From a mother who has done both
I’ve been very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to stay at home with my kids over the past summer. I am also very blessed to have been on a full-year’s maternity leave twice. I’ve enjoyed my time away from the office and staying at home with the kids. It was nice to wake up and hang out in my pyjamas for a while and to spend some quality time with the kids. But needless to say, it was pretty exhausting. There’s this huge misconception that staying at home is a paid vacation and the bottom line, it isn’t.
As much as I enjoyed my time off, there were times that I felt like that meme you see on Instagram- you are the chef, event coordinator, cleaner, driver, nurse and so on and so fourth. It’s exhausting! Staying at home takes a lot out of you and sometimes you are left wondering if going to work would be a break in of itself. I definitely drank my coffee cold most days!
When I returned to work, I was briefly excited to “dress up” and to put some make-up on. I finally got to enjoy my coffee warm. I was excited to be around some adults and to have some intellectual stimulation. Then the guilt started to sink in….I felt guilty knowing my youngest would be going to daycare and that someone else would be looking after him during the daytime. I felt guilty knowing that I would be missing some field trips with my oldest as I couldn’t take a lot of time off. I then started to experience some anxiety knowing that I had to manage being a mother all while having a career. Did I mention all the other things I have to do?!
It’s hard isn’t it? This motherhood thing?
But what I came to realize is that motherhood is hard, regardless if you work or stay at home. I started to come to the conclusion that it’s all about perspective. The bottom line is…..regardless if you are a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, it’s tough. There is no easy way out. Motherhood isn’t easy and that’s the truth, whether you are a working mom or a stay-at-home mom. I don’t think working moms have it easier than stay-at-home moms and vice-versa. They both come with their challenges and rewards. Ultimately, you have to do what’s best for you and your family. In some families, the mother is the breadwinner and she needs to return to that job and for other families its just not financially worth it for the mother to go back to work for a while….and that is okay!
What I realized that is that what works for one family, does not work for another. We need to end this “working mom versus stay-at-home mom” debate once and for all, because doing what is best for your family takes precedence and that varies for everyone.
Photocred: Yellow Pear Studio