Working vs. Staying at Home

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Another mommy wars debate that I could care less about.  I need to delete my Baby Center app because some of the women on the message boards are so out of control.  The other night a woman posted asking if she was a bad mom for wanting to go back to work.  Most of us were supportive of her and shared our own experiences, but some of the women talked about how awful it is for a mom to pay someone else to “raise” her kids, how selfish can you be, blah blah blah.  It really struck a nerve with me.

Often when people ask me if I am so sad that my maternity leave is almost over, it feels a little awkward to say no.  I’ve been asked why I don’t quit my job now that I have 2 kids, or why I work when my salary basically goes to daycare.  I have heard stay at home moms refer to themselves as “full time mommies” and there just seems to be this notion out there that when you become a mom, you should devote your life 24/7 to your children and if you don’t, you better have a good financial reason.

Welp, I couldn’t disagree more because there is  no one-size-fits-all choice when it comes to being a parent.  Whether another mom works or doesn’t work does not affect me whatsoever, and I think whatever choice she makes is right for her family and that is all that matters. If one mother wants to like I said devote her life 24/7 to her children, great!  If one mother wants to work full-time, great!   J’s mom worked when he was little, mine didn’t work at all…we both have the same, happy memories from our childhoods because whether our parents worked or not had nothing to do with it.

For me, I do not have to work for financial reasons, I just choose to.  I worked full-time when A was born (2 of the days were from home) and I did not like it.  I thought about quitting, but I asked to work part-time instead and that has been awesome for us.  A loves playing with his friends at daycare, while I enjoy some adult interaction and the sense of pride I get for the projects I contribute to my school and for the health insurance I provide for my family.  I have 2 months off every summer so I get to the do the stay-at-home thing as well.  I plan to stop working when A goes to kindergarten because I want to be able to drop him off, pick him up, and volunteer. Those are my choices and I feel great about them.

I feel for mothers who are in situations that they wouldn’t choose – those who do not want to work but have to, and those who stay at home but wish they were working.  There is enough guilt that comes with being a mom as is (does that just come with the territory?!) and I hope that this particular mommy debate can come to an end soon.

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