Well, I am getting sick and tired of all the debate and general nonsense over women’s choices to stay home or work after they have children. Aren’t you? Why has it become stay-at-home moms against working moms? On-line blogs are getting ugly, people are going on record saying that staying home is a ‘cop-out’ or ‘boring’. With everyone on edge, asking the question “Do you work?” is often followed with: “. . . um, I mean . . . um . . . outside the home . . . of course, if you are a mom, you work . . .I didn’t mean . . .”
For goodness sakes – let’s just get over it. Here is how I see it. There is no right or wrong answer. The best choice for you today, may not be good for you a couple of years from now and may not be the right choice for your sister or your neighbor. My friends and I talk about the idea that we could have it all – we were told that years ago. You can have a family and a successful career too. It sounded so good – so simple. Well, I don’t know about you, but my life is not that simple. Can you work and have kids – happy kids? Of course you can. Is it easy? HA! It’s hard – really hard. Can you stay home and be happy if you give up (or take a break from) your career? Of course you can – but that is not easy either. Being home with the kids or being their personal driver every day is not always the most exciting part of our lives. Working all day and worrying about your kids getting where they need to be and how you will feed everyone tonight is not always a picnic either. Face it – nothing is perfect.
Kids happen. As they get older, they need different things at different times. Jobs change. Husbands (or partners) and their jobs change. Situations with family and friends change. Sometimes things work pretty well and other times things are a mess. Personally, I have done a little of everything. I have worked full time (including travel), I have worked part-time (2, 3 and 4 days a week) and I have been home full time. Each situation has had good days and bad days, and there are always compromises to be made.
So, moms out there - we don’t need to make it harder for each other by imposing dread about what others will think if we stop working or go back to work. Whatever we chose to do, we will sometimes wonder if we should have done it differently. We will never be certain about what the right answer is, so let’s do the best we can, go with our gut and try to remember to enjoy the kids along the way.