Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Great Debate

I've been reading a blog lately that has been discussing the issues surrounding being either a stay-at-home-mom, or a working mother.

I am amazed at the various opinions on both side. And as I read the posts and comments, I can see the opinions from both sides. I like to consider myself a stay-at-home-mom, but then I dip my foot in the working-world pool as well. I work sometimes up to 12 hours a week, usually not more unless my husband is home to watch my daughter.

I don't think that my stay-at-home status is as difficult as many of my friend's because I only have one child and so am able to get a lot more done than perhaps they are. I'm not sure because I don't live their lives.

What I do know is that I enjoy working...some. Early on, I went back to work to have a little tiny bit of time away. Gradually I increased the time because I like my work and eventually came to depend on the income. Ending my association with working would be difficult.

However, what I've noticed is that on whatever side of the fence you sit, there is still a lot of defensive-ness about the decision that we've made. I have done it and I know a lot of women who also do it, whether they stay at home or work full-time. And I have a lot of friends who are SAHM and lots that work full-time. And since I stay home as well as work I can relate to both.

It's just interesting how heated the debate and defensive-ness can get when you're discussing motherhood, working, priorities, and other things that are so close to our hearts. Heaven forbid someone insinuate that we're not good mothers.

6 backward glances:

Rachel said...

The debate will continue as long as smart women have children.. having been on both sides very recently I'm grateful to be "home" and do enjoy my part time "job" at the school.
I have to admit, now that I am around my kids more and now that I see them at school and talk with their teachers daily I have come to realize how "out of it" I was as a working parent. I was CLUELESS when it came to what my kids were doing in school, and after school. Its just to hard to have your mind on a full time job and trying to keep your kids and all they have going on in your head too. Hats off to anyone that is doing both and feels like they have it all together. I thought I did, and now I know better.

Steve said...

My wife works full time and travels a lot for work, so during the week it's as often as not just me and the kids. But I couldn't ask for better kids, and my kids would be the first to tell you that they have the best mom ever. There's no perfect formula.

If you fret about whether you're a good mom... chances are you are one. The smug, self righteous mom's are the ones who take themselves more seriously than they do their children, whether they work 80 hours per week or stay at home all the time.

Amy said...

rachel: i'm glad you're happy and have found a place where you feel peace. that has to be where we all need to be - just somewhere that makes us feel like we're doing the very best we can. and you were very diplomatic about it.

steve: sounds like you've also found a formula that works well for your family. you're right, there is no one perfect answer that will suit everyone. it's nice that you have the opportunity to be with your kids a lot. i know my husband wishes he could do that too more.

The Napier Family said...

A mother is an amazing creature. She IS the life blood of any family. Its sad that we feel we must criticize each other's personal choice or necessary situation, because it is different from our own, or as Steve mentioned, we self righteous or think we are better.

Let's appreciate what each of us has to offer and how hard we each work, whether at home with our kids or away for a time.

Katie said...

All I know is each day I am realizing how fast these little ones grow up and I don't want to miss any of it. Having said that I feel it is important to self nurture as a mother weather it be by working, finding hobbies etc.

triz said...

People sometimes forget that some mothers i.e. single mothers such as myself, don't have the choice. I am a stay at home mum who works 2 jobs from home, at least I can be there for my son and earn my way. It isn't ideal but it works for us :-)