There’s a heated debate in the world of Motherhood that just doesn’t seem to sizzle down… the battle of the SAHM vs. Working mom.
I was a stay-at-home mother for the first two years of my daughter’s life. It was around that time that my husband and I felt as though she was ready for daycare. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to stay home while she was in school though and I was okay with it. I knew how lucky I was to have stayed home with my daughter for more than the first six weeks or three months of her life. Our family made a lot of sacrifices to make it work but it was well worth it. It was time for me to find a job. After just a few months, I did. My first day of work was my daughter’s first day of daycare. I was excited to start something new that would allow me to focus on my professional growth and development. Just like with any transition in life, however; it takes time to adjust to change. Seeing how much my daughter was learning and growing in daycare shook off a little bit of the mom guilt I felt then. I was also learning and growing in the workplace. I continued to work in an office setting until my daughter was seven years old and I was about seven months pregnant with my second child, my son. That’s when I started working from home. I’ve been a 9-5 work-from-home mom ever since.
To stay at home or work away from home?
What’s in a title? My titles have changed so many times throughout my ten years of motherhood yet not once I have ever stopped working. Regardless of one’s setting, schedule, and paycheck or lack of— mother’s work. Here’s something about stay-at-home AND working mothers that we all might be able to relate to…choosing the route we take after we become mothers isn’t always easy. Most of the time we’re faced with making a decision based on our needs versus what we actually want for ourselves and our families. The majority of the mothers that work for pay is usually because they are either the breadwinners or their family requires the additional financial contribution to get by. For many women, it makes more sense for them to leave their jobs behind because their paycheck doesn’t cover childcare expenses. There are so many reasons as to why mothers choose or end up where they are. It’s easy to assume and judge based on the bits and pieces we see on other mom’s social media platforms but that doesn’t make it right. It’s always a much better idea to just be kind. Kindness, that’s exactly what mothers need more of. Whether it’s to be more kind to ourselves when it comes to the paths we take or be kind to other moms throughout their journey too.
We as women should empower one another because while some hide it better than others at some point or another we feel guilty about staying home and/or working away from home. There may even be days we secretly wish we were doing the opposite. That’s okay too! Sacrifices are made and not just by the mothers but by fathers and in many families, grandparents, and other relatives too. It really does take a village to raise a child. Perhaps we don’t think of other women as part of our village but they can be even if it’s to offer emotional support. The happier we feel the better parents we can be.
While the jobs we do and our day-to-day varies from one woman to the next we actually have way more in common than we think. If you put the titles and labels to the side and ask your moms friends what their day is like or how they really feel you’ll quickly learn that each and every mother has hurdles to jump over. There are pros and cons to every position and phase in life. It’s all about how you perceive it that changes the rhythm of your day and sets the tone for your life.
In a perfect world, a mother would not have to make the decision, if she didn’t want to, to enroll her three-week or six-month newborn (the earliest a baby may be enrolled in a daycare in the U.S) to go back to work. I believe that a postpartum mother is not mentally, emotionally, nor physically recovered so soon. Both mothers and fathers should be granted more time to adjust to their new roles as parents. Nonetheless, because we are strong we always find a way to make things happen. Regardless of your current position in motherhood or life in general, remember this…you put in the work and you certainly make a difference!
Stay-at-home mother vs. Working mother…each role has its ups and downs. The best way to get through our journey with a happy heart is to focus on the NOW and all the good that surrounds us. As the saying goes, “Each day may not be good, but there’s good in every day.”
MOTHERHOOD is the best job in the world…whether it’s from home or not!