Should You Be Home with Your Kids? What Do You Do When Your Torn on a Topic?
I overheard a comment when I was out the other day that’s caused me to do a lot of pondering.
IF YOU CAN’T STAY HOME WITH YOUR KIDS, DON’T HAVE THEM!
A young woman made a very loud comment to a friend that she didn’t think women who don’t/can’t stay home full time with their children should have children.
Since I am a “career” woman raised by a single mom who owned her own company, I may have a few strong opinions on this topic, but rather than a knee-jerk reaction, I thought maybe I should actually contemplate this.
SHOULD I HAVE BEEN A STAY AT HOME MOM?
Should I have chosen not to have my boys because I knew I wouldn’t be a full-time, stay at home mom?
I never planned to stay home. I went to college, picked up two bachelors degrees and followed that up with a juris doctorate. I studied for and passed the bar exam, became an associate attorney, a partner and then opened up my own law firm. Somewhere along the line, I got my broker’s license and opened up a real estate brokerage as well.
A few years later, I decided to have my first child, knowing that I would return to work shortly thereafter. I have a fairly flexible schedule thanks to being self-employed and am able to attend all momentous occasions so far from the first day of school to pre-school and kindergarten graduation, soccer games, etc. My older son knows these events are important to me and that he can plan on me being there.
WOULD I BE A BETTER MOM IF I STAYED AT HOME?
I am not certain that for me the answer is yes. I truly enjoy working. I enjoy the interactions and the negotiations and the thoughts and planning that go into working. This is a whole different level of thought and being than I experience from a day with my boys.
I cherish the time with my sons and miss them when I don’t feel I’ve had enough time with them. Yet, I am fairly certain that if I was with them day in and day out without the stimulation I get from working that I wouldn’t be the best mom I could be to them. I would be frustrated and stagnating. Perhaps this makes me a bad mom in the eyes of this young woman.
However, I see it differently. I am teaching my children that it is important to work to take care of your family. That it is important to take care of your clients and to do your best for people. I am also teaching them that work should not be your life and that taking time for those most important to you on their special days is imperative.
There are women I admire who stay at home who seem to enjoy every moment they spend with their children, and I know other mothers who are frustrated to be stuck at home who seem to partially resent their “jobs” at home. This second mom is not the person I want to be to my sons. I believe I can be the best mother by continuing to balance my work life with my home life and continually showing my children that they are the most important part of my life.
One thing she did make me consider is do I have enough time with my boys? And, I think for me the answer is no. Though I don’t want to stay home all the time, I would like a little more time with them, and I am trying to arrange my life to provide that to all of us as I believe that will provide us the best balance.
My life was not such that I could emotionally or financially be a stay at home mom. Yet, I chose to have two children who are the delights of my life, who make me smile every day, who I love dearly, and I wouldn’t trade my decision for anything.
What say you? Should I have not had my boys because my life was not set up so that I could be a stay at home mom?