Friday, February 4, 2011

Mother's Debate

Can someone please tell me--Why can't working moms and stay-at-home moms just get along? I've been on both sides of the fence and believe there are pros and cons to each (at least for me). But at the end of the day...(you might want to sit down for this)'s a personal choice with NO right or wrong answer. I don't care what Homemaker Hailey, Part-time Penny or CEO Sally does. They don't live my life, nor do I live theirs.
Let's think about this from a hypothetical point of view, and assume the children are all healthy and happy:
Scenario 1--CEO Sally works 60 hours a week at a corporate job she loves. Her family benefits from her generous salary and the kids look forward to their yearly vacation. They don't always sit down for meals, but relish the time they have together. Sally was recently promoted, which means her children's college tuition is paid for, eliminating one worry she has.
Scenario 2--Part-time Penny works 20 hours a week at a local gift shop. She has to work some holidays, but is able to spend most of her free time with her family. The extra income she brings in helps fund the kids' extra curricular activities and she loves her co-workers. The social aspect keeps her happy.
Scenario 3--Homemaker Hailey takes great pride in keeping her home and family tended, and never misses a sporting event. They've had to sacrifice financially to make it happen, but she loves the extra time with her kids and doesn't miss working outside of the home. Her kids love having her available when they need her.

Each of the above scenarios has benefits and drawbacks. Sally, Penny and Haley all love their children and do what they think is best for their families. You cannot compare one family to another. Each has different goals, personalities and dynamics. The bottom line is there is NO perfect formula for raising healthy, happy children. I would never presume to know what's best for another family or mother. Nor do I really care. If their kids are healthy and happy, they've found what works for them. Also, circumstances change. Life happens and sometimes, you have to quit work or go back into the workforce.

Please shelve the judgement. Nobody creates guilt better than a mother. Trust me, we don't need any help in that area. What we do need is support from one another. And respect. Respect that we are wise enough to know our family's needs and live our lives accordingly. Most of the moms I know do that to the best of their ability and it's wonderful to see!

For the record, any mother who follows her dreams (regardless of whether that's opening a spa, homeschooling her child, moving to a hobby farm in Pennsylvania, or going to medical school) is a mother who's doing what she feels is best. Not at the expense of her children, but by providing a strong role model for her children. I've never wanted anything but to follow my dreams, and prove to my children that they can too. You're welcome to disagree with my methods. Because, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."

To all the moms who are doing the best they can, I applaud you. Someday you'll watch your children making the same decisions (with potentially different outcomes) and you can smile, knowing you raised them and can be proud of who they've become. In the meantime, let's acknowledge the challenge of being a mother. It's the hardest job in the world. And the most rewarding. I think that's something we can all agree on.

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