Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Myth of the Stay At Home Mom

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?

17 comments:

  1. I LOVE this post!! My mom worked full time until I was 6 and my sister was 2 and after that she kept a part time job that she even went as far to call her "mental health job". I always respected her for that, some women love to be stay at home moms and are able to meet their creative\social needs in that realm and some women need a creative\social outlet through work, to me it's just a personality difference like an introvert and extrovert. I've had even more insight with this working as a nanny, there are days where I never want to leave the job and there are days where I'm uber isolated and think I've forgotten how to talk to grown ups. I personally plan on working when I have children, but would love for it to be part time so that I can spend time doing the most precious thing, being with my kids, which I think whether you choose to work or stay at home is still the best part of your day!

    Continue to march to the beat of your own drum!! You inspire when you do!! :)

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  2. A happy Mum is the best you can give your son, so do not feel bad because of going back to work.
    In my country people often are looking down at Mums who "only" stay at home, and do not make any money... I can often feel that, but my husband does not think that way, and want me to do what makes me most happy.

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  3. Oh how I can relate. I am an at home mom now, primarily because I cannot find a job. I stupidly quit my job when my VP took me in a conference room and pretty much said...no more kids. I was besides my self. I just had my 2nd child in 3 years. All while working at this company. So I quit. Its stressful. But I MISS being active, a manager, and getting out of the house regularly! Having one income without unemployment has created a burden on my hubby, but we have a great relationship, I just wish I could go back to work! My youngest is now 2...I think its safe to find a sitter....they are old enough to understand mommy needs to work too. I would probably be a better mom with more income, a chance to miss them more, and I certainly am at my best - with diversity, adult talk, finding good reason to shower and get dressed....and use this creative mind I have for more than just coloring! :-)

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  4. New follower. Check out my blog at captivatingandcomical.blogspot.com

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  5. Stopping by from the Getting to Know You Weekend Blog Hop! http://queenofsavings.com

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  6. i worked up until my 6th baby was 2 yrs old... then I couldn't work anymore..too much stuff going on at home and it wasn't fair to my coworkers...but now I am a SHAM...my kids are older but I am still always on call for random things at unpredictable moments....but in between that I have book club, the gym, breakfast with my friends, Bible study etc.....I am loving my life now!!

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  7. Stopping by from Getting to Know You blog hop.... great post! You don't see many of these now-a-days.
    I am a SAHM and love it. I do occasionally do mystery shopping and that helps me keep my sanity. I also coupon and I leave the kids with hubs when I go out shopping. We all have out thing that we do to stay sane!
    CJR @ TMB

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  8. I really liked your blog, so tired of just blogs that talk about products. I like blogs that are real, and tell it like it is. I am a lot older than you so let me tell you I've done it all, stay home, worked and now work from home. There's good and bad with all three. You have to do whats best for you and not worry what anyone else thinks--frankly kids need you around more in the preteen and teen years than as babies. Do what feels right for you and baby will be happy too! Just MY opinion. I found you though Clumsy Coquette, I'm diffently going to follow you! If you want to follow me read my blogs and see if their right for you http://bridgetsdaughter5.blogspot.com and http://inmygarden-daisy.blogspot.com

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  9. great post, i am a stay at home mom of 2 (with a 3rd on the way) and i love it but i think it is the absolute hardest job i have ever had. with my first i went back to work once she turned 1 year old and worked for several years then with my second my husband and i wanted me to stay home with the kids, and now I'm pregnant with #3 and have not "worked" for 3 years. i long for adult interaction but at the same time i love my children and it important to me that i be here for them while their so small.

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  10. I have the best of both worlds. Off all week and working only on the weekends, there were no firsts missed with any kid and I don't get to miss any of the routine mommy stuff all week. On the weekends I get to leave my house and be with grown ups and have real conversation and I don' have to intervene in arguments or disagreements. No one calls me mom. Either lifestyle choice has is advantages.

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  11. I went through the exact same thing, but in a little bit different fashion. I always swore I'd stay at home when I had kids, but while it was hard to go back to work after my maternity leave (I didn't have the option to stay home, because we needed my income), I was secretly a bit excited too. You mean I can grab a cup of coffee whenever I want? I can go to the bathroom the minute I have to?

    Then when my daughter was almost 2, I got laid off from work. For almost 4 long months I was home. Don't get me wrong, like you, I love my daughter with all my heart. However, I too need the adult interaction. That was a pretty cold and snowy Winter and I just remember how trapped I felt. Plus, a child at that age can be very needy. She was going through a growth spurt, so it was nonstop eating, amongst other things. LOL I often found I wouldn't even have a chance to eat until 2 p.m., let alone shower. It was in those 4 months that I gain enormous amounts of respect for the Stay at Home Mom. It is without a doubt the hardest job there is. You don't get time off, you are always on the clock. It doesn't feel that way when you break the day up with a job.

    Just this past January I got laid off again and have been off for the all of February. I don't know what's different this time around, but it is a lot easier. Maybe it's because my daughter is almost 5 and she's more self sufficient or the fact that she's in pre-school 3 mornings a week or the fact that I HATED the job I got laid off from. LOL It could also be that I've been interviewing like mad and will likely already be back at work next week since I got 2 job offers yesterday. Who knows? Point is it does seem a bit easier this time around. However, I still crave the satisfaction of going to work and coming home. Like you said, I guess it just depends on the woman.

    Sorry for babbling, but this is a really great topic!

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    Replies
    1. P.S. Thanks for stopping by and linking up to the GtKY blog hop! :)

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  12. Great post!! I'm a stay at home mom and some days I love it and others I really miss having a job outside of the home. I can only stand hearing "Mooommmmm!" so many times in one day, lol. I do think that sometimes it would be nice to go back to work and if it wasn't for blogging I probably would have gone back by now. :p

    By the way, thank you for stopping by Random Deals. I'm a follower! Have a great day!

    ~ Tonya

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  13. Love your post! I'm your new follower on Linky. I'd love if you follow me back :D

    Thanks
    Witha @ http://withapinkie.blogspot.com

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  14. I have been both. A working mom for the first 5 and 7 years of my kids life and then a stay at home mom for the last 7years. I am getting ready to re-enter the work force once again. My husband is encouraging me to go back to school and has asked me to return to work.

    I absolutely detest mom's who judge other mom's. We are all different and have different personalities. It's okay to be a working mom! Don't let others bother you with your decision which was best for you!

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  15. I have 6 kids...the oldest 21 and the youngest 6. I have mostly been a full time working mom. I tried to be a SAHM when my youngest was 3. After 9 months, I felt like you - a need to work, a need for adult interaction, a need for something for myself. I wasn't very good at being a SAHM either - the house was always a mess, the laundry never done, the kids in less activities. Seemed like the more time I had to get things done, the less I did.

    Now I am a SAHM again because I am sick. I've been off work for nearly a year now. While I miss the adult conversation, I am actually enjoying being home more this time around. But I did do things differently this time. My kids are in tons of activities, I volunteer at the school once a week, I'm a cub scout den leader...and my kids are all in school all day long.

    Thanks for linking up with the Getting to Know you hop!

    Christina
    Spilled Milkshake
    Club-Content

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  16. Great post, and good for you for finding the right fit for your family. I can't say I'm the best SAHM in the world, but I certainly prefer it to working outside the home. Having something to keep me busy, other than housework, makes all the difference in the world. Sharing this post...

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