and my company allowed me the flexibility to work 20 hours a week (two 8 hour days and a 4 hour day).

Sidenote: I always ask my patients about their job during my evaluations.  Now, more than ever, I phrase the question "do you work outside the home?" because I know how much WORK being a SAHM is

Here are the reasons why I LOVE working part time:

-Its good for me to get out of the house.  Two and half days of the week I get to be a professional, dress in something other than yoga pants, have adult conversation and not worry about nap schedules.

-Its good for Sawyer to be under the care of another person that isn't mom or dad.  Plus, our nanny has a little boy who is 2 months younger than Sawyer so he gets some socialization with others.

-Sawyer gets to see me leave and come home.  I LOVE the gigantic smile on his face when I walk through the door, and we haven't had any issues with separation anxiety yet (knock on wood!)

-Working gives me a chance to miss him.  I think that if I was a SAHM I wouldn't appreciate how much I miss him when I am away.

-I don't have to miss out on his milestones and development.  Being home the other four and a half days a week, I haven't missed watching him learn to crawl and walk, knowing his favorite books and foods.  We can do activities like toddler classes and playdates.  We can play peek-a-boo and tickle monster - I wouldn't trade those moments for anything.

-My salary allows us to do the "fun" stuff.  We are blessed that my husband has an excellent job at Microsoft that pays well and offers full benefits.  We would probably be fine on his salary alone.  My income allows us to do things like travel to visit grandparents, pay for my Starbucks habit Stroller Strides classes and toddler groups, and most importantly my Starbucks habit baby sitters so mommy and daddy can have date nights*.

*My husband pointed out that this is a theoretical benefit as we've only had date nights when grandparents have been in town to baby sit.

Sure I have those days when I wish I did one or the other.  There are days when Sawyer is cranky, has had multiple diaper blow outs, pukes on me and refuses to nap when I wish I was at work.  And there are days when I'm overwhelmed with new patients and paperwork when I wish I could just stay at home with my boy.

Life is about finding the right balance.  For me and my family, working part time is the perfect balance.  I know how lucky we are that we even have the option and that I love my jobs - BOTH of them.  Being a mom is hard.  We should celebrate all moms for the job they do whether they work inside or outside the home.  Lets face it, motherhood is much more than a full time job.  There are no coffee breaks or weekends off - just a heavy reliance on the Starbucks drive-through.  

Read more from Sarah (and see more pictures of that cute boy) at her personal blog For the Hall of it.


Do any of your work outside the home part time? How does it work for you?!

(You probably remember that I did this last year.  Read about my experience here.)

P.S. Get your confessions ready! Midweek Confessions (and link-up) will be back tomorrow!!!


  1. Loving this series so much... I'll be a bit sad when it's over. Thanks for sharing Sarah!!

  2. Sarah -- I love everything you have to say. I think you understand the best of, and draw backs of, each side. And I loved hearing you're a DPT, because my husband is one!

    Thanks for this series, E! I'm a SAHM but I love reading about the experience of ALL moms.

  3. I went from being engaged and not having a single desire to be a SAHM, to having our first child and working full time, to then going forced part time with our daughter. Now I just wish that I COULD be that SAHM all the time. Especially since having my son. Because my job revolves around schools, I work M-F (20 hours), It would be nice to have more days where I wasn't working and get stuff done that wasn't the weekend.

  4. I only work part time and I love it! I work when the kids are in school, but have the flexibility to be there when I need to be. For me, it's the best of both worlds... I don't have the desire to stay at home all the time (or run my own business from home) but I do want to be there for my kids... so part time it is!

  5. This blog really hit home for me. However I work 30 hours a week for a small IT firm (that GETS work-life balance) and until I go salary, my 5 month old hangs out with me 3 days a week. 2 days a week I go into the office and he goes to daycare and those are 2 of the most productive days EVER. Thanks for this series - being a working momma isn't a walk in the park, but it is nice to know I am not the only one who makes this choice.


Your comments are what makes this thing fun! I LOVE to hear from you and do my best to respond to everyone! THANK YOU!

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