If you know me, you know I love my job. I have worked my butt off to get where I am, I have moved countless times, went to school for quite a while - all to be one of those people who can say that they love their job and it doesn't feel like work.
I am a wildlife biologist and very proud of that because I know what I did to get here. I know it hasn't been an easy road but one that I would do all over again.
And then enters motherhood. I guess I should point out that I am the first employee in my program that has had a baby. My program covers two states and there is only one woman that is a field employee in those two states - I will give you one guess who that woman is. Yeah - me. While I was pregnant I was asked by our program director what my plans were after having children. "Um, work." was my answer. I explained that I loved my job and I planned on loving it after I had children as well. He told me that recently another female biologist in another program had a child and then decided that working wasn't for her, so she quit her job. I think he was trying to feel me out to see if that was on my radar. It wasn't, but I have to admit I was a little nervous about feeling differently after having my baby.
Fast forward 1.5 years and now I am an officially a working mom. My son goes to daycare five days a week and I work straight through 8 hours without taking breaks so that I can pick him up as soon as possible and spend the rest of the day with him. I wake up at 5 am to workout before going to work, so that I don't waste any of his waking hours working out. I juggle, I manage, I am tired, I feel overwhelmed sometimes, but you know what? I love it. I think I am doing a pretty damn good job at both my job and being a mom. My son is awesome, well adjusted, laid back, and I love him more than I realized was possible. And I think I am managing my job quite well also - I cover two states which requires travel and long days at times. I do it, happily, even while missing my son and my husband.
Recently I found out that someone I work with feels that "a woman's place is in the home, raising the kids." and while I initially blew it off, it just keeps coming up in my thoughts. While I respect women that choose to b full time moms and stay at home with their children - I also have a respect women who choose to work and raise their children. I don't like the thought of people looking down on me and judging my choices. I think I get annoyed when people assume that I would rather be home with my son and feel sorry for me because I "have" to work. Well yes, financially I do have to work. But even if we didn't depend on my income, I would work. Again - I love my job, it is something I have been passionate about my entire life. Of course, if I had to choose one or the other- I would definitely choose to be a mom. But my point is - I don't have to choose. I can do both. I can be an awesome mom and a pretty darn good wildlife biologist. I don't have to feel guilty, I don't have to answer to what other people think I should do, or what I should be. Because you know what? I am me and I kind of like myself. And I really feel like my son is going to benefit from that in the long run.