As long as I’ve been a mom, I’ve been a working mom. The only times I’ve had the privilege of being a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) is during my summers while I’m not teaching. Lately, there’s been a buzz about being a SAHM vs. a Working Mom across social media. People are blogging about it, tweeting about it, posting and reposting about it on Facebook. The Huffington Post has posted articles about the supposed “war” between SAHMs and Working Moms and scientists and social scientists alike are doing studies about the effects of a mother’s career on their children’s future. It’s definitely a hot topic right now.
Like I said above, I’ve always worked. When my husband and I married, we decided that one of us would always stay home with our kids. I always thought it’d be me, but when I became pregnant with our first and I had a steady teaching job, it was only wise for my husband to stay home instead of me. It was definitely difficult returning to work after only 2 months, but I really loved my work and enjoyed being there. So often I felt guilty for wanting to return to work. I guess working moms will always experience some sort of guilt…being away from our kids is never an easy choice. I just felt really lucky to have a husband that was ok with being a SAHD.
Since having our second daughter in March, I’ve been off of work and I’ve really fallen in love with being home with my girls. I never thought I would enjoy it this much. I’ve seriously thought about not returning to work several times and we’ve even tried figuring out if it would be possible. When discussions are done and we’ve looked over our budget, we always come to the same conclusion…I will return to work.
Here are my main reasons why I’m choosing to stay a Working Mom:
1. Job Stability. I hold the most stable job right now. As far as income and medical insurance goes, my job provides the most stability for our family. In this economy, stability is something that many people don’t have and we recognize how blessed we are.
2. My husband is an amazing stay-at-home-dad. Society is warming up to the idea of SAHDs, but it’s still far rarer than one would think. My husband can’t go to “toddler time” at the library without all the other mommies making a big deal about how cute it is that he’s there. I love that my daughter get to grow up with their Papi at home. Girls need a strong male role model in their lives and they have one that adores them to pieces.
3. I want to be an example to my daughters. I admire SAHMs. I think they are the unsung heroes of our society. I admire moms who choose to stay home even though they could choose to go into the workforce and be leading CEOs and politicians or teachers, or policewomen or doctors and professors or whatever they want. With this being said, my family is in a unique position that my daughters do have a father that can stay home and a mother that can go work. I want my daughters to know that they have choices. If they choose to get married and have kids, they can choose to stay home or work. I don’t want them to think they have to conform to society’s expectations whether it be by choosing a “female friendly” career or whatever. Our family tends to bend gender stereotypes when it comes to who is “supposed” to do what around the house and I want my daughters to do what they are passionate about regardless of what they’re “expected” to do. Besides, it’ll only benefit them in the future. Research shows that dads who do housework have more ambitious daughters.
4. Purpose. I work in schools that serve under-served youth. I see this as a mission and part of my purpose. Being able to do this work and be a mom is an honor. Some days I feel like I have 150 children and I want to pull my hair out, but most of the time I just feel incredibly blessed.
So, for now, I’ll continue to work, and quite honestly, I think I always will. That’s one reason I’ve decided to be a career teacher instead of an administrator…I want to spend summers with my family. I admire mothers who make the hard decision to stay home and mothers who make the hard decision to work. The choice is never easy. We just need to make sure we cherish every precious moment, no matter what our profession be.
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