If you had asked me about ten years ago if I could be a stay at home mom, I would have shouted YES. I didn’t know for sure but I totally thought that was the life I would want to lead, the one that would make me the happiest. The one that would make my family the happiest. To quit my job, be home with the baby and make being a mom my everything. Now before anyone starts throwing stones, let me be incredibly clear:
I am in no way saying that being a stay at home mom is anything less than super hard and super admirable.
But to my surprise, I learned quickly that I wanted, that I needed to get back into the work scene as soon as I could and as soon as my family was ok and ready for me to. I needed it for my own sanity, for clarity, for another purpose, for my own dreams, to set an example that was important to me, to showcase another layer of myself and for a myriad of other reasons that only I needed to be ok with in the end. So after having my second child this past year, I was kind of shocked at the types of questions that were coming my way.
If you’re on the receiving end of these, just remember you’re doing what’s right for you. Don’t let the judgment get to you. And if you’re the one who’s asking, mind your own business and shame on you. When you ask questions, don’t fill them up with judgment. As mothers, we need to be filling each other with support and love rather than pointing fingers at what we see is different and what we feel is wrong. Speaking of business, recently my friend found a fantastic business energy deal that helped open up some more time for her family. It helped her strike a great balance because costs can sometimes get out of control. She found her new quote through Usave and saved a bunch of money because of it.
The truth is there is not absolute truth in this journey.
At the end of the day, most of us are just trying to figure out and do what’s best – whatever that looks like for our own families. So to all the moms out there…whether you’re a stay at home momma, a working from home or outside the home momma, a working part-time momma or whatever else…let’s remember to skip the judgment which makes us doubt and instead give each other love and praise which makes us even more amazing at the most important job we all have.
1. I always assumed you’d quit your job after kids. Why do you need to work? Can’t you afford it now that your husband is out of training and is so successful?
Maybe I assumed the same at one point. But first, it’s none of your business. Let’s say I needed to work. Does that make you feel better? Let’s say I want to work? Do you think I’m selfish? Let’s again just say it’s none of your business. Working is not always financially driven. Yes the fact is that many working moms – at least in America – work because they need to support their family. But many of those also want to. And many like me, want to because my career means something to me. I am certainly not the bread-winner anymore. But my career gives me other than a bit of financial independence, a feeling of “I’m putting my education and years of experience to use”. I like to think that I’m setting a positive example for my boys and nieces too. That being a woman is not being a wife and mommy only. Bottom line…it’s my choice. No matter what my financial situation is…it comes down to me. There’s no need for assumptions, and your opinion of what I should do based on what you think is going on with my family.
2. I’m so lucky that my husband makes a trillion dollars so I don’t have to work.
Good for you. Do you want a cookie? No wait, your husband makes a trillion dollars…why don’t you bring one (or twenty) over to me…at my work? I’ll take a cold glass of milk with that too, please. Thanks.
3. Why don’t you go back to work after the kids are in school? These are the years that mean the most…the early years you can never get back.
Can we get any of our years back? Again, this is my personal choice and believe me, it doesn’t come easy. I understand that I’ll never get these years back and it’s a delicate mental balancing act that I deal with every.single.solitary.morning when I leave my baby with his nanny and drop off my other boy at pre-school. I know that I miss out on a lot. But I also know that I am loved…that they know their mommy loves them more than anything in this entire world. That they are in safe hands…and that everything will be OK.
4. There’s no way I could work. I would miss my kid way too much. How do you feel ok with leaving and putting your career first?
No…I have no feelings. I don’t miss them. It’s all business for me. COME ON! Of course, I miss them. Sometimes, I miss them even when they’re only a few doors away in their room for the night. I would think most moms miss their kids whenever they are away from them. I’m not putting my career first. I’m trying to balance my life. And personally, I think I’m doing ok with it. So save the guilt trip.
5. I feel it’s the mom’s job to be at home with the children.
Did you just come out of a cave? It’s two thousand and fourteen. I didn’t even know what to say to this one. I think I just nodded in disbelief. That for one, a person born and raised in America – highly educated, would think this way. And it was a woman. I was floored, truthfully…much of me still is. I’m pretty sure that my husband could do just as an amazing job raising our two boys as I can. In fact, I think out of the two of us…he might be the happier one at home. And I don’t think it’s MY job. I am lucky to have a choice to stay at home or work. Again, I choose to balance my life with work in it. And my husband supports my decision 100%.
