As long as there have been women in the workforce, the stay-at-home mom vs. working mom debate has been alive and well.
For more than seven years, from the beginning of my first pregnancy until just recently, I was a stay-at-home mom.
Everyone has a different experience as a stay at home mom, but I can tell you that going to work has been a huge blessing. I am working for a boss whom I love like family and I have made many friends through this life change.
While I was a stay-at-home mom, I felt very isolated. Being a social person, this was hard on my self-esteem. I have always been very driven and taken great pride in any job I have; so I tried to be the best stay-at-home mom I could be. Time with my children meant the world to me, but I became overwhelmed and felt alone. And in the process, I gained more than one hundred pounds and was often depressed.
I am not saying being a stay-at-home mom is a bad thing. Everyone’s experience is different. Still, I have gotten backlash about returning to work.
When a friend mentioned I should try for this job, I was hesitant at first. But, in the end, it felt like the right thing to do.
My stay-at-home mom is passionate that women should stay home and raise their children. I remember many times her and her friends discussing why mothers should stay home.
I believe that if you are capable, it’s OK to work (especially if you are in financial hardship). Times have changed. Some moms need to work these days. With the number of single parent families on the rise, working mothers are becoming the norm. Plus, God wants us to be productive.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24 ESV
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. I Timothy 5:8 ESV
Growing up, my dad worked so much that I did not get to spend a lot of time with him. He worked day and night. Of course, I don’t want that for my children. But, it doesn’t have to be like that.
Now that I’m working, I’m encouraged by the news that Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg finds time for her family. CNN reports that even though she has demanding responsibilities at the office, she leaves work at 5:30 to have dinner with her children. This shows there’s enough time in the day to be a good mom and still work.
Since I’m home less, I use the time I do have with my children more effectively and make it more special. I cannot tell you how many days were spent and wasted in front of the television or computer screen when I stayed home all of the time.
Some stay-at-home moms are on top of everything; it seems to come natural to them. I did not for me. I let myself go as a stay-at-home mom. I longed for adult conversation and the weight gain prevented me from being the mom I wanted to be.
Pray about what is right for your family. Just do not judge your neighbor for their choice.Working moms work at being good moms too. Let’s not make each other feel bad because we’ve made different choices.
No matter what you choose it should be what is right for your family. Love your children, teach them and use the time you have with them well. Work hard no matter if you are home all day or not.