Thursday, June 20, 2013

# kids

Staying Home Vs. Working as a Mother

Recently Linda Heffernan wrote a column for the Huffington Post called “Why I regret Being aStay-at-Home-Mom” and it upset me because we as woman have a constant battle between working and staying home. I admire her for her candid take on how she feels that she failed at it and regrets that decision but it was upsetting that in the end she wasn't truly happy and didn't own her decision.

In the fours years since we decided to that I would stay home and I stress we, there has never been a moment I regretted the decision. I have asked many times to my husband if he wanted me to go back to lessen any burden on him and he has always replied that he is less burden knowing I am home and taking care of the kids. For him working is what he loves and it wasn't what I loved.

For me it wasn't a hard decision at all. I was in a job I hated and in a place where honestly I started not trusting my manager and some of my co-workers. Even though I did like them and had a fine relationship, I never felt true loyalty with them or even the company I worked for. I was doing the job of many but being paid for only one.

I was a big believer in not bringing it home with me and I chose to work in order to live rather than live to work which so many do. When it started coming home with me effecting my child and marriage, I knew I needed to make a change. I had passed up a job change already and figured that I needed to regroup and see what I wanted to do with my life rather than continue on with the path I was on.

I can't knock a woman who chooses to work and I know many of them find their purpose in doing it but for me my purpose is being home with the kids. This is my career now and to be honest I treat it that way. I tell my family that this is my work place and I have expectations from them in order to have things run smoothly in the house. I realize I now have way more hats on staying at home than I did when I worked but the difference is that I enjoy it and find it rewarding.

Being home with the kids for me is very rewarding and I find that who I m is way more defined now than it was working. Because this is my career now, the people I meet see all sides of me rather than just that working part. When I would see people I worked with out side of work with my child, they saw the real me. I get to now have the real me out and about all day every day.

The friendships I have made, I feel are more diverse and open than when I worked. I rather spend my time with people who have liked minded goals with their children and lives. I find that my overall marriage is way better because I now have the time to devote to it rather than it being last on the list when I worked with a child.

I don't blame the mom who chooses to work but when I see parents who devote all their time to work and children get neglected, it is bothersome. On the flip side, I also am angered by the stay at home mom, who sits around all day when nothing gets done around the house or with the kids. I have seen both as I have ventured through life. I know to the balance of it is so hard on both sides.

When I worked I tried so hard to make sure that I was there for my daughter and now that I am always around, I try to teach my kids to have some independence and not rely solely on me for their needs. It is a tightrope we all walk no matter which path we choose.

I wish in the United States we were not so geared to having it all because having it all isn't what it is all cracked up to be. When we were striving to have it all, we were miserable and now that we have took a step back and choose what is important, we are so much happier. It isn't about the big house or fancy trips with us but enjoying our lives. So many other countries focus on family first and I choose to do that as a parent.

I don't worry about when I go back for a salary because I will find something I will love. Until than I am working full time being an accountant, chef, organizational nut, and about anything that needs to get done. I am a true jill of all trades and I make sure my kids are aware of it.

For me I would regret not being to be with them as they grow up. My life is far more richer and fuller by not working than it ever was when I worked. I also know that this life isn't for everyone.  

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Becky! I, too, struggle with my decision. Did I make the right choice to stay at home? Am I hurting my family financially with this decision? Am I putting too much stress on my husband as the sole breadwinner??? I came from a family where the moms worked so I've been finding my own way in this SAHM role. There are still days where the house is a mess and I feel like I've gotten nothing accomplished *BUT* I can honestly say there are so many things I've been able to do with my girls that I could never have done if I worked. Not to say one life is better than the other, just that I've really enjoyed the opportunities available to all of us while staying at home. I think for everyone's well being we need to get rid of the 1970's / 1980's notion of "having it all". To me, having it all means having a positive work / life balance. This applies to dads as well as moms. I never understood the coworkers who would brag about all the overtime they worked. Yes, having that extra income rolling in is a good thing, but is it really worth all the missed moments with your children? (And I understand it happens from time to time. But I'm referring to the people who were working 60+ hours per week for no reason in particular. Just because they could.)