I've been reading a lot lately about how stay at home moms and working moms feel about motherhood and its duties. There are moms who choose to stay home, and moms who have to go back to work to survive. There are also moms who choose to go back to work because they want to, but feel guilty about it. Some women love staying at home and wouldn't change it for the world. However, a lot of women who stay home complain of boredom, isolation, and feeling unappreciated. More than a few have said they feel like the world is passing them by as they change diapers, make school runs, and plan meals. At the same time, moms that must work lament the missed moments with their kids, and they are frustrated that they can't afford to stay home. Both sides have ups, downs, and emotional stress.
My sister just had a baby. A good friend of mine asked how she was doing. I told her, "She's great and loves being a stay at home mom". My friend said something that no one has ever said to me before. She said, "That's good. Being a stay at home mom is not for everybody." No one ever seems to talk about that-the concept that being a stay at home mom is indeed difficult, under appreciated, isolating, and not for everyone. If a woman "gets" to stay at home, she should be thanking her lucky stars as she prepares organic meals, runs her neighborhood play group, and shuns television, right? Working moms don't take kindly to stay at home moms who have negative opinions about staying home. They are up early shuffling kids to daycare, working a long day, and only getting a couple of hours in the evening to spend with their children before they get up and do it all over again. Just check out the comments at this BabyCenter article and you will see a wide range of opinions.
Sometimes people take the stance that being a stay at home mom is best for the kids and that SAHM's have no room to complain. But if a stay at home mom is depressed, isolated, and resentful, is she really the best kind of mom? What if a mom that works outside of the home is happy, fulfilled, and appreciates her children? Isn't that a better mom? I personally think the best mom is a happy mom. Maybe some women today need to work outside the home or have other outlets to be the best mom possible, and I don't mean playgroups or mom's groups. Sometimes a woman needs to be involved in something that has nothing to do with motherhood to be at her best.
What do you think? Are you a SAHM who loves it and would never contemplate working? Are you a working mom who would love nothing more to stay home? Is there a happy medium for women today?