I am a work outside the home mom. I always knew I would be. My career is important to me. And, specifically, having a career that takes me out of the house is important to me. There have been opportunities to maintain my career path while working in my own home but that’s not the road I’ve chosen.
Here’s something else about me – I’m also one of those “attachment” parents. Yep. That’s right. I’ve sent my little one off to daycare since she was 17 months old and have been able to still be the kind of parent that I want to be. That my daughter needs me to be. Yes, my daughter needs attached parenting. She has thrived on it. It’s her nature and it’s our nature. We have always done what feels right for us and this is the parenting style that has worked for our family.
I’m sick to death of the digs I see between stay at home moms, work at home moms and work outside the home moms. I once read a statement, written by a “mommy blogger” actually, that she chose to be a stay at home mom because she didn’t want to pay someone else “to raise her kids.” I’m not sure she understood how offensive and ridiculous those words are. If you have your little one(s) in childcare then I’m sure you get it.
Finding daycare for my child, and going back to my career, was absolutely, without question, the right thing to do for us. It wasn’t an easy decision to make. Even though I knew it was what we needed I still had anxiety about it.
My daughter thrives in her environment. She is surrounded by other kids and caregivers that love her and that she loves back. What can possibly be wrong about that? I’ll tell you what. Nothing. I could even pull out some studies that tell you that she is more likely to thrive in school because of the relationships she has built in daycare as a toddler. But I won’t. Because anyone can find a study or two (or ten) to support their point of view. And my point of view is not that my choices are better than anyone else’s.
I also read a post quite recently talking about how hard it is for stay at home or work at home moms to deal with half day kindergarten. I still haven’t wrapped my head around this. Is it harder for a mom at home then a mom working outside the home to shuffle her kids between home/daycare/school every day? There may indeed be different reasons why it’s a challenge but that doesn’t make it MORE of a challenge.
What I really, really want to say to any parent that whines or complains about this is – Stop Being a Martyr. I don’t want to see another internet meme telling me I should feel sorry for you because you work or because you stay at home. I’ve done both. One is not harder than the other. They both have their challenges and their benefits. When I was at home there were days I longed to be in the office and now that I’m back in the office there are days I wish I could be at home with my daughter. It can be a hard balance to achieve. But you know what? That’s life and that’s parenting. It’s what we signed up for.