Sometimes I wish we lived back in time...in a time where staying home with your children was considered a "job" and valuable.
Recently I was a part of a conversation in which other women and mothers were sharing about their jobs (incredible ones I might add) & one of these women looked at me and asked if I was staying home with Lucy.
my reply: "yes, and I'm also working 20 hours a week from home to help make ends meet."
Her reply: "oh, but you're not really using your degree?"
me: (gains composure) "well, I majored in Family Studies & Human Services...and did several semesters of coursework in child development and elementary education...so..yes, I'd say I'm using my degree."
another woman: "don't you get bored at home?"
me: (laughs...) "um, no...not really. Again, I'm working from home part-time AND taking care of a toddler all day who naps less than 2 hours of that time...and that's if I'm lucky. So no, I'd never say I'm bored."
What's my point? I'm tired. Tired of justifying that staying at home is valuable AND really is a full-time job in itself. Tired of justifying the fact that I don't need a career on my plate to feel successful as a woman. Tired of feeling as though mothers who work full-time outside the home are the "best kind", because they can "do it all." Tired of people thinking my days are filled with soap operas, ice cream, and luxurious naps. Tired of feeling like I have to provide an explanation why my husband and I chose this route...which, even if we had felt like I should continue working, almost 75% of my take home pay would have been put towards childcare during Lucy's first year of life. so NOT worth it to us.
Now, I know several moms who work outside the home and this is is NO way an attack on them. My point here is not to say there is a right or wrong, a better or a worse. Everyone has to make decisions that make sense in their situation.
I personally know several moms who desire to be home with their babies, but it is simply not an option. I know moms who work outside the home (part and full-time) to help make ends meet or simply for the sake of insurance benefits (another soap box topic for another day, health insurance that is) I know moms (like myself) who are generating income from home part-time...which presents it's own set of challenges and I know several moms who have some of the neatest jobs that they feel called to do & I'm so thankful for their talent to continue what they're doing.
But, using one's degree in a full-time career outside the home does not make them a better mom than me...anymore than me staying at home full-time does NOT make me a better mom than them.
And I'm sure moms who work outside the home feel judgement just the same. And I hate that...we're all moms. We're all doing the best we can in our given situations (stay at home, work from home, work outside the home, etc...) And honestly, every situation looks incredibly different---even when comparing two stay at home moms.
I just wish I didn't feel the need to justify my husband and I's decision...or explain to others what our days really look like.
(and, I'll admit it....in those newborn days, there were a few luxurious naps and soap operas....and maybe some ice cream :)