The tension between stay at home moms and working moms is usually so thick you can cut it with a knife.
When I learned I was pregnant at 26, I was smack dab in the middle of a full fledged career, one that I liked, one that I felt I was good at. I climbed the ladder several times and held the title of department head at a two tower, four diamond hotel. I was proud of my success and it was a big part of my identity then. I planned to continue working during my pregnancy and after I had children. And I did just that… for 2 1/2 years after I gave birth to twins. Then, my husband and I made the decision that it was time for me to stay home. We considered several reasons I couldn’t have considered or fully understood before I knew what being a parent entailed.
I am not sure who started the great debate between working moms and stay at home mothers, but I’ve found that the two have more in common than not. All good mothers have common goals and those don’t change based on what the title on your business card reads.
We both often carry feelings of guilt.
If we make the choice to be a working mom, we often feel guilty about leaving our children in the care of others, even ones we fully trust with our heart and souls. By the same token, if we make the choice to be a Stay at Home Mom, we may feel guilty for not tangibly contributing to our household’s income. Guilt is guilt is guilt is guilt!
We both make sacrifices.
Being a parent is full of necessary sacrifices. Some, we easily give away. Some are harder. Finding moments to spend quality time with friends or even your spouse can be difficult for both working and stay home moms. For sanity’s sake, it’s important to plan a QT session with those we love when possible.
We don’t get breaks.
You are a parent. Period. It doesn’t matter if you are physically with your child all day long or in an office setting. There are no breaks from the much earned, much loved title of MOM. It is the hardest job we’ll ever love.
We both worry.
Are our children happy? Well fed? Healthy? Are they reaching their potential? Are they getting enough sleep? Too much? The list goes on and certainly doesn’t change based on career choice. It’s a mom thing.
We often worry if we are making the right decision.
Honestly, I don’t think this ever changes, especially in regards to parenting. Making the right choice for ourselves, for our families and especially for our children is a constant merry go round of emotions.
We ALL work.
We can just go ahead and scrap the terms “stay at home mom” and “working mom” right now because we are all MOMS. I personally think it’s as pointless as calling someone a black haired mom or a blonde mom. Silly, right? We all work. Period. Some of us may carry a heavier load than others but we should never place that on a scale to begin with. We are all busy. We all get overwhelmed and sometimes feel underpaid. But mostly, we love our jobs.
We crave balance.
A balanced diet. A balanced schedule. We all search for it in our lives and sometimes, we find it. And sometimes, it eludes us. But it’s an important animal for us all to achieve, no matter our place in the work force.
Following are two images. The first one is of me, a stay at home mom at the time the photo was taken. The second is of my working outside the home husband. Both show parents who adore their children and who’s children adore them. Both show parents who value having a family and who work hard to ensure our decisions are beneficial for everyone.
I am positive it’s the same for your household and your choices.
Let’s celebrate the fact that the discussion over the years about women and their roles has significantly changed. Let’s celebrate that many dads have the ability to stay at home and do! Let’s celebrate that gender roles are often shared. These days, we have choices. Some of us continue to earn a paycheck after we become mothers because it’s a necessity. Our households are dependent on the second income or we enjoy the financial breathing room. Others, because we value having a career and feel as though it helps us be better as parents.
I could flip the coin and the justifications for staying home would be similar. Bottom line is we all do what we feel makes us be better . Let’s end the feud and bridge the gap.
Working ><Stay At Home MOM.
What would you add to this list? Let us know below!