Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Mother Of All Debates

I took my littlest pumpkin on a field trip to the patch this morning. There is something about this kid's face that makes it almost impossible for me to do anything other than smooch him all day long.

See what I mean?

And I'm so glad that I went. I was sort of on the fence about going because I had a sub job lined up today and was feeling the need to contribute to the family's resources by working. It was a good job in a good school and would have made for a nice, easy day but when I brought it up to The Rizz, he told me to cancel it right away. What's the point of being a stay-at-home mom if I miss the important stuff because I'm too busy working?

I saw this on Pinterest the other day and it's had me thinking.

I have friends who work outside the home and do it beautifully. Friends who stay up late and get up early and are engaged in their children in the most amazing ways. Friends who I'm sure feel the burdens that come with being a "working mom." And I have friends who stay home. Friends who can stay in their jammies longer and are there for every tear, every laugh and everything in between. Friends who feel the need to justify their time when someone asks "and what do you do?"

I've heard the arguments for both choices. How working moms have it easier because they get a break and have a place to be intellectually stimulated. How stay-at-home moms have it easier because they don't have any pressure from a workplace. Here's what I think: there is no easier. There is no harder. When you're a mother, either in the home or out, your entire focus, all day long, is taken up by your children. Your amazing and brilliant and gorgeous children. There is no "break" from parenting. There is no easier road. Being a mother means that your whole being is committed to those little people for your whole life. You will never stop worrying. You will never stop loving. You will never stop being fully aware of their every want and need. We're mothers. And we work awfully darn hard. End of story.

I stay at home to tend sick kids. To be there when they get home from school. To send them out the door each morning with a hug and a kiss. To do the chores of the house while they are away so that when they are home, I can be more present with them. To snuggle my last little one at home in the middle of the day while watching Dora. I'm home to be with my kids.

And to go to the pumpkin patch.

It's what works for our family. But if it didn't, I'd be working my hiney off elsewhere. I'd be doing everything I could at my job so that when I was home, I was nothing but mom. And I'd be doing it with my head held high.

Just like my friends.


tharker said...

Um, I thought your last two posts were some of my favorite...but no. This one just might top them all. This is brilliant and simple and truth.

Every mother I know, whether they stay at home or work outside the home, are trying their very best to be the very best mother they can be. And *that* is enough.

Love, love, love this.

tharker said...

Oh, and that boy? I want to mug on that cute face!!

hatch said...

I would kiss that face all day long too. In fact before I even read your post I thought to myself, I bet his mom kisses his face all day!

I love this post, so true. I have done both, and have came to the same conclusion. Love this!

GS said...

Excellent post.

Kelly said...

Karen, you are a master at putting thoughts into words. Beautifully written, insightful, and spot on! So glad you went to the pumpkin patch with your wittle man!

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with Kelly. The "master"!! Love you and your blog!

Mimi said...

You take the thoughts right out of my head. This is such a tricky topic and I really don't understand why it needs to be a debate. In general, I believe we are all just trying to do what is best for our children and our families. I have worked part time, I have worked from home, I have worked out of the home and with every different stage I feel a new struggle. As women, we should be supporting each others' efforts, like your post says. This is beautifully written, Karen.