Stay at home MOMS, full time working MOMS, and part time working MOMS I admire all of you!
A few weeks ago I chatted with a grandmother that I had just met. Her daughter just gave birth to her second child. This grandmother asked me what I did for work. I told her that I taught 2nd grade for 4 years and once my son was born I decided to stay home with him. She asked me, "Why?" I told her, "I've always wanted to be a stay at home mom . It's important to me. It was really hard for me to go to work everyday and not be with my son. It was also exhausting being a full time teacher and mom. I found it hard to feel accomplished and successful in both areas."
After my comment the grandmother said, "Well, MY daughter IS a VERY hard worker. She is going to college, working, and now has two children." I showed her my amazement that her daughter was able to do all of that. I really am amazed at people that can balance all of that. Throughout our conversation it seemed like she thought I was a lazy person because I am "just" a stay at home mom.
In today's society it seems like people are very judgmental of other's decisions and life choices. Some people judge working mom's because they aren't with their children. Other's judge stay at home mom's because they don't have a fulfilling and successful career. The judgments can go on and on and on. I have had a full time job outside of the home as a single women, women with a boyfriend, engaged women, married women, and women with a child. I have also been a stay at home mom and a mom with a part time job (just a few hours a week). None of them are easy. They each come with the need for careful juggling and balance. No matter what stage you are in your life, things are difficult. You can't judge how women choose to work. Everyone has different life circumstances, finances, and opportunities.
I taught 2nd grade for four full years. Right before my first year of teaching I went on my first date with an amazing guy who is now my husband. He was a student at Brigham Young University. A year and a half later we were married. We have been married for 3 1/2 years now and he is still a student. Being married to a college student isn't always the easiest. My husband spends long hours studying and attending school. With his heavy and vigorous work load he isn't able to work. We have decided that it is best for him to get done as quick as possible and then he can work. I have always wanted to be a stay at home mom. I never considered any other options. When I was pregnant with my son and my husband was still in school the decision to be a stay at home mom became more difficult to make. I knew I wanted to stay at home with my son, but with my husband being a student it worried me. I wasn't sure if this goal of ours was plausible. However, I couldn't even imagine having to go to work everyday and send my precious little one to a babysitter or daycare. After lots of considerations, research, and talking with family and friends we decided stop teaching and for me to stay home with our little one. I started my 5th year teaching a month before my due date. Two weeks after the first day of school, our precious son Rylan was born. I took my maternity leave for a few months and then returned back to school to teach for a month. I finished being a 2nd grade teacher right before Christmas break and became a full time mommy. I know, this seems crazy. Why did I start a new school year to only teach for a short period? I had to in order for my insurance to cover medical bills.
Being a full time mom is awesome! It is so great to be able to watch my child learn and grow; to be with him every step of the way. I love to take him different places and allow him to explore, make friends, and experience the world. I am able to feel like I can get household chores done, without being overly exhausted. Being a stay at home mom has always been my top priority. I knew that's what I wanted to do when my children were young. However, while on maternity leave and now that I am a stay at home mom, I realized that it isn't as great as it may always seem. Sometimes having to spend all the time with your children can be exhausting. It can be hard to get quality "me time." It can also get monotonous doing the same household chores. There are days when I don't want to have to scrub the floor under my son's highchair one more time. Being a stay at home with young children, you don't get as much interaction with other adults. You also don't get much positive feedback on how you are doing. As a stay at home mom, that positive feedback isn't the same as working.
Being a full time worker and mom is exhausting. I found benefits to being able to work while having a baby. Besides the benefit of having a paycheck, you get a "break" from mommy duties, get some positive feedback from outside the home, and get daily social interactions with others. It is so exhausting though and difficult emotionally. It's hard to give 100 % focus on your paid job, when your mind continually wants to focus on your children. It's hard having to wake up extra early to get yourself ready, kids ready, drop them off somewhere else, go to work, pick kids up, make dinner, do a few household chores, and spend time with your children. Oh ya, good luck finding a few moments for yourself. I remember often falling asleep at like 7 pm holding my baby. It was tiring. I loved my job as a teacher and I loved my baby. I didn't love having to balance them both. Some people are much better at this balancing act.
Being a full time mommy and being able to go to work a few hours each week is refreshing and perfect. I was able to spend quality time with my son everyday. My husband was home for me to work a few hours. I had the chance to get out of the house and have some interaction with others, feel accomplished and get a little bit of money. I didn't have to feel any guilt leaving my child as he got some great alone time with daddy. I don't have a chance to currently work, but I now volunteer outside the home a little each week. It's the same feeling, without a paycheck :)
Whether you are a stay at home mom, full time working mom, or part time working mom I admire all of you. There is nothing easy about being a mom or paid employee. We need to judge less and love more. We need to appreciate what other women are positively doing. If a mom chooses to work so that her children can have clothes to wear and food to eat, awesome! If a mom chooses to stay home to raise her children, fantastic. If a mom has enough money to live on her husband's paycheck, but chooses to work because she becomes a better mom when she get some time outside the home, wonderful! Let's support other mom's and help lift them up. Motherhood is such a fulfilling, but difficult type of work. Celebrate mom's and the good they are doing in this world!
What are your thoughts?
| Labels: motherhood