Recently I began a small business, but for the past six years I have stayed at home with my two children full time. When I have attempted, in my writing, to define what I was doing versus what I am now doing, it has been challenging (but I did learn a new vocabulary word...see related post here).
“Full time mom” just doesn’t make sense - when you go back to work, aren’t you still a full time mom? On the other side of the coin, using the term “working mom” is equally ridiculous. Duh. Aren’t we all working?
As a "stay at home mom" I was never one to bristle when someone referred to another woman as a “working mom”. Personally, I found it more annoying when people would ask, “Are you working outside of the home?” The person saying this would always seem so proud that they had remembered not to impugn the decision of some mothers to stay at home. Instead it always made me feel like some sort of a mental patient or zoo animal...as in, “Do they let you out?” Although I will admit the occasional baby vomit, tumble-out-of-bed wardrobe and dark circles under the eyes in those post-baby days probably didn’t help. I may very well have looked like a mental patient and smelled like a zoo animal.
I have known many “stay at home moms” who would sheepishly admit they wish they were working outside of the home (why should this evoke feelings of guilt?), and many “working moms” who wished they were at home full time.
Being at home full time with one’s children is far from easy, even if you truly love it. Yet I will never regret my decision to be at home these past few years. It felt right for my family at the time, and that is the best anyone can hope for - doing something that feels right. Going back to work now feels equally right. I feel inspired and challenged in completely new ways. Although, now that my husband and I are both working outside of the home, I often find myself wondering when the maid, the personal shopper, the chauffeur, the social planner, the accountant, the nanny and the cook are going to show up. Ironically, sometimes I just want my mom to swoop in and fix everything (does that feeling ever go away?).
My point is this - as moms we are all just trying to do the best we can for ourselves and for our families. Being a mom will always be our most challenging and our most rewarding job. Working mom, stay at home mom, career mom, mom who works within the home...whatever. We are all part of a profound, lifelong sisterhood. At the core we are bound by the miraculous gift of loving someone more than we ever imagined possible. Personally, I don’t think the word “mom” needs any qualifiers. We are all rock stars.
This post is dedicated to BettyLou, who will always be the ultimate rock star to me.