I am challenged everyday trying to find a balance between being a good mother, advancing professionally and trying to maintain a relationship. Is it hard? Of course. Do I fail miserably at some points? Absolutely!
I am away from my kids for 9 hours of the day…9 hours! Do you know how much a child can learn in 9 hours?? Much more than you or I that’s for sure. So in retrospect…how much have my kids learned without having me around? with my first daughter I missed her first steps, with the second one I wasn’t around when she used the potty for the first time (we’re still working on that one by the way). My oldest daughter asks me certain things about her toddler years or infant months that i can’t remember! I feel terrible when this happens! Ever since women became more active in the workforce its been an ongoing issue about what is best for your children. Stay at home moms vs. working moms (that this is a topic of discussion that has come up several times between women I know is an annoyance to me). I suffer from the guilt at times but I also know I can’t be home with my kids all day everyday. Cant do it. I would go NUTS!
So in conclusion to this here is my most humble opinion on the matter, I believe that moms who work can serve as better models because they show their children that all people, men and women, get to have work, love, individuality, and family. If they see mothers pursuing “self,” it gives them permission to develop their individuality, without feeling guilty or sorry for the mom who gave hers up. Sons with mothers who work develop a respect for women’s independence instead of imagining there will always be a woman to “serve” them. The newest long-term study of teens, by the way, noted that divorce or parents working did not affect whether kids turned to drugs, etc. The only relevant factor was parents who were involved in their children’s lives. Working doesn’t mean you can’t be involved in your children’s lives.
For those of you that have kids, are you a stay at home mom or a working mom and how do you balance work with family? If you don’t have children (yet), which path do you think you would take?
I wrote this post for The Broken Heel Diaries