Originally Posted 7/12/2010 10:41 AM EDT on The Charlotte Observer’s Moms Site (written by Empowered Mommies Founder, Ivanna Campbell)
So I recently read an article in which one mom basically put another one in her place. At the bottom of it there were several dozen comments applauding the author's remarks and stance the likes of "You, Go Girl! That's Right.....". And I couldn't help but roll my eyes. Here we go again...I thought. Haven't we yet tired of this debate? I know I have. Let me address both sides:
Dear Stay-At-Home- Moms (SAHMs): (and I'm technically one right now since I don't work full-time outside of the home)....Please don't judge. Working moms are not cold-hearted, money-seeking, career-chasing opportunists. They do care about their children, but they also happen to love their jobs and in some cases may even need to work to make ends meet or maintain a lifestyle they have become accustomed to. Others just find great enjoyment and sense of identity in what they do and realize that giving that up would hurt them and in turn affect how they parent their kids. They love the perceived independence of making their own money and having a paycheck-paying job and the thought of staying at home all day drives them crazy.
If you're home and love being home.... good for you!! Make the most of it. These years are going to fly by. Your kids will be in college before you know it. Enjoy it and don't feel like you have to defend your decision to anyone. Be happy and don't look back with regret. If you're having second-thoughts, be honest and speak up. But never tell your kids what you gave up to stay home with them. After all, it was your choice, not theirs and no one likes being around a self-proclaimed martyr.
If you take great pride in your nightly cooking or cookie swaps, decorating, organizing and hosting middle of the day playgroups, scrapbooking and other traditional homemaker-type activities, don't be ashamed of that! It doesn't make you less of a person. Work is work. You just don't happen to get "paid" for it through a paycheck. Being with kids all day long, even though different, is just as challenging as going to a corporate job. I know that personally because I have done both!
Dear Working Moms (WMs): Don't judge. Just because a woman chooses to stay home doesn't mean she is an ambitionless, brainless June Cleaver wanna-be who has no aspirations and likes to depend on her husband for everything. They don't spend all day watching soap operas, playing tennis with girlfriends or hanging out at Starbucks (not when they're kids are little, believe me. Their days most likely involve dirty diapers, dirty laundry, chores, etc..etc).
It also doesn't mean that they had a menial, low-paying jobs before they had kids thus making the decision to stay home simply practical. Many new SAHMs are actually former career women (with grad degrees even! ;) who have chosen to take a break from it all to raise their kids especially during the infant years. There are many ways to bring wealth and financial security to a family, and a full-time job is part of it. Some even have passions and side businesses from home. Other's don't. They just want to be with their kids. And that is ok too.
Just because you do go out and make a living doesn't mean you're more valuable than a SAHM. Money of course is important, but like everything in life, there is always compromise and sacrifice. Something has to give when attempting to "do it all". Good for you for trying to balance it all. It's very difficult. Admit that and move on. Don't be ashamed of the fact that you love your work just as much as being a mom or that you need time outside the house otherwise you'll go nuts.That is ok! You're lucky that you know that about yourself and you shouldn't have to explain yourself to others regarding your decision. Don't feel guilty about your choice, embrace it! Having a career and being a mother are not mutually exclusive.
Dear SAHMs and WMs: Bottom line ladies....let's stop the mutual judging and stereotyping!! It's our children that will ultimately make up their minds as to how good or bad parents we were. Their opinion is what truly matters and most likely we won't hear that from them for years from now. Go with your heart. Do what makes you happy. If the thought of leaving your baby in daycare makes you inconsolable and sad, and you can afford to stay home and want to, then do it! Just be happy about the decision. On the flip side, if the thought of being home all day with little ones drives you bonkers, don't second guess your feelings and go back to work! Unhappy mothers regardless of whether they work outside the home or not will undoubtedly make unhappy families and children.
So whether you're a SAHM or a WM...it doesn't matter, just be empowered regardless!!!
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