I have been asked by Similac to join the Sisterhood of Motherhood. For three months I will be working with them to forward the idea that we are all in this together as parents and there is no need to judge each other. Rather we should lift each other up and help one another. I have been paid to write three posts and of course what I’m about to say is my own opinion. Thanks for your support.
A few months ago a friend of mine shared some worry about leaving her children to go to work. I said to her, “I am proud of every single thing my mother did outside of the home.” It’s true, my mother excelled in every career she chose. From starting her own business at 26, working as a counselor at our church, renovating a 7 bedroom house and eventually deciding to stay at home and raise my younger brother. She was a savvy business woman as well as a hockey mom and I’m proud of every minute of it.
I’ve talked before about my choice to work full time and I still believe it’s the right choice for me.
Tomorrow I head back to the office after a weekend with my girls.
I had honestly been dreading this past weekend. Phoebe has started a new day care and her care taker had begun the potty training process. Thursday night and Friday morning had been TERRIBLE. Phoebe would not fall asleep and then woke up extra early Friday and cried for two hours straight when I tried to have her use the potty. I left for work with her still screaming and Steve managed to get her calmed down. HOW WAS I GOING TO SURVIVE TWO FULL DAYS OF THIS?!
But then something clicked for her. I picked her up Friday after work and she was happy. She came home and while I was sorting the mail she went up to the bathroom and went all on her own. She was so overjoyed and excited. From that point on the weekend just got better and better. She is now fully potty trained and I can hardly believe it.
So now tomorrow I return to work. Not to get away from my children, but because I believe that what I do has value. I believe that in the long run my girls will be proud of what their mom has done.
There was an article posted the other day on Facebook. I didn’t click on it, but it was something about protesting the idea that a woman’s wage is only supposed to cover child care. Funny enough, one of my side jobs actually is the exact amount of my monthly childcare bill, but that’s because childcare is really expensive in SF.
I do feel a little conflicted at times. I do believe strongly in the importance of a mother’s role in raising a family. I do believe that a father can take that role as well. I do believe that parents can share all of those duties. I also believe that a mother should find ways to create outside of the home. I believe in all of those ideals.
I guess life can sometimes feel like you rob Peter to pay Paul, but in reality I don’t think that’s how it works.
We each need to find our own balance that works for us. I would not have been able to potty train Phoebe as fast and effectively without the help of her day care. She quit diapers cold turkey! I would have caved. This would have been a 1-2 month process with pull ups. We had one rough night and morning and then it was done. No more diapers! She is so proud of herself. That’s totally worth the entire paycheck of that one side job I have.
So am I less of a mom because I paid someone to potty train my kid? No. The end result is great.
Is someone else less of a person because they choose to stay at home and raise their family? No. I’m sure the end result will be great too.
Social media, magazines, extended family and even your best friend all have their own opinions about how to raise a child. Seeing an Instagram post of a homeschooling mom out on a hike with her crew on a sunny Wednesday afternoon can certainly cause anyone stuck in an office to long for a different life.
I guess what matters to me is belief that what I do has longterm value for me personally, for my kids and for the world at large.
So this Monday, whether you are at home, at work or some combination of the two, let’s unite as parents in the raising of our families. I’m sure at the end of the day we are all tired from what life throws at us whether it be a mess you cleaned up ten times or a deadline you had to push through. The last thing we need on our plate is an opinion that we’re doing it wrong.
Feel free to share your own story about how you decided to work or stay home and how you’re working it all out with the hashtag #UniteMonday on social posts. Tag me @oururbanplay. I’d love to hear.
If you would like to learn more about the Sisterhood of Motherhood program, you can do so HERE.