I am so tired of the Stay-At-Home Mom vs. Working Mom fight. So I’m speaking my peace and blocking any friends who post things that perpetuate it.
Being a parent is hard. Having an entire person or even persons you are responsible for completely is terrifying and scary and hard work.
If you stay at home, then it’s a 24/7 no real break from constant mommy-ing with infants, and then a constant schedule managing endurance challenge when you end up with children in school who have parties and after-school activities and friends over and homework. That’s rough. You also have to deal with criticism from people who are judgmental of your choice or think that staying home all the time is easy. It’s hard.
If you work, you go to work all day and then when you are home and tired from work you have to make the few hours with your kiddo really count. You have to keep tabs on what is going on at their child care center, make sure you picked a really good fitting one to start with, try to manage your sick days appropriately, and still try to live up to “mommy standards” while you are working a full time job. You may have to put up with people saying you are selfish for wanting a career or “why have kids at all if you’re going to let someone else raise them” or “I’m sure you’d stay home if you could”. It’s hard.
Parenting is hard.
I was pretty much always a working mom. By choice. I like working. I love my profession. I feel called to it and every day I worked as a teacher I felt like I made a huge difference that day.
I stayed home when my son was born. When I say stayed home, I mean that I became a full time nurse for my son and tried desperately not to fail my daughter at the same time. It was hard, but I felt like what I did every day was meaningful. I was keeping my son alive and creating amazing memories for our family. I was giving us all time with my son.
He died. I continued to stay home to help support my family through our grief AND…because it was too late to get a job for the year.
I put my daughter in pre-school part-time for a few months and worked on pulling myself back together while grieving when she was at school. I picked up nannying for a little boy a few months later. Now, I fully intend to go back to work full time.
It’s a choice I’m making. My life experiences are different than others and what gives me meaning in life is different. My daughter loves school. She’d be in it if I was working or at home (as seen this year, when I stayed home AND sent my daughter to school). I’ve given real thought to how I’d like to live my life. This is it. I’m really excited about going back to work. I love who I am as a working mom. I feel empowered and I feel like I cherish the time I have with my daughter when I’m not with her 24/7. It’s good for our relationship.
Now that said…there are very few people that have had the same life experiences as me….in fact, exactly zero have had the exact same. So what makes me happy and where I do well and thrive probably won’t fit everyone else.
I have several stay at home friends who feel completely fulfilled in their role. That is AMAZING! …and that is the point!
I have lots of working mom friends. They love working. That is AMAZING! and also the POINT!
We all have off days. Parenting is HARD regardless so we all need to vent. It doesn’t mean one way is better or harder than the other. Pick the way that is right for you, assume others do the same, and SUPPORT EACH OTHER!
Give each other helpful hints, don’t judge when someone didn’t bring a pinterest perfect party favor, don’t judge when someone’s kid has an off day, don’t judge when someone complains because that day was hard.
Offer some nice words of encouragement, tell them how good they look, and offer to have a play date or zoo trip or coffee.