You’ve heard the arguments, and maybe even been involved in a few yourself. You know the type: “Staying at home with your kids is better!” “I can give my children a better life by working outside the home!” “You’re neglecting your children!”
Now, it seems like no matter what we do as parents, people find a reason to tell you that you’re doing terrible things to your children, that they won’t grow up healthy, social… you know the drill. But what we all need to face is that there are different circumstances for every family.
I don’t know of any stay at home mom who condemns a single mother for working outside the home; after all, she has little choice in most cases. However, it is not uncommon to hear a married, working mother criticized for “leaving the upbringing of her children to others,” by sending them to daycare.
My perspective on the matter is that not all mothers are suited for the stay at home life. Being an at-home parent is not an easy thing, even if you don’t have a home job or business.
When you want to criticize another mother for not staying home with her children, remind yourself that a happy parent is far better for children than an unhappy one. If someone would be miserable staying at home, even with a job, even if they could telecommute from their current job, keeping all benefits, that is not a fault. It can be an honest assessment of their own interest and abilities.
No doubt you’ve faced criticism for being a stay at home parent. If you have a home business, people say you’ll never make money doing that. If you don’t have a work at home job or business, then they say you’re lazy. We all know that isn’t true. The hard part is defending yourself without attacking the other mother’s choices. The simplest answer you can give is that you have the privilege to be there at all times for your children.
Many of these problems between working outside the home and stay at home mothers come in some sense from envy. How often do working moms wish for more time with their families? How often do stay at home moms wish their skills would be acknowledged? It’s easy to idealize what the other person has.
Remember, the best thing you can do for your family, whether you stay at home or work outside the home, is to maintain a balance that is healthy for your family. Moms who work outside the home need to commit much of their off-work time to their families, while stay at home moms need to remember to take care of themselves as well as their families. There is nothing inherently wrong with either decision. It’s time to stop giving each other guilt trips.
Did You Watch Oprah Today?
A blog post after watching an episode of Oprah talking about working moms versus stay at home moms.
Are SAHMs and WAHMs Underemployed?
With all the negative stereotypes, choosing to be at home with your family can be pretty tough. But should you be considered underemployed?
Staying home costs too much!
The cost of going down to one income keeps many women from choosing to stay home to raise their families. It may not cost what you think.
Copyright © 2003-2019 Stephanie Foster unless otherwise indicated
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