I really want to hear what you have to say about this post. Here’s my perspective–and I’d love for you to share yours in the comments.
As a full-time working mama, I have been asked numerous times if I would prefer to be a stay-at-home mom, and my answer is always a clear “no.” This is a personal choice I know is right for me, but might not be right for another mother. I choose to invest in my career for a few simple reasons (aside from the fact that today’s economy often makes a dual-income more necessary than ever):
- I love my job. I worked hard in school until my late twenties to earn my doctorate and become a doctor of natural medicine. I always knew I wanted to be self-sufficient with a career that would propel me to keep learning new things for the rest of my life.
- My work helps fuel my creative side, which keeps me sane and feeds my soul. I get to problem-solve and collaborate with patients on topics I find fascinating, and I feel more alive and connected because of it.
- I want to impact health and wellbeing for my patients, and grow that impact. My career is an avenue for feeling like my work and intellect are out in the world making a positive difference in the community.
- Honestly, if I had to stay at home all day, I would go nuts. My children are my heart and soul–but that doesn’t mean I want to be at home with them 24 hours a day. Divided doses keeps my time with them more precious, fun, and fresh.
Having a career and kids is tough–it often feels as though there’s never quite enough of me to go around. If money grew on trees, I could keep a full-time maid busy. But even with all the craziness, I feel like I truly get (at least some) of the best of both worlds.
I’m learning how to be more present wherever I am. I’m letting go of the need to control the mess. I’m accepting what my personal limits are. I’m continually prioritizing and improving my self-care routine to fuel me for all of my personal and professional roles. And that’s what works for me.
I see lots of mamas come through my office, and everyone’s plate is full, whatever their work–family balance is. There is a continuous (ridiculous) debate between which is better: being a SAHM or a career mom, and sadly judgement between the groups. Remember the Similac commercial that went viral? Funny, but kinda not. Why is there judgement? Why do we keep beating each other up about our choices? Why does one way have to be right or better?
The part of a person that is fed by being “right” or “better” is the ego, and the more we feed the ego, the more disconnected and unhappy we become.
Our current culture of motherhood seems to rely on us feeling right about our choices by making others wrong. But who wins here?
I feel the need to consistently disentangle myself from the guilt and judgement others cast. I know it’s their stuff, and not mine, but it still gets to me somehow. It still hurts that little girl inside that just wants to please others and do well.
The truth is that as a mom today, you can’t win by others’ standards.
With all the societal and cultural pressure to “do it right,” you never get to feel like enough. So I’ve decided to create my own ideas about what “enough” means (and by my own standards, I’m pretty freakin’ awesome).
I’ve decided to make an effort to put myself in another mother’s shoes and try to imagine what her life has been like before casting any judgement. I’ve decided to be grateful everyday for my family, career, and community. With all that gratitude and compassion, I don’t find that there’s much room left for judgement.
Being a mom who works full-time is hard work. Being a stay-at-home mom is hard work.
There’s no room for judgment here–hard is hard–no qualifiers needed.
We desperately need more respect, mutual support, and compassion instead of judgement, shame, and self-righteousness.
We need each other’s support and community more than ever. Most importantly mamas, whatever your choices, you are enough.
Tell me about your experience.
How do you balance work life and home life?
How do you respond to those who would prefer to see you choose between career or family? What other thoughts do you have based on your own experience?