Ok, who’s ready for an unpopular opinion? I preface this by saying this is just that, my opinion. If you agree with it that’s great. If you don’t, that’s great too. I recently read a post on another blog that had a lot of very pointed (and rather polarizing) things to say about working moms.
Now I have nothing against working moms or stay-at-home moms. I am a proponent of moms, regardless of whether your days work is in the home or in the office (or both!). While I respect the different opinion, I have to share my opinion from the standpoint of a working mom.
Here’s the thing. I don’t feel guilty about being a working mom. There. I said it. I love my daughter with everything in me. She is without a doubt one of the most remarkable people I’ve ever met and it’s the pleasure of my life getting to take an active role in her life. Yes. It’s a very active role whether or not a part of my time is spent at an office.
Now please don’t misunderstand, I miss her during the day when I’m at work. While I know that being a stay-at-home mom is a huge job and is by no means the simple sitting-around-eating-bon-bons picture that some people like to paint, I would still love nothing more than to get to spend my weekdays with A. Unfortunately, that is not the card that life has dealt our family during this particular season. You can believe what you want about priorities and people choosing to make it work on one income but at the end of the day, sweeping generalizations couldn’t possibly embody every situation. “You don’t know my life” as they say.
In my mind and in my heart of hearts, I am able to separate the feeling of guilt from the feelings of missing my daughter and wishing I was able to spend my days with her. I do believe that these are two different things. So while I miss A and it sucks that I don’t get to spend my weekday hours with her, I do not feel guilty about it for a few reasons:
- There is no question ever as to who is raising our kids- Do not be mistaken. A knows who her parents are and there is no confusion where anyone is concerned about who is raising our kids. They say it takes a village and other people in our village do contribute like extended family, friends and the teachers at our AMAZING daycare. But J and I are the ones who are truly raising our kids and all that that embodies (hint- it’s not just about where your weekday hours are spent). It really rubs me the wrong way when people try to state that by sending your kid to daycare you’re paying other people to raise them. To even try and imply that working parents are “farming” their kids off to others to raise and to reference us as “part-time moms” is extremely insulting and comes off as judgmental at best.**drops the mic and walks off the stage**
- I am helping provide for our family- Everyone’s situation is different. At this time what is best for our family to be able to live and support ourselves as well as work toward achieving our financial goals, is for both adults to be working. Additionally, part of raising a family is providing them with food, shelter, clothing, etc. I help to provide these things and I am happy to be able to. While others may have a situation where they are able to get by on one income, that is not realistic for every family. You do yours and I’ll do mine. On a side note, the aforementioned post went on about the “lies that men and women are equal in every way.” I just want to take the opportunity to say that last year I actually brought in more income than J. We don’t keep score in our home and J is a man who doesn’t need to bring in more money to feel masculine and powerful. But to put to rest any question about the possibility of a woman contributing equally (or gasp!) bringing in more money, I’m living proof that this is possible.
- Socialization- I love that A spends time among many other kids around her age. Even when we have more than one kid, I want my kids to spend time in surroundings outside of the home. This includes playgrounds, festivals, social activities, playgroups as well as daycare. I am comfortable being completely honest about the fact that I also believe it is unhealthy for adults to spend every waking moment with their children until they leave the nest. I think that it’s healthy for A to have some time away from us and it’s healthy for us to have some time away from A.
- I absolutely love our daycare- The teachers are so kind and nurturing- they truly love our daughter. I think it’s great that she gets time outside of her comfort zone to explore her surroundings, learn about interacting and functioning with others in a social setting and make her way without mom and dad there to hold her hand all the time. I also love that her daycare is a Christian daycare. I believe that this is yet another great tool to help us instill the important morals and values that we want to be the framework of our children’s lives.
- I enjoy being able to serve others- As a mother my primary focus is serving my family. While it is not without it’s challenges, it is a joy for me. When I am at work, I am serving others. In my job, I am helping others and educating them in my area of expertise, which happens to be an area that has the potential to benefit them for the rest of their lives. This also brings me joy. It brings positive things to others and I am proud to be able to do that. My kids will grow up knowing that their mama was able to help others through her job.
Look, every family is different. How boring this world would be if we all had one point of view and we all did everything the same way. While we may do things one way, who am I assume that every other family has the ability or even wants to do things the same way as we do?
But here’s what I will not do. I will not beat myself up about providing for my family. Ever. Maybe someday our situation will be different and J or I will be in a place where one or both of us can be home all the time. Or maybe I will desire to continue working (absolutely nothing wrong with moms who choose to work!). But right now, our life is so beautiful and we are blessed. We do things in the way that is best for our particular family and our particular situation.
So while I am currently a working mom, I tip my hat to the Moms who stay at home. I also tip my hat to the moms who work outside of the home. I support all women doing what is best for their personal situation and I am so happy to be in a place to be able to do what is best for our family. Can we just cut the mommy-war crap and start supporting each other?
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