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Whatever your choice, you're a hard-working mom!

Grab a cup!(Pic: Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
The hardest choice I ever made was deciding to become a stay-at-home mother. Going by my past life as an ambitious career girl, I never envisioned staying at home, because domesticity isn't a trait I think I have! I made the decision when I was expecting, but even then I had thought that I would only stay home for a year or so before getting back to work. But the decision only seemed hard before Little Dude was born. Once he came into my life, I have never looked back in regret. Yes, I had a wonderful professional life and I achieved more than I expected to, but never had I experienced the level of satisfaction I got from bringing up my child.

This is my choice and I am happy with it, but I've never felt a twinge of resentment towards working mothers. If anything, I admire them for taking up the challenge to maintain both their careers and their homes. Which is why, I don't understand why many online and print publications for parents seem to encourage a war between the two factions. I'm not linking to any articles because I'm sure you've seen enough of those - some tell you that you cannot 'have it all', while others tell you to 'go for everything'. As always, there are some extreme reactions from readers. I don't know how we got here. Do we debate endlessly about what we choose to study in college or where we choose to live? So why argue about what we decide to do after having children?

Most importantly, we have to stop thinking of ourselves as different camps. Whether we are working out of home or staying in, we are still mothers. We are on the same side, and we have the same goal - to give the best upbringing to our children. As long as our children are receiving the care and nurture they need, there is no saying what is right or wrong. We need to end that debate right now!

I know that working moms spend every minute of their free time worrying about what their kids are eating or doing. I know that they go an extra mile to ensure that the kids are happy. Some choose to work out of necessity and some because being at home all the time just doesn't work for them. It doesn't mean that they are any lesser than other mothers. They know how hard they are working and having to hear that they are not doing the 'right thing' must be very distressing.

I know that stay-at-home moms spend every waking minute making the lives of their families comfortable, sometimes to the extent that they forget about themselves. They dedicate themselves to what they do, but they are often made to feel that they are lesser than other women because they are not 'doing enough' with their lives. Nothing can be far from the truth, and it hurts to hear such comments.

Moms who work from home or part-home can have the best of both worlds, but again, it doesn't make things easier. Bottom line is - being a mother is hard work, whatever your choice.

I want to promise myself that I'll never judge a mom based on whether she chooses to work out of home or not. I invite every mom to grab that 'best mom' mug and celebrate herself with a cup of coffee, tea or wine!

Care to join me in this pledge?

This post has been linked to Finish The Sentence Friday and Post Comment Love.
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36 comments

Kim Carberry said...

I never judge someone on whether they go out to work or not....I think it's just a case of stay at home mums work just as much as working mothers...It's just a different type of work!

Tarana Khan said...

Absolutely, that's what we need to remember. Thanks for stopping by!

RACHEL TaoOfPoop said...

I love this post, Tarana! I agree with everything you have said in it. It's like you are speaking my truth. Thank you!

Tarana Khan said...

Thank you, Rachel!

karen said...

great post babe...when I was laid off for a year and had to be at home with my son I hated it...only because we didn't have money to really do things or go places. I had so many people try to get me to admit that SAHM moms have it harder and I replied that unless you have done both you can't judge. They are BOTH hard, BOTH challenging, BOTH rewarding.

YOU ARE RIGHT we are all moms...we need to support each other and not criticize or judge.

Janine Huldie said...

Totally will join you and I also a stay at home mom, too. I wrote a bit about this today as well with FTSF and couldn't agree with you more on this. Thanks for sharing and also for linking up with us!!

Tarana Khan said...

Thank you, Karen. It's hard enough being a mother than having to deal with judgement about the choices we make.

Tarana Khan said...

Loved your post, Janine, and thank you for stopping by!

Jean said...

I went back to work 9 weeks after my first child was born and it was really difficult. I read in the Dr. Sears baby book that I should really try hard just to make the staying at home thing work because it's better for my child. That killed me. I felt huge heaps of guilt about going back to work (I already didn't want to leave my son and here a book was making me feel like if I just thought real hard about it, I could make it happen). I'm home now after three years of working and parenting and I still feel resentment that they included that part in their book.

Tarana Khan said...

