To work or to stay home? This question comes up every time that pregnancy test turns blue or comes up positive and it’s a topic which gets a lot of coverage as women attempt to assess whether or not they are making the “right” choice.
To work or to stay home? I don’t know, why don’t you tell me.
When it comes to this issue there are so many pieces to the proverbial puzzle which are specific to the individual and the families needs. On this topic, like most parenting issues, there is no “right” or “wrong,” there just “is.” Trouble begins when a women pondering this question puts it out to the world as; to work or not to work? This generalization invites all sorts of advice, judgment, criticism and arguing between other moms who have made that very decision for themselves and their families and this post was inspired by that very situation.
When deciding what to do the most important aspect are the intricacies of your own personal situation and not what anyone else thinks or has done before you and the debate over which is harder is futile. Being a working mom is hard. Being a stay at home mom is hard. No one is getting a prize at the end for enduring the most suffering so with that being said why not focus on the positives of each situation.
To work or to stay at home? I have been a stay at home mom for roughly three years now as I was put on disability midway through my first pregnancy. I love my boys and the time I am able to spend with them and the things I am able to do with them each and every day but boy would I love to work again, to have an identity other than Mom. I would love to be able to make use of the skills I gained through my education in an industry. I would also love to have conversations which do not revolve around poop; when did he poop, how much did he poop, what was in his poop, how frequently did he poop, at what time did he poop? One can only take so much poop talk in a lifetime!
To work or to stay home? There are a few issues within this topic that are important to address; one is that we are not all equal in this country. We are capitalist and not communist. So that problems such as who will watch the kids, a family member for free or a facility at a steep price, play an important part of the decision making process. In turn, how far along are you in your career? Can you afford for daycare with your salary and still make working a financial benefit? Can you afford the extra costs that come with being a professional woman? Hair cuts and color, clothing, shoes and accessories simply cost more for a woman. Does your job offer you things such as health care for you and your kids which you would not otherwise have since universal health care is a socialist ideal we are not willing to provide? These questions are just the tip of the iceberg because there is an entire emotional side to this coin.
To work or to stay home? It seems that most decision we will make as parents come with an aspect of guilt. Either your not able to afford the things you want for your kids or your not able to be readily at your children’s side during events in their lives, ect, ect… the run around can be dizzying and what all moms need I believe is support. Whether or not you work or you stay home you are not making the “right” choice or the “wrong” choice you are simply doing the best that you can for your families specific situation. It is a difficult decision just like the hundreds of other decisions you will be faced with as a parent. The hard part is finding the confidence in those decisions and to not let yourself get caught up in what other people have chosen for themselves and their families.
To work or to stay home? Only you have that answer.
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