The truth is, I have never had the desire to be a stay at home mom. My mother, raised all of her children never having worked outside of the home. I was not that person. Being a mother is hard, period. I’ve been on both sides: stay at home mom vs. working mom. Still, I thought long and hard about putting this out there. You see, I don’t take my motherhood for granted. I don’t take my ability to carry and birth children for granted. There are so many women who dream of the day they will finally birth a child. So many, who cling to every waking and sleeping moment of the child they fought so hard to conceive. So many who have lost, so many with no other choice. Yet, still I know, my joy in motherhood is not found in being a stay at home mom.
When my older boys were younger, and I worked a job that barely met the financial obligation for the cost of daycare for two kids, it made sense for me to stay home. There was no point in me spending 8 plus hours a day away from my own children just to barely pay for someone else to take care of them while working a job I never wanted to be a long term career. So, I stayed home during the day and went to school at night to complete my Bachelors degree. Again, when my youngest was born, I found myself in the same situation. For two years, I again became a stay at home mom. This is when I learned that I ultimately preferred to work outside of the home. There was a time when I was afraid to say that in the presence of others. People judge and many times, mothers judge each other the harshest. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that it’s okay. It’s okay for me to love to work and chose to do it rather than stay home with the kids. It’s okay for me to say, “I don’t want to do that, I want to do this instead.” And that doesn’t make me a bad mom.
Working Mom vs. Stay at Home Mom
Society teaches us that working moms sacrifice for their family and SAHM’s don’t. The truth is we both do. Every single mom makes a choice. She is sacrificing something for the greater good of her family. While I wanted to be there to see everything happen in my child’s life in real time, I wasn’t truly happy. I was not living my full potential in what I believe to be God’s calling on in my life. Yet, still it seemed like no matter how I said it, it sounded equally as terrible. But, if I’m not happy, what good am I to anyone else? You can’t pour into others if your bucket is always empty. My career, it fills my bucket. Being in professional environments, networking, creating opportunities for others through my career, fills my bucket. When I operate from a place of fullness, my family gets the best of me. That is what matters most.
We are not against each other, the working mom and the stay at home mom. We are different and that is okay. I crafted, loved, played games, taught lessons, took them on “field trips.” You name it, I did it as a stay at home mom. Yet, I still felt unfulfilled. Being a mom who chooses to work doesn’t make you a bad mom. It makes you honest, true to yourself, and your best self for your family.
To be truly successful in life is to realize your full potential, then use it to the benefit of others. Whether it is by working (because contrary to what it sounds like, it is work) as a stay at home mom, or working outside of the home, both are for the benefit of your family.