“Mom Wars.” You have no idea how much I hate that term. It sounds like we moms have nothing better to do than to fight about who’s doing it right, stay at home or work outside the home moms.
I’ve never felt one was inherently superior to the other. There are advantages to each, and what’s right for your family may not be right for mine. But a lot of people forget that.
I’d like to discuss my own reasons for being a stay at home mom first.
1. I get to be with my kids.
For just about any stay at home mom, this one comes first. It’s fun to be there for everything, even if it gets exhausting at times. I have a son who loves to cling to me and a daughter who is quite independent. Both can drive me nuts and drain me some days, but I get to see it all.
2. I’m able to work from home.
This is an advantage that today’s stay at home moms have over their predecessors. It’s much, much easier to bring in an income from home than it used to be. You aren’t all but limited to daycare or direct sales anymore. Some work regular jobs, but telecommute. Others run online businesses. Others choose more traditional routes to earn money.
The balance is tough, but doable for me. Doesn’t work for everyone, though, and I know it.
So why would a mom choose to work outside the home?
1. The family needs the money.
We can argue all we want about what “needs the money” really means, and never do anything more than judge one another. I’m not going to go there because “needs” is something that can be very personally defined.
2. Mom loves her career.
Why would you leave a career you love? If you aren’t the kind of mom who would enjoy being with her kids all the time, a career provides a sense of balance in your life. Women today generally aren’t raised to expect to be at home all the time. We are raised with the expectation that we can do what we want with our lives and fulfill our own dreams.
Despite the many guilt trips others lay upon us.
And that’s the catch. No matter which road we choose, someone wants to judge us. Stay at home moms are called lazy. If they work from home it’s hard to be taken seriously (although things in that area are slowly improving for many!).
Moms who work outside the home are scolded for allowing someone else to raise their kids. They may be disadvantaged in their careers by the demands of motherhood.
It’s much better to admit that most of us are just trying to do the best we can with what we’ve got. Each decision means a sacrifice of something else, whether it be a change or delay in your career, a decrease in the family’s income or something else.
Sure, it’s sometimes hard to talk to a mom who made a different choice. Your lives can be very different. But odds are you both made the decisions you felt were the right ones. Argue about who’s the better mom and you’re just making life harder for each other.