Adventures of a Working/Stay at Home Mom

7 Feb

We always hear the debate regarding moms who choose to work versus moms who stay at home. Working moms argue that their kids have wonderful babysitters and educational day care programs, and stay at home moms argue that their children do better due to the one-on-one attention and love. While each side has great points, the bigger question is this – is the woman doing what God has called her to do for that season in her life? Yes, we can’t deny the benefits of being home to raise your kids during their earliest years, but does that mean that every mom has to stay at home, or else she’s not a good mom? Certainly not. God has called some women to be CEO’s, and you never know, maybe the husband is a “stay at home dad.” We often joke that our “Mothers of Preschoolers” group should have a “DOPS” group for “Dads of Preschoolers.” We may laugh and joke, but more and more dads are choosing to stay home with the babies while mom works these days. I love the idea, and if it works for that family, then who are we to judge? Or maybe while mom works, the kids stay with a loving grandmother or another relative. Bottom line – just because the kids aren’t with Mom doesn’t mean that they aren’t being wonderfully taken care of. 🙂
So now you probably want to do know how I feel about it personally. Well – I just told you – I think it depends on what is best for the family, and what God has called that specific woman to do at the time. Also, some single moms have no choice but to work, (unless their baby’s father is T.I. and they’re getting 10,000 a month in child support… I just made this amount up…it’s not fact.) 🙂 For myself, I think that for me, the ideal situation has been a little bit of both. I work part time while my mom or good friends watch the kids, (never strangers,) and I am home with my babies for the remainder of the day. I love it because it’s the best of both worlds. I can relax at work and enjoy myself because I know the kids are taken care of by my mom and some of my best girlfriends. I get a little break at work to be away from the diapers, put on some business clothes, (although I have to wake up extra early if I want to have time for makeup,) and interact with adults. I can keep up my knowledge in my field and not have to account for unemployment gaps. I am blessed to have friends who work out fair payment when it comes to babysitter pricing, and I pay my mom in small gifts every month. (Although she doesn’t ask for payment, the right thing to do is still bless her for her service, regardless of whether or not she asks for it.)
When it comes to being home with the babies, I love that part too. I love around 12:45 when I put Gabriel to bed and say a prayer over him before his afternoon nap. I love the way his little body curls up as I cover him with his favorite green and yellow blanket that he carries all around the house. 🙂 Zoe is still small enough to sleep beside me surrounded by a palette on Daddy’s side of the bed. I love our snuggle time right before we fall asleep – her little soft cheeks rest on my face, and I can smell her sweet baby breath as she nods off to sleep. I wouldn’t trade those times for the world. Because I’m home with the kids, I can read to them, love them, and take them on playdates and to the YMCA. We can meet with other moms during the day for coffee or Zumba class at 10 a.m. while leaving the kids at the YMCA childcare, (which is amazing.) I know that I’m blessed when I see other moms rushing off to work, but again, I can’t be quick to judge. While I love my situation, that mother that is rushing off to work may also LOVE her job, and her children may be content and happy at their babysitter’s house playing with a few other children.
If I were confronted with the choice of working full time right now, (even if the pay was a million dollars,) I would still say no. Money just isn’t that important to me. A study showed that people who made 70,000 or more per year were usually happiest, and that from there on, happiness kind of peaks. What I got from the study was that when our basic needs are met and we’re living comfortably, (not worrying about where our next meal is coming from or if we can pay the mortage,) then we’re generally happy. When we can comfortably take trips and buy what we need, (and then a little some,) we’re fulfilled. I don’t need lots of money to be happy. I love being with my kids. I don’t care if I’m a CEO at 27 years old. That will come later on, but for now, I’m enjoying the times that I can get away and go to work, (because let’s be real, changing diapers “sucks”…lol,) but I also love those sweet times where I can just sit on the floor and play with my babies.
Just yesterday a friend asked for my advice. She said that she and her husband wanted kids, so she was thinking about transitioning to working part time so that when the kids came, she would have time for them. She was worried about if they would be able to make it financially. I immediately told her that family should be her first priority. I advised her to downsize her life now in terms of expenses so that she would be able to work part time and still have money for the babies. While everyone won’t agree with me, it really should come down to what God wants and what is best for your family. For me, my situation of working part time is what makes me and my family happy. I love my job and teaching my students. I love giving them advice on their careers, love life, and anything else we talk about before or after class. I love seeing the light bulb go off when a term really sinks in, and they relate the material we are studying to real life. I also love walking into my moms house and seeing Gabriels face light up as her shrieks, “Moommyyyy!!,” and runs into my arms. I love it when I leave the kids in the morning, and instead of crying, they say “bye-bye” while being rocked in my mother or their babysitters arms. They are being well taken care of and I know it, so I can prepare for my day at work without worry.
I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that I wouldn’t change a thing right now! Regardless of your view on this topic, remember to always look at both sides and to avoid judging what a woman chooses. So long as she, her family, and her kids are happy, then it doesn’t matter if she’s made a different choice than you. We won’t always agree, but we can still be friends who are respectful of each other’s differences. But for me, family, My God, and my kids come first. I love being able to work, but still be able to have a hot meal ready for my husband when he gets home, (well…most days..lol..) I am not rushing out a million miles an hour trying to make money to the point where I can’t even enjoy it because I’m tired, busy and frustrated. Who cares if you’re making $100/hr at your full time job? If you’re too cranky to play with the kids, are getting take out every night, and are too worn out to sleep with your husband at night, are you really winning? Is all of that money really worth it? But those questions are up to you. I know where I stand, and although your views may be different, I still respect and love you. God loves us for the individuals that we are too. We’re not all cut from the same mold. So long as you are happy, then I’m happy for you!! 🙂

Be blessed!

**Guess what? I finished the book last night! Yay! Now I just need to read through it a few more times, let my editor read over it, and send it out for publishing. So excited! Be sure to follow my blog or subscribe so that you can get my daily blogs. If there’s anything you want me to write on, msg me at Lholmes79@gmail.com.

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2 Responses to “Adventures of a Working/Stay at Home Mom”

  1. Dana W February 7, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    Very well said, Lauren. I totally agree.

    • lholmes79 February 7, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

      Thanks Dana – I figured you would since you are always doing like 20 jobs at once!haha..I’m just kidding. 🙂 Thanks for the affirmation! Keep being a Prov 31 woman!

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