Part-Time Working Moms Are Happiest, Except for One Thing

part-time working moms happyHooray, I'm the happiest mom! At least according to the people who like to study things that make moms want to fight each other. But we can finally declare a winner in the Mommy Wars. It's not those working moms who are happier, or the stay-at-home moms who can smugly smile at their self-sacrifice. It's us part-time worker moms who have one foot in each world and can be smug while being happy at the same time.

While studying the happiness of moms seems, I don't know, weird, I can get behind the obviousness of this study. Once you become a mom your priorities shift. It's confusing when you want to be with your baby, and you also want adult interaction. We try to have it all and wind up completely exhausted and stressed out. So if you're able to have that happy place somewhere in the middle with part-time mommy'ing and part-time work, of course you're going to feel relief. Except for that one, huge, depressing thing.

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Money.

Part-time work does not generate tons of cash. Just ask my bank balance. As a mom who has worked full-time, part-time, and stayed at home, I really do feel most comfortable working part-time and pursuing my own writing projects. (Which, in reality, means I work 3/4 -- full-time.) But if my husband didn't have a well-paying job, we would be in serious trouble. As it is, we're just meeting our middle-class obligations. Yes, I know we're lucky. We could just be meeting our lower-class obligations or completely in the hole (we've been there too). Of course then I wouldn't have the option to work part-time. 

My point being, yes, this is the best option for not only my personal happiness, but our family's ability to function without having to hire (expensive) full-time help. I wish every mom had the option that would allow her to feel good or, at the very least, okay about her choices. Perhaps then we wouldn't be at war with each other.

In the meantime, maybe we can all just ignore studies which identify which moms are the happiest, and which ones are miserable and cranky. We've all been in both places, depending on the time of day, the health of our children, and probably what was going on with the weather. More importantly, perhaps we could identify ways to provide affordable child care, health care, and housing so more moms could have options instead of being forced into a position that makes them unhappy.

Are you a happy mom?


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