It seems like anytime you go, well, anywhere these days, moms are being criticized for something. Whether its breastfeeding, discipline, family diets, kids clothing, or something entirely different, being a mom can be tough. And not for reasons you may think.
One of the biggest arguments I see out there is the stay-at-home mom vs. working-mom debacle. Now I am not going to take sides on any of this today, so if you’re here for support for your side of the argument, I’m sorry, but this article probably won’t help you.
Honestly, I don’t think that one ‘type’ of mom is any better than the other. I think that families do what they have to in this crazy world, and whether that means they stay at home to bring in additional income, or stay home to provide personalized daycare, ultimately the choice is made with their family, which is the way it should be.
I know some rocking stay at home moms who do things that I could never even begin to dream of. Honestly, I feel like sometimes it’s a miracle my kids make it out of the house with their hair brushed and matching outfits. But seeing as how they’re 2 and 4, luckily fashion isn’t a high priority for them right now. We’ve been doing this for a while now though, so luckily we’ve got a pretty good system down.
I have worked since three months after my daughter was born. Maternity leave ended and that was that. Thankfully, I am a teacher, so while I work really hard during the school months, I do get some pretty great vacation time. But, when summer ends, it’s back to school and back to work, for mommy.
And while I would LOVE to have the chance to stay home with my children full-time and become that amazing Pinterest mommy with the beautiful home, and perfectly balanced meals, and all that jazz, I’m also really proud to say that I am a working mom. Here’s why:
As a teacher, I see lots of kids. Whether they are my students or not, on any given day, I run into at least 300 students in one shape or form. It is really easy to see which students have a work ethic instilled in them. And unfortunately, that’s not something you can teach in one lesson. It’s learned by example. By showing perseverance and dedication. My kids know that I have to go to work, and that I do it so that our family can have nice things like food. Even though they are little, they know that mommy goes to work to help our family, and there’s value in that.
One of the hardest parts of my days is when I say goodbye to my kids before I leave and my daughter tells me she doesn’t want me to go. On days she’s feeling particularly needy she digs the knife in deeper by asking in her teeny little voice ‘I want you to stay with me.’ This is always met with a huge hug and the assurance that I would much rather stay with her, too. And then quickly followed up by a crisp, ‘but we don’t always get what we want.’ And it’s true. While I would love to be able to instantly provide everything and anything my daughter wants, it’s just not gonna happen. And in all reality, that wouldn’t be what’s best for her. Because that’s not how the world works. Even if it’s just a small daily reminder, this is a valuable lesson I am able to give her.
Women have made great strides over the past decades, but that doesn’t negate the need for strong role models. And while I am not perfect by any stretch of the term, I know the value of independence and personal strength. On top of my day job and taking care of my family, I also find time to chase my dreams and pursue my writing. I want to show my daughter (and son) that if they put their mind to something, they can accomplish it. To follow their dreams, they only need THEIR inner strength.
On the flip side, me working also shows my kids how important it is to find a strong partner. Since I’m not able to stay at home and take care of all the house jobs, that means they get split up between me and my husband. Our teamwork to keep our home running efficiently is what my kids are growing up with as their example for their own future relationships. I hope my daughter sees how important it is to find a man who supports her and understands that their home is THEIR job. And I hope my son sees how important it is to appreciate his wife and the work that she invests in their life, and who will help her to do it.
Last but not least, I get the chance to provide for the needs of my family. Some months are better than others, but we always have warms beds to sleep in, clothes on our backs, and food in our bellies. And a large part of that is because of me. And that’s pretty dang special.
So while sometimes I’d much rather stay at home and binge watch Netflix while playing games on the living room floor with my babies, I’ll have to save that for the weekends. Because during the week, I’ve got a job to do.
What do you think? What ‘type’ are you? Do you work, or stay at home? What are YOU proud to teach your kids? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Comment and share below!
Disclaimer: I want to mention that NONE of these comments are snipes at stay-at-home moms. As moms, we should be building each other up, because hell, no-one understands the shit we go through on a daily basis better than we do. But through all the naysayers and days when I’d rather stay home, these five reasons keep me going. Because even though it can be incredibly challenging, I’m proud to say I’m a working mother.