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Defining Work: A Mother’s Perspective

Originally written: April 25, 2023

Person typing

I am a mother of two young children under 8 years old and I recently began a new position that requires a combined 11 hours of work and commuting in NYC.

Before this position, I have worked both hybrid and remotely from the beginning of the pandemic until now. I made the decision to go back to the office full time primarily for financial reasons, but also because I was starting to experience a great level of isolation that came with parenting and working from home. I was ready for a change and I thought this would be a great idea.

Unfortunately, I quickly regretted it, and I have decided that this will be my last position where I go into the office daily.

Woman working with dog next to her

Yesterday, I left the office at 5 p.m. and didn’t get home till almost 7 p.m. Today, I had to let the train that was packed to the brim head to Brooklyn while I waited exhausted, much like everyone on that platform, for the next one.

My partner has now taken some of the childcare responsibilities while I work and it feels good to have more participation from him, but having never missed dinner to now missing dinner with my family, especially my children most nights is tugging at me.

By the first week, my daughters asked me to go back to working from home. Like most kids who want to keep their parents to themselves, my children are having a difficult time with having less access to me. I miss them dearly, but I know this is a small sacrifice for bigger goals.

Considering that we plan on getting out of the city to a suburban community, I am looking forward to creating even more balance in my life with hybrid or remote work. I am so grateful to be living in a time where people are pushing back and redefining what work looks like for them.

I love what I do and I know it comes with a cost. I just know that the cost is not my well being, so for this reason, work in the future is remote or hybrid—3 days in the office maximum—in the near future.

If I feel isolated this time, I’ll find a hobby, but I will treasure being able to contribute to society on my own terms with my well-being in tact.

What is the ideal situation for you as a working parent?

Update: I have since moved out of the city and reside in upstate NY, which I love. I am starting a career as a substitute teacher in the best interest of my family and I. I will talk more about moving from a career in human resources to education.



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