My question to you is “DOES IT EVEN MATTER?”
I was sitting in the waiting room of my kid’s pediatrician when my eye caught a women sitting next to me filling out a quiz of some kind in a magazine. After a few moments our eyes met and she looked as if someone had just received the worst news of her life. Our gaze was cut short when our kids starting fighting over the same toy and we had to get up to solve the problem.
“I’m sorry”, I said, pulling my kid to the side and giving him another toy to play with. To which she replied ” I am the biggest loser”.
“Huh??? Was probably the look on my face as I made my way back to the seat. You know how looooong waiting for doctors can be, so me and that lady got a chance to talk.
We had barely started to talk when out of no where she blurted “You know the quiz even proves that I am a career woman not the stay at home type”. She continued to tell me that she had to put her career on hold to take care of her kids as her husband had a travelling job. I asked her if it was a mutual decision to which she replied yes but was regretting now. “Money is not the problem, it’s that I miss being important”. The doctor called out my kid’s name and that meant the end of our conversation. For some reason our brief encounter stuck with me for the rest of the day especially the word “Important”.
This is a topic which all moms have discussed at least once. “Working Mom (WM) or Stay at home Mom (SAHM)…Which is better? To be honest it matters more to SAHM since the working moms already have a lot on their plate. Let me put some “REALITY OF LIFE” light on it.
As I headed to the stage to get my Masters degree I was on cloud nine. My dream was about to come true. I had always envisioned myself as a financially independent, strong woman with a loving husband and beautiful family and finally I was going to have it all. But life happened. Towards the end of my degree, my younger son was diagnosed with Autism. My husband has always been very supportive and wanted to see me fulfill my dream so he told me to keep going on and said he will pitch in as much as he can and with some external help everything will work out perfectly fine. Will it be? The mother inside asked myself.
It was time for some reality check. ” Will I be okay working and have someone else take my kid to therapy? “What is more important right now… Family or Work?” , “Will I be able to balance everything?”, “I have no family around, what if I need help at the last-minute? Who do I call?” The answer was right there……The Reality. The doors of opportunities were wide open and all I had to do was to take the first step forward but life was showing me a different course.
The degree was carefully stored in my achievements file where it sits peacefully till this day. Staying at home to be with my kid was my choice. I am not, in any way saying that it is the only right choice, but at that moment I could not see anyone else taking care of my kid the way, I, his own mother could. I would be working to earn money, feeling a bit guilty of being away from him, and then eventually will be giving it to someone else to take care of my kid. It didn’t make sense to me and so I decided to be a stay at home parent. I am blessed that I could even make such a decision since I know a couple of moms of kids with challenges who had to go back or continue to work to make the ends meet.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that it happens with all the women but the reality is that there is a large chunk of woman who are in a situation without any choice. They are there because at that moment in their life they have no other option. So many of my friends had to quit their jobs because their husbands didn’t approve women working (Trust me, it still happens) or they had to take care of some family member in need while others were forced to work against their will to pay off for the extravagant life which they never wanted in the in the first place or due to some major crisis where they had to become the bread earner of the family.
To be honest, it does not matter which category you fall into. What really matters is how honestly are you living up to it. The beauty about life is that it is always moving. You might not see it, and since the movement is so subtle that you might not even feel it, but it is changing with every breath. Take a look back, your yesterday is different from today and you never know where will it take you tomorrow. So if you are in a phase of life without your choice, don’t worry, things don’t always remain the same, you wont always remain the same.
My point of writing all this is that whether you are a working mom or a stay at home mom, you are important and already contributing a lot, so don’t fall for the quizzes or the online surveys or random articles to define you. The important thing is to give your best so that at the end of the day you are one satisfied, happy mama. As far as being important goes, sit back and do nothing for one day and see your world, your castle collapse. You are the CPU, the heart of the family and that family will be lost without you. We are all being rewarded one way or the other. Some people think that if they are not getting a paycheck, they are not being rewarded and they fail to see the biggest blessing. The blessing of having the time and the luxury to stay home with the kids.
So lets get over with this mom vs mom useless debate because we all have an important job to do, and it does not matter what we are labelled as because at the end of the day all moms deserve one thing.