Even though working moms struggle with guilt http://www.examiner.com/x-25830-Detroit-Working-Moms-Examiner~y2009m11d14-Lets-banish-working-mom-guilt-for-good and other challenges http://www.examiner.com/x-25830-Detroit-Working-Moms-Examiner~y2009m12d5-Working-mom-challenge-doing-both-jobs-well, a group of moms from metro Detroit agreed there are plenty of rewards that come with continuing to work.
The working mothers interviewed for this article said role modeling the independence and success they experience in their daily work was good for their children.
A local business owner and mother of two girls said, "I think the biggest positive for me is setting a strong example for my girls. Sure, it's often difficult to juggle the work, kids and activities, but they see that I'm an independent, successful woman who can wear many hats and do many different things. They genuinely like that their mom works and isn't solely concentrating on their lives or their dad's life."
One mom of two from Oakland County who works as a school counselor said in spite of occasionally feeling pulled in two directions by her children and her career, she liked that her job presented a positive role model for her children.
"Hopefully, they have seen and learned that it is important and possible to find work that is enjoyable, honorable and fulfilling."
Another benefit was the ability to continue to grow professionally.
A mom of two who continued to teach after her now teen-aged children were born said she was glad she remained in the workforce. She gained valuable experience, and by becoming more "seasoned and successful" in her job, her self-esteem benefited as well.
"It feels good to be in the service of others and to feel I am making a contribution to our society."
Another mom with two children active in sports and other school-related activities noted how the organizational skills she developed through her work managing a full-time writing business helped her juggle her family's schedule.
"All of the things I've experienced and mastered throughout my career have helped me prepare for the rigors and responsibilities of motherhood. Working around deadlines and meetings and coordinating events and programs made me well-equipped to oversee the family's activities, projects, clubs and commitments."
An additional reward for these working moms was intellectual stimulation.
"Personally, I love to learn and I love to work. Staying home can get boring," said one of the moms who recently received a Masters degree and is currently employed as an education director for a religious institution.
A registered nurse who lives in Farmington with her husband and three daughters is also happy that her work challenges her. She said staying on top of the latest medical procedures was intellectually stimulating, and genuinely loved that she was helping patients get well. The only downside was her exhaustion level at night.
"Some nights, I'm in bed by 8:30! It's great that I have a husband who is tremendous with our girls, and who helps them with homework and all the other things you have to do to prepare for the following day. I'm grateful that I get to experience so much satisfaction with both my work and my family."