Monday, January 23, 2012

A shout out to working moms

I watched an old episode of Dr. Phil recently on the "mommy wars." Working moms (or "work outside the home" moms") versus stay-at-home moms. The debate got pretty heated on both sides.

Stay-at-home moms claiming they are doing the best thing for their families by raising their children at home and being there for their kids "full time", keeping their kids out of daycare where they are raised by someone else, tending to the household duties, and making whatever sacrifices they have to in order to live off of one income.

Working moms claiming they are doing the best for their families and themselves by providing a second income for their family, raising thriving children by sending them to educational, social and loving childcare environments, being a better mom because they are taking care of themselves by having a career and a "life" outside of the home.

I am a full-time stay-at-home mom. By choice. I quit my job as a litigator when my oldest daughter, now 4 1/2 years old, was only 4 months old. I had the daycare for my daughter all lined up. The deposit was paid. But, my husband is also a litigator and, at the time, it just wasn't workable to me to have both of us keeping the work schedules that our job required. There were trials, depositions, client emergencies, and last-minute briefs due. This type of work life does not lend itself well to the standard "drop off and pick up" from daycare schedule. Plus, I really just wanted to be there with my kid all day. So, with the 110% full support of my awesome husband, I quit my job and have been home ever since.

I now have a kid in preschool so our days aren't quite as lazy as they used to be, but for the most part, the kids and I lead a fairly laid-back life with few stressors. We have preschool drop off three mornings a week, but otherwise we are not rushing out or getting up early in the mornings. We eat lunch at home when we want to. The kids have a fairly routine schedule throughout the day consisting of meals, naps, play, books, errands and TV time. When they go to bed, I don't have too much else to do other than pay the occasional bill or clean up the kitchen and living room. It's a good life that fits us well.

And to you working moms, let me say that you are AMAZING. You make it all work. You have to stick to stricter schedules and be more organized than I could ever be. You get everyone ready and out the door on time. You get yourself to work on time and do an amazing job there. You come home and switch gears into "mommy mode" and tend to the needs of your family. And then, when everyone is in bed, you likely have some work from the office you need to finish or start getting things ready and organized for the next day. I can only imagine that there are many times when you are at work thinking of your family and are at home thinking of work. You have a lot going on and you make it work. It works for you. It works for your family.

I often get stuck in a rut of feeling sorry for myself..."stuck at home" all day with the little ones. The only adult conversation I get is with the cashier ar Target. A daily shower is not a given. But really, I have it easy. Yes, I work very hard all day long. I am proud to say that I have never sat on the couch and ate a single Bon-Bon. :-). But I don't have to drop off a preschooler, a toddler and an infant at daycare each day while juggling my previous 60-70 hour per week career. I won't have to figure out how to leave work in order to pick up a sick child from school. I can go to Target on a Wednesday morning in order to avoid weekend errands.

But let me say this: I praise every single working mom out there. I do not judge you or think you, for whatever reason, are doing wrong by your family for having a job outside of the home. I do not judge you for having your kids attend daycare or having a nanny come into your home to watch your kids. In fact, I think you must have super-strength and super organizational skills. Not only are you able to get yourself ready in the morning, but you also manage to wake up, feed and clothe your children. You manage to get your things in order for the day as well as getting backpacks, coats, homework, lunches and mittens ready for your little ones. Many of you do this while wearing a nice suit and a pair of heels. You figure out who stays home with the sick kid and how to stay in touch with work while doing so. You get everything done, and then some. God bless you for that.

There should never be any type of "war" between moms. We are mommies, first and foremost. Let's support each other and help each other. Stay-at-home moms: please don't think your neighbor is "getting off easy" when she drives her two girls to daycare each morning. Working moms: please don't think that stay-at-home moms do nothing all day but change diapers, watch Days of our Lives, and post pictures of our kids on Facebook. We all are strong, wonderful women trying to raise strong, wonderful children. Let's do it together.

That being said, I am grateful for my "job" as a stay-at-home mom. It works for me. And right now, I wouldn't have it any other way. Hooray for moms everywhere!

This post is linked to Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers.


  1. Wow, what an amazing, touching post! As a teacher, I get to experience a little bit of both worlds because I'm blessed to have summers off with my kids. Unfortunately, being a working mom is the ONLY decision that works for our family but I really wish it didn't have to be. It breaks my heart a little bit every day going to work and leaving my kids in someone else's care. Thanks for putting it into perspective!

  2. Thanks! It was a difficult post to write because I knew what I wanted to say but didn't quite know how to word it. And many thanks to you for having TWO of the most important jobs in the world: a mother AND a teacher!

  3. Nicely said, sis! Everyone's life is different and there are good and bad points to each choice. Hats off to ALL moms!! Being a "mom" is the hardest job in the world. (Even though we have to let the dads THINK they have it the roughest ... LOL).