I'm a stay at home mom - basically.
I am employed. I have worked at my current employer for 4 1/2 years, I work at Integris Hospital in the access department. If you need lab work or an x-ray, you will come visit me first to get registered in the computer before getting your test done. Pretty basic, pretty simple. It's a job. 2 years ago, I went part time to 3 days a week and 6 months after that I made the big leap and started staying at home full time. I now currently work 1 or 2 days a month (flex) at the same job.
As a kid, I believed my passion would be a career. The problem is I never figured out what that career would be. I graduated high school as a valedectorian - straight A's my whole school career and then came the choices of where to go to school and what to major in! WHAT?! I'm only 18. I don't know what I want to do the rest of my life. After trying to decide what college to go to I ended up at UCO and started classes with no direction of where I wanted to end up. At one point I thought teaching, another I thought nursing - until realizing I didn't like blood or germs. Since I'm such a brainiac - ha! - I didn't want to waste my life and thought I needed to aim high, maybe become a doctor or a lawyer! As I finished up my basics and 2nd year of college, I was just as lost as ever. What to do with my life?!
All I knew was I had to make a change and I couldn't quit school. With the help of God and Google, I ended up at a Bible college in Missouri. What was I going to do here? I had no idea how this was going to lead me to my passion or career.
I started my Junior year of college knowing what my degree would be - "Bachelor's in Religious Studies: General Ministry." As you can see that didn't give me a clear path of a future, but it was the only degree I could get with my credits being transferred from a secular college. (I did not want to start over!)
The middle of my first semester, I met a boy... and fell in love. (If you would've asked me 4 months before that I would've laughed in your face if you would've told me I would be at a Bible college and in love (and soon to be engaged) to a Preacher man!)
Ok... so fast forward 2 years. Graduated with my M.R.S. degree. Married to my preacher man 3 weeks after graduation.
So now what? I was working at Movie Gallery. Hmm... nothing says college graduate like alphabetizing DVDs. So I sought out a "grown up" job that had "benefits", which led me to an Insurance agency... Receptionist. Answering phones... hmm, not exactly what I had in mind. No passion there! I did get my agent license, but then was not offered a chance of a promotion or even a raise. Thanks boss... I was miserable.
Time for a change which then led me to the hospital. I was hired on full time and the day before I started work I found out I was pregnant with my first child. LOL, gotta love that timing!
So I worked all kinds of hours, but once Kai was born I was in a schedule of 8 to 5 Monday thru Friday. I felt like I never got to see my baby girl. We had the best baby sitter we could've asked for though, Love our Nonnie!, but I felt like I was missing out. We coped by not giving Kairi a bedtime and she would stay up till almost midnight every night so I could spend time with her. It took awhile for my MIL and I to figure out our roles of baby-sitting/grandma and working mom/mom. I knew it was what I had to do though and we figured it out and made it work. Everyday was a struggle of missing Kai and being away from her for 8 hours. But I had to have a job that had benefits (insurance) and we needed my income to make ends meet! Plus, I still wasn't sure about being at home everyday with a baby that couldn't talk back with me. I didn't know a lot about stay at home moms and at that point in life I thought they were "wasting" their talents.
I was still in search of my "career passion".
When Kai was 2 her little sister was born, I wasn't so ready to leave my little girls to go to work everyday. I was tired of missing out on things! I started working 3 days a week instead of 5! WOOOHOOO!!!! Man, I could get used to that. I worked Mon-Wed for 6 months and had a 4 day weekend everyweek. It was pretty great! Then one day I was looking at numbers (budget wise) and got to thinking... hmmmm.. maybe we could make staying at home every day work out. When Brayce was 5 months old, I went in for my yearly evaluation review at work and was super nervous. With the encouragement from my husband and my friend (a SAHM) I told my bosses that I wanted to stay at home full time. (I have great bosses that totally supported me and my decision.)
So I made the switch. Me, who said her whole life... I will NEVER EVER EVER be a stay at home mom. Became just that.