Thanks for sharing that, Jean. It really is irresponsible on the part of influencers to make sweeping statements about what should or should not be done, especially about something that doesn't directly have an impact on the health and well-being of the child.

Kristi Campbell said...

I stayed at home for three years and then began to work part-time. Both are hard. The simple fact is that nobody can do it all. We're doing what we think is best for our kids and ourselves. No mother should ever be judged for her decision about whether to work or to stay home. Ever!

Chris Coyle said...

I'm with you that people need to get over this argument already! There are lousy stay-at-home parents and awesome stay-at-home parents, as there are also lousy and awesome working parents. It especially makes me furious when people give grief to a SAH parent because in so many instances, even if they wanted to work outside the home, whether part- or full-time, the cost of putting the kid(s) in daycare, etc. sucks up that income anyhow. #FTSF

Stephanie Sprenger said...

It has been so interesting reading how many of the people who linked up (moms, that is) have written about their decision to either work or stay home. I couldn't agree with you more- this should NOT be a war. We all have very different preferences, financial situations, comfort levels, and personalities- there is no one size fits all. Great post, and so happy you linked up!

Tarana Khan said...

Right, there's enough we're dealing with already!

Tarana Khan said...

Exactly, sometimes it doesn't even make sense from a financial point of view, and not everybody understands that.

Tarana Khan said...

Thank you, Stephanie!

Rakhi said...

Hi Tarana,
Just chanced upon your blog today, and the topic was something i could relate to. I had been a working mom,then a SAHM, and then back to working only to realize,my son needed me bad. I was having everything i had dreamt of, after 23 years of education ,quitting my dream job was heart breaking, but not when I saw the tears of my 5 month old,and the breast milk I expressed out at Office restroom left me crying,feeling guilty and selfish. I made a choice then to quit, I never got the same role, but stuck to teaching later on.But still I wasn't too happy with daycare , so I again quit.Now I am not sad, I may work again, if and only if...I can cater to my son's and hubby's needs. Choices are made by us, and there is never a bad/good mother. Every mother has her hardships and reasoning.The resultant path they follow, to be judged is belittling motherhood.
Loved the article

www.rakhii.com

Tarana Khan said...

Thank you, Rakhi, for sharing your story. We are bound to go through ups and downs with whatever choice we make. I've only been home for over 2 years. There's no telling how I'm going to feel a few years down the line!

Bonnie a.k.a. LadyBlogger said...

What a great post! I think everyone gets critical of the other because they are uncertain or unhappy with their own decisions.

Tarana Khan said...

I agree with that. Thanks for stopping by!

Mommy's Heart said...

We all fight our own battles- whatever your vocation, there are always hardships associated with each. Judging one of our own doesn't solve anything, it only creates problems where there was none before. Great take.

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

I agree!!!

Tarana Khan said...

Thanks Vinma!

Clare R said...

It riles me when people continue with "Oh, so you don't work?" after asking what I do. Yes, I do work - I do the best job on the planet! And I study in my spare time!

Great post!

itssmallsworld said...

I was talking with someone about this just this morning. I don't know why we do it to ourselves x

Kriss MacDonald said...

Well said. Agree completely that there should be no 'war' or divisions between mothers whether working or at home or by choice or not.
#pocolo

The Reading Residence said...

Great post, and couldn't agree with you more. We're all mothers, doing the best we can for our kids in the best way that we can manage - that's enough!

Mary @over40andamumtoone said...

I admire any working Mum - I have no idea how they juggle everything, I struggle with just Monkey.

Tarana Khan said...

Thank you, yes that is very irritating!

Tarana Khan said...

That's exactly my point!

Tarana Khan said...

Glad you agree!

Tarana Khan said...

Yes we are and that's all that counts.

Tarana Khan said...

That's what I feel too!

Victoria Welton said...

I think that whatever you decide to do, there is always going to be a discussion about SAHM versus career Mum and whatever you do there is no right or wrong, just what suits you. Thank you for linking to PoCoLo x

Grace @ Sandier Pastures said...

The term "working mom" is redundant. :)
But whatever we choose, it's for the best in our situation. Being a mom is already hard as it is, never mind always being judged. Moms should support moms, working or staying at home!

Tarana Khan said...

That's right, Grace. Enough pressure on us already!

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