The other day I was on Facebook and someone had shared a status that apparently a ton of other people had liked. It was really long and said something about stay at home moms becoming Stepford freaks because of Pinterest, how they craft and bake, make their own baby food and while she got it right at the end when she talked about raising our kids to love God, etc. the truth was she was feeling guilty about her choice so she needed to defend it. The friend who shared it was also feeling guilty about returning to work when her son was 10 weeks old. This whole defend-my-choice thing goes both ways, I have found. Working moms need to defend their choice and stay-at-home moms need to defend their choice and seemingly the best way to go about this is to criticize the other. Or at the very least make fun of them a little.
I do not feel the need to defend my choice, nor do I feel the need to criticize the choice of my fellow moms who decide to work. I don't want to work outside the home right now (other than my little coaching business which I do on my schedule). I want to stay at home with my daughter and raise her. Right now that consists of feeding her, changing her, enforcing a nap schedule, holding her, tickling her, reading to her, talking to her, bathing her... and let me just say I LOVE MY JOB! I have never had a job as fulfilling, fun-filled and where I not only believe in what I am doing, but I love every minute! Because I love what I am doing, I do not feel the need to defend it or criticize those moms who don't want to or can't stay at home with their kids.
My mom worked when I was little and I went to daycares and my grandma's house and had babysitters. Whether or not Mom had to work for money or just wanted to, I'm not sure. I don't think she saw staying with my sister and I as an option so she never did. As she watches my sister and I stay with our kids, she thinks maybe she would have liked it, but at the time it was just what she did. She worked. And you know what? My sister and I are fine, happy, healthy, well-adjusted people now. It worked for our family as I'm sure it does for many other families out there.
But here's the thing. I'm doing what I want to do. And I hope those moms who go to work after they have a baby are doing what they want to do, or at least doing the best they can with what they've got. If so, it works! As for me, I want to teach Eloise everything. I want to watch her grow day by day by day. I want to read to her and show her the world around her. I want to protect her from harm and enforce the daily schedule I think is best. I want to answer her cries and calm her tears. The point here is I want to do it. Me. Myself. The mom. And because I want to do it, I'm doing it. Is it a good thing? Yes it is. Is it better than working? That is a choice for each mom to decide, and I'm only deciding for myself. I made my choice and I like it.
I am not, however, the conquering hero of stay-at-home-momhood. While I absolutely love my job, it is not glamorous (although, have I mentioned how fun it is?). I wear my pj's a good bit of the time and when I'm not, I put on these green, sweatpants capri things from Sam's of all places. They look really good with my oversized sweatshirt and purple booties. I'm not sure how Jason goes to work with such a ravishing beauty at home. It is okay, though, because Eloise still smiles at me as if I am the greatest thing ever. I don't have my nails done or highlights in my hair. I certainly don't know how to craft anything or make cake pops even if it is spelled out for me on Pinterest. The meals I cook for Jason and I are healthy but super simple, and a lot of the time Jason comes home and helps me prepare it. He also helps me make Eloise's baby food so that I have plenty for the week. We tag-team most bigger household chores and my mom still comes at least once a week to play with Eloise while I do a few of the more time consuming ones.
It works for us. I love my job. I love this life God has given me and I try to thank Him every day for it all, remaining grateful and humble throughout.
The point I'm trying to make in my long-winded way is that we should cut our fellow moms some slack. Let's embrace our choices for what they are. Ours. I think if we accept ourselves and our choices, especially if we know we are doing the best we can and doing what's right, we won't need to criticize the choices of others in order to make ourselves feel better. Let's just agree moms are awesome and leave it at that.