I talked to my parents. I didn't want to disappoint them and was struggling with guilt of "waisting my talents" to become a stay at home mom. Wow, what little did I know just 2 years ago. The blessings and talents (and patience and work) it does take to stay at home full time. To be the primary caregiver, the brain shaper, the disciplinarian, teacher, the chef, etc.
This is one of the best decisions and biggest rewards I have ever received. I have found my "career passion" in a place I never knew I would - at home!!! My family is my passion.
So, I have been on both sides of the mom sacrifices!! I have seen the meanness and rudeness come out from both sides thinking they are better then the other and give up more! Unfortunately, I know in the past that I have been the rude one thinking I was a better mom then someone else because I was working for my family, providing income, making "real" sacrifices. (I do apologize!)
Being a working mom does not make you better than a stay at home mom. You are not smarter or more powerful then a SAHM. Being a stay at home mom does not make you a better mom than a working mom. You are not more caring and know your children better then working moms do.
Being a mom is the hardest job we will ever have. We have such a huge responsibility. We are molding our children, making sure they stay away from harm, we are their personal chefs and dry cleaners. Our children rely on us for EVERYTHING!!! No matter if you are home 24 hours a day or leave for another job for 8 of those hours. Being a mom never ends and unless you hire a baby-sitter or have amazing parents, you don't often get a break!
Here are some of the pros and cons that come with being a mom, in my opinion (since this is my blog those are the opinions you get)...
as a working mom:
PROS: Adult conversation, "me-time", being able to be the best at something, being acknowledged for you as YOU and not just as mommy, rewarded, promotions, income, knowing you are helping provide financially for your family, feeling smart, being involved in something you enjoy and are good at, more money could mean more shopping, and less stress about money.
CONS: Being away from your children for 8 hours a day, feeling as though someone else is raising your child, having to wake up early, having to fix your hair and get out of your pajama's, having to do something you don't enjoy just to earn a paycheck, paying a daycare, having to send your children to daycare, not having as much time to do housework, always feeling busy, not having enough time to do the things you enjoy, missing events because you couldn't get off work, stress on the job, and work drama.
as a stay at home mom:
PROS: being home with your kids all day, getting to be the one there to meet every need, YOGA PANTS, play dates, story time, finding ways to help financially without bringing home an income (coupons, budget, less shopping), knowing everything that your child does, nap time, doing crafts together, Pinterest, being involved in events, getting to volunteer, getting to pick how to spend your days, having a flexible schedule and being involved in a supportive community (such as MOPs).
CONS: poopy diapers, wiping bottoms, poopy diapers, being chef all day, not getting to go potty without help, lack of privacy, you have to fight for me time, not bringing home an income, not getting to take off the "mommy hat", lack of adult conversation, involvement in coworker's lives, having to find ways to make friends, feeling like your not "important" or smart, not knowing what's going on in the outside world, and feeling like all you ever talk about is your children.
What are some PROS and CONS you would add to my lists?
We all have our unique situations and circumstances. (Think of that tv show - Wife Swap) I know what's best for my family and children. You know what's best for your family and children. I may think I know what's best for you to do, but in all honesty, I don't. We can learn from one another and offer advice, but we do not know what is best and we can not make decisions for others. I think that just leads to disaster. We are all doing our best. No mother wakes up thinking she wants to ruin her child's life by making the wrong decisions on purpose.
No matter if you stay at home with your children or if you go to work, let's encourage one another and uplift each other. We all are making sacrifices and we all know how tough being MOMMY is. Think how much better it would be if we knew other moms had our backs and were praying for us, supporting us, and rooting for us! The world is hard and mean enough - we need to be a community for each other, an outlet, to love and support and encourage!
What ways can you help a mother you know? Could you offer a FREE night of baby-sitting to them? Could you help with house chores, giving them more time to just play? Could you bring over a dinner to give them a night off? Could you send an e-mail or text letting them know you think they rock your socks off and their commitment to their job/family encourages you to be a better mom? Could you ask for advice and listen to it? Could you meet with each other and pray for one another? Could you stop judging and start encouraging? Let us love one another.
ALL MOMS ROCK!!!