Wednesday, July 9

"I admire YOU!"


Women, and specifically mothers, in today's society can feel shamed and looked down upon for almost every life decision they make.

Working mother or stay at home mother.
Nursing mother or bottle feeding mother.
Cloth diapering mother or disposable diapering mother.
Make your own organic baby food mother or buy baby food mother.
Special K or Kashi. (ok not really, but I had to make you laugh.)

People are so quick to judge and say: "I stay at home and we made it work financially. Why can't you?" or "I work 40 hours a week and am a wife and mom. You don't know what it's like to do all that." And so the opinions go. People of all ages and backgrounds offering their valuable opinions on decisions that you have prayed over, talked about, and made in an effort to do what you feel is best for your family.

I feel like I need to apologize when I tell people I stay home. As if I owe them an explanation of a personal decision my husband and I made together. As if they even have the right to judge us on this topic. Yet I feel this way. Embarrassed for not working. Worrying that they are assuming I live some posh life filled with shopping sprees, daily Starbucks, and soap operas.

If only they knew that it's not like that at all. And yes while you are right, I do "have the life all women dream of" (if you want to put it like that) and I am truly thankful for the privilege to be at home with my daughter on a daily basis and to be here for my husband after a 14 hour day at work, I still at times long to be in the work force. Earning a paycheck and utilizing my hard earned college education.

And while I, a stay at home mother, sometimes long for that affirmation and reward a public job brings, I know the opposite is true for a working mother. Longing to leave the workplace and be with their little one. Working 40 hours a week and pulling night duty too. I admire you! You work hard for your family and do what you feel is the best for them.

Before we make these judgements on whether someone is taking the easy road out by staying home, or doesn't understand the internal conflict of wanting to be home when they are stuck at work, we should remember that each situation has its challenges and difficulties. The grass really isn't greener on the other side. It's green where you water it. (Original, I know.) I think we have to believe and understand that women play a lot of roles as wife and mother. And most importantly we have to have an understanding that we make decisions that are best for our families.

I guess I say this to ask that next time you speak to a mother who works or stays at home, the best thing to say is: "I admire you for being the best wife and mom you can possibly be!"

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~Clara