STAY AT HOME VS WORKING MOM
The forever debate continues. Which one is better? Staying home with the kiddos or working full time? Which one is harder? What is best for my family…my kids?
Well, I have done both. After I had my first born, I went back to teaching full time. I was also finishing up my masters at the time and let me tell you… it was a good thing I was in my 20’s! I didn’t know whether to wind my ass or scratch my watch. But I did it. It took a village, but we survived! I can honestly say my son has no recollection of that time in his life (thank goodness!) and he is still a Mama’s boy!
When I found out I was pregnant with my second child, we decided to take a leap of faith: I would quit my job and stay home once she was born. It just made sense. We had two kids in diapers, and I was on a teacher’s salary; so it just made sense to save the daycare costs and stay home. Let me tell you, those days are a blur. I loved being home with my kids, don’t get me wrong. I look back and wish I would have held on a little tighter to those days. Today I question what many Mom’s are afraid to admit: I don’t know if I was my best me in those years. Staying home and being a full time Mom/ house wife… it was some of my toughest years. I struggled with happiness.
Here’s my answer to the life long debate of Stay home vs. working Mom…. They are both the hardest things I have ever done. The many hats you wear as a Mom are impossible to juggle, and being home full time is just as much a job as going into an office every day. BUT here is the secret I discovered years down the road…. You have to do what makes you… your best you. No guilt. No regret. No shame.
You see, a happy Mommy is a happy home, and if working makes you a better you, by all means, do it! Do it well! Show your kids what it means to help provide for a family and work hard. It’s quality time, not quantity. If staying home is where your heart is, then do that! I know for some, financially it gets tricky, but if you can make it work, do it! The finer things in life can wait. (Now if you need to work to pay electricity bills, please do that!).
As Mom’s, we spend a lot of energy worrying if we are doing this whole Mommy thing right. If we are working, we feel guilty about not being home; if we are home, we are so worn out and spent, we sometimes lose ourselves and have little to give. Bottom line is, no matter how we choose to spend our days “Mothering”…. whether it’s hours on end in the office, or day after day at home; ask yourself this: Am I happy? Am I the best me I can be?
Your kids will remember your smile. They will never forget the days you put down the laundry and played a game with them. They will look back fondly on the giggles and the Mama bear hugs. Don’t gauge your success as Mom on whether you work or stay home…. Be present. Be your best you. No guilt.
Your children will remember that.
To contact Angie, learn more about her non-profit OAK, or read all of her contributing posts for Every Mom’s Story, check out her page here: ANGIE KNIGHT >>2