Back when my partner and I were discussing whether or not I should continue working after the birth of our child, we talked through what felt like endless scenarios, including but not limited to: continuing my same job that I had before our son arrived, leaving the work force completely, finding a part-time job, freelancing, looking at "side hustle" options, and saying, "eff all of it!" and going on an epic road trip all over the country in an equally epic motorhome. OK, actually he didn't really want to consider that last one, but I'm still holding out hope that he'll be down for it one of these days.
After trying a number of scenarios and combinations of me working/not-working, and doing different kinds of work, we finally landed on something that is, so far, actually working out (pun always intended) really well. I don't want to assume that our situation is what would be best for every other family out there. But I do believe that, in addition to so many other benefits of being a working mom, me working has helped me stay grounded and become a better partner to my husband. I'm sure there a number of legitimate explanations and ways to apply feminist theory to why a wife and mom who's more fulfilled is a good thing for the entire family, but all I know is how it's played out in my family, and it's been awesome. Here's what I've experienced in terms of how being a working mother has made me not only a happier person and a better mom, but a dramatically better partner: