For much of my adult life I lived under the assumption that being a stay at home mom was the ultimate goal. This was probably because my mom, my grandma, and a good majority of ladies at my church all raved about the joys of being a stay at home mom. One woman even went as far as to tell me her life finally had purpose once she became a stay at home mom. With all these amazing experiences others were sharing with me my active imagination dreamed up a vision of what I'd be like as a stay at home mom. Surely I'd be glowing with happiness as I changed dirty diapers, cooked meals, and did the laundry. Everything would be perfect!
I had the opportunity to become one of those ladies a few months ago. That coveted role was all mine for the taking...but funny thing is, it turns out I'm not really the stay at home kinda gal. It became pretty clear within the first couple weeks of motherhood that I would feel trapped and isolated if I stayed at home. I didn't anticipate missing my job so much...and although I love my son dearly, I really longed for adult and professional communication. Not only that but I am in a fashion based and highly creative field...this could not be further from changing diapers.
Now again, I'd like to stress that I love my son dearly. I absolutely adore spending time with him. But I do know that I need to be at least a part time job holder to remain a happy and whole individual. It is all part of my ongoing self discovery. I like my mommy time, but I also like my professional/personal time.
It was funny when I told the typical suburbia types I am associated with that I was going back to work. I was peppered with questions on how I was dealing with that. The sympathetic look plastered across the face of these housewives said it all. I am different. I am not them and they are not me. And you know what? That's ok!
I think it is important to remember that every mom has their own personal "best". Some women are at their best when they work full time, some are at their best working part time, and still others are best staying home and caring for the children. It is crucial that we realize that what works for us may be different then what works for others. It is key to respect one another and not try to fit every mother into the mold we create.
I'll admit, at first I almost felt guilty saying I liked getting out of the house and back to work. Now I am proud of myself for doing what I know is right for me and for my family. I've never been one to do something just because everyone else is...so I continue through motherhood just as I have through life, marching to the beat of my own drum.
I'd love to hear from you. Are you (or do you plan to be) a working mom or a stay at home mom? What do you find are the advantages and disadvantages of your choice?