The Great Debate: Stay At Home Moms Vs Working Moms
One of the things I noticed since becoming a mother is how judgmental parents can be towards one another. Before I was a parent myself, I had my own ideas of what kind of mom I would be. For example, when I saw couples sleeping with a baby in their bed I used to tell my husband, "We're NEVER doing that! That's ridiculous!" - now here we are into our second year of co-sleeping. I quickly realized as most parents do, that once our children actually enter the world, it's a different ballgame than what you imagine when you're fantasizing about family life. When I had complications while trying to nurse Grey, I was so nervous to share my truth on breastfeeding in fear of the judgement I'd receive from what I like to "the boobie police". It's mean out here in the mommy streets!
After everyone tells you what to do with your breasts, the next form of criticism comes when a fellow mom asks, "So, what do you do for a living?".
After my husband and son go to bed, I like to stay up for an extra hour or so to get some alone time. I don't do anything constructive during this time. I'm typically laughing at instagram memes, seeing who Black Twitter is going off on or seeing what I missed on Facebook during the week. It's my one time during the day for mindless activity where I don't have to tend to anybody. Someone posted a link to a blog post that I found quite interesting about how she's able to be a stay at home mom although she can barely afford it. Now if you know anything about social media, the comments are where it's at. Initially it was very positive, filled with stay at home moms who piggybacked off the article by sharing their experience of staying home, how they make it work financially and what they enjoyed about it. But of course there had to be person who chose to fire shots against "the other team" by stating the following:
I don't know why people continue to have children for other people to raise!
Naturally the mom's who work outside the home jumped in and the great debate began between SAHM's vs. Working Mom's. Firstly, I hate the term "working mom". Whether you work outside the home or decide to be a homemaker, you're still a "working mom". Being a mom is work, period! It pains me to see the division between the two groups of mothers. Why do we have to be so "West Side Story" about it? Why so much judgment?
My Experience: The Good, The Boredom & Nothing But The Truth ||
After Jolie's passing, I knew that whenever God blessed us with another child, I would want to be home for the first year. Thankfully, that plan worked out which meant the world to me. I spent all my time bonding with and taking care of Grey. I saw him crawl for the first time, I saw him take his first steps, I witnessed everything and didn't miss a beat. My "me time" came in form of working out and I'd still make it out to events on the weekends to hang out with friends and network. There were certainly times during the week where I got bored and craved adult interaction. I thought about joining mommy groups (I even considered them again when I moved here a few months ago), but after a while, the idea would seem silly to me. Then there came a point where I started feeling guilty for staying home with the baby and not being able to contribute financially to my household. More money is always a good thing right? There was a sassy voice in my head (that sounded much like Jennifer Lewis) that kept saying, "Being a housewife is for rich people, and girl you ain't rich!". My husband kept telling me to relax and that I didn't have to go back to work if I didn't want to, but the self inflicted pressure wouldn't let up. So after Grey's 1st birthday I got a job that was fun to dress up for everyday but that I hated within two weeks. This could largely be due to the fact that I generally hate working for people to begin with. I hate cubicles, I hate office politics, I can't find it within my soul to suck up to people and fifteen minute breaks just aren't enough. And there are so many rules to follow that make no sense to me - but when you're in someone else' place of employment, you have to follow them in order to keep getting your check on Friday's. Then I also hated the fact that I was spending around 10 hours a day away from my son (factoring in my 8 hours of work, my 1 hour lunch break and commute time) but I was only getting 3 to 4 hours with him in the evenings before bed time. It made me really sad when I did the math, especially since I wasn't working a job that I even cared about. I regretted the decision to go back to work before I was even eligible for benefits.
It was during this time, that I became even more inspired to start Jolie Bloom. Not only would I have an amazing way to honor my daughter, but I hoped that one day it would allow me more time freedom I craved as a mother and wife. Working full time also slowed down the momentum of my blog and workouts. There just didn't seem to be enough time in the day to do all the things I needed to get done. Since moving, I've been working part time in the evenings, focusing lots of my energy towards my growing business and I'm home with my toddler all day. Do I miss my full time income? Every time the first of the month rolls around! Do I love being home with my baby though? Absolutely! There is the possibility of me going back to work full time (probably for only a year or so), just so that I can achieve a few financial goals that I have for myself, my family and my business.
I thought it would cool if I reached out to my friends, family and blogger boo's to candidly share their experience of their current career choice as homemakers, "working moms" and even a few who are working from home. I'm all about transparency and authenticity, and I thank all these ladies for also sharing their truth. Be sure to also click on their stories to visit their blogs and/or social media pages:
General Thoughts ||
As mothers, we're all doing the best that we can for our children. We're making our decisions based on our upbringing, family goals and individual economic situations. There's no reason for us to look down on one another or judge another mother for her career choices or what some may perceive as "lack there of". We all want the same thing - healthy, smart and well adjusted children who love us. I find no reason for the hurtful words, the personal digs and criticism.
Let's encourage, uplift and inspire one another. I know this post won't end "the war" but I think it's a great way to get constructive dialog going among mothers. In my humble opinion (dispute all the articles with "scientific research), there's no wrong or right in choosing to stay home with your children, start a business or climb the corporate ladder. What I personally think is important, is not loosing ourselves in the process.
What Are Your Thoughts? Are You A Homemaker Or Do You Work Outside The Home? What's Your Truth On Your Choice?
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