Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Work: want vs. need

Lately I've been fielding the same question over and over again and I would like to take the opportunity now to set the record straight.

Yes, I will be returning to work after my maternity leave.

Yes, I enjoy working for the sake of working. I enjoy what I do professionally. I am a very results-oriented person so it gives me satisfaction to work on a project and see it through. I enjoy the office environment (despite the fact that I do not socialize with my colleagues any more than necessary). I enjoy the professional challenges.

The question of "do I want to work" has not crossed my mind. I'm sorry, but when I'm at a point where I get to do what I want to do, I will not be saddled with student loan debt, a car note, a mortgage, day school tuition, summer camp payments, health insurance payments, etc etc etc.

Need I go on?

Right now, there are many things that my husband and I need to pay for. We do this ourselves. We do not count on our families to help us. We work hard, plan budgets, and live frugally while trying to give our children the best life possible. This is how my husband and I grew up, and I don't think we suffered for it.

And for those who wonder, I grew up with a working mother and I never felt lonely or deprived or anything like that at all. On the contrary, I knew that my mother loved me so much that she was/is willing to do anything to ensure I have all of the piano lessons, ballet lessons, swim lessons, summer camps, etc that I could possibly want. Oh and by the way, I traveled to more countries during my childhood than most kids. But we didn't drive the newest cars, didn't eat out, and didn't buy our clothes at the nicest department stores.

So do I want to return to work after maternity leave? Here's the real question: do I want to give my children the best possible life I can? Yes. So that means, at this point, I need to work. End of story. When the situation changes, I may change.

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