6. What if you miss his first word, the first time he rolls over, the first step? The first time he says goo goo ga gaaaa? Aren’t you afraid you’re going to miss out on all these special moments?
You know what…thanks for the newsflash. I wasn’t aware that I might miss out on a lot of these moments. What I am thankful for is an amazing nanny who sends me videos and pictures throughout the day. And for wonderful teachers at my son’s school who also inform me of the neat things my son is learning on a daily basis. I am grateful for a group of people I trust that are helping shape and form my kids into good, solid people.
7. Do you trust your nanny? I could never let someone else raise my kid, but that’s just me! How are you comfortable with this?
I never really know what to say to this one. “No, I just picked this random person off the street…you know the one who charged the least of course…to hang out with my 10 week old baby while I try to climb up the ladder at work.” To be quite honest, it’s hard because trust is something you have to have whenever anyone watches your kids. You just have to and it’s not easy, no matter how much you rely on outside help. Of course we have triple checked credentials, done our due diligence to ensure that we have the right people caring for our children when we are away. Of course we have done our homework to make sure that our most prized possessions are in good hands and being well taken care of. But it’s still never ever easy. So why are YOU putting doubt into my head?? Making me feel all suspect. Thank YOU for being the one to make me feel UNcomfortable. You can just shut up now.
8. Do you have video cameras up? Did you see that nanny who did…?
See above. Geez.
9. Do you think your baby will start to think that the nanny is mommy?
Umm what? Seriously? Just because I decided to go to work means I don’t have FEELINGS? This hurts. This one hurts bad. Baaaaad. Ouch. Sting. OUCH. Don’t say this EVER. NEVER EVER. It’s not cool. I don’t care if you’re joking. Don’t say it. I work. And that decision wasn’t necessarily easy for me. But I made it. And I am ok with it. But you asking me…this is NOT OK. I still am the mommy. And my baby knows this.
10. Oh your kid is sick/has dr’s appointment again. Wasn’t he just sick and at the doctor’s? He’s sick so much. Maybe it’s time you just pull him out of school and stay at home.
This is hard too. It sucks when your kid is sick. They are pitiful, you feel helpless. To add to the suckiness, it’s hard when you can’t be at work AGAIN because of a sick kid. Believe me, if I’m missing work and I tell you it’s because my kid is sick or I have to take him to the doctor…trust me, my kid is sick. I would NEVER say my kid is sick if he isn’t. When my kid is sick though, he takes priority over everything else. And if that means I have to miss work AGAIN, then that’s what it means. It’s not ideal for anyone but being a mom comes first. And for everyone who thinks I should quit…quit telling me to quit. It’s up to me and my employer how we work my schedule out.
11. I don’t know how you do it. I could never do it. It would be way too hard. It’s so hard right? You must feel guilty all the time.
What are you trying to say? That my heart is made of stone? That my kids don’t melt my heart? That each morning as I walk out the front door…that a big part of me wants to turn right back around and cuddle my baby all day long? Of course it’s hard. And yes, I’ll admit there is a guilt factor. As moms, we carry around a lot of guilt…all of the time and for lot of different reasons. But I also know that I am making a good decision for my family. And I am confident again that my kids are being taken care of, so I am ok. Again, mind your business.
12. Oh you’re so lucky. You get a break from being a mom.
This means that you think that I don’t think about my kids once I walk into my office. Does a mom ever stop wearing her mommy hat? I don’t think so. There is no break. I am in constant contact with the nanny, I am thinking of what he’s doing at school…if he ate his lunch, is drinking enough water throughout the day. This comment really gets to me because working moms…well in my opinion all moms really never get a real break. No matter if you’re at work or not you’re still concerned about what’s going on with your kids…always. It’s part of the parenting package.
13. When do you get to spend time your kids?
I’m the first one they see when they wake up and the last one before bed. I pick them up from school and take them to all their activities. We eat together, play together, snuggle and cuddle and share so many fun times together. The time that I get with them…I feel I cherish even more because I miss them when I’m away. They are always on my mind.
14. What’s wrong with you? The bags under your eyes… and wow, such dark circles. You look exhausted.
That’s because I AM. There’s nothing else to it. I.AM.TIRED. End of story. But A HAPPY TIRED. And this question makes me even more tired.