Many of you that know me well know that my 20’s and the majority of my 30’s were spent building a career for myself and NOT on planning to have children. Now that I am expecting a baby boy in October, I often get the question of “are you planning to go back to work?”
This is a very fair question and it certainly doesn’t bother me to be asked this (although I know for a fact my husband is never asked this question).
My point of view on this is that mothers and fathers need to do what is best for them and their families. Regardless of societal pressures that exist. What works for me is not what will work for someone else and that’s absolutely okay. What really upsets me however, is the lack of support from other women and how judgmental women are of each other. The stay at home moms judge the working moms and say that they aren’t committed to their children and the working moms judge the stay at home moms for leaving the workforce. This is absurd to me. How is it anyone’s business what someone chooses to do?
As women, we should applaud and support stay at home moms as well as the working mom. Let’s face it ladies, we have enough challenges as it is, do we really need to come down on each other? Now I am well aware I probably sound idealistic and that this topic is more complicated than that.
For me, the decision isn’t easy. My mom was a stay at home mom until I was in the 4th grade. I loved having my mom at home. My mom’s situation was different than mine though in that she started having children in her early 20’s and had not worked for 14 years building a career for herself. After being in the workforce, working incredibly hard to excel in my career how do I just stop? I think it would be different if I hated to work and I know women who hate their work and would gladly let their husbands be the main breadwinner if they had the choice.
I do like working though. I love having somewhere to go everyday and make a difference. I have had the great pleasure of leading a department and enjoy collaborating with colleagues, building strategy and exceeding goals that are set for me. Of course, it’s not always puppy dogs and rainbows, my job is not without it’s challenges and failures are always tough to swallow. I love contributing to the household and helping my husband too. I certainly would not want him to have all the pressure of earning money to support us.
It all sounds very simple right? I love my work, so I’ll just go back to work. Easy. Decision made.
Now that I am 7 months pregnant, and I can feel this little baby kicking and squirming around in my belly practically all day long, I am already falling in love with this little guy. This feeling makes me worry though, after my 3 months maternity leave come to an end who will care for him? Will that person pick him up often and hold him? Will they care for him the way we will?
It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. The first year is just so critical for a baby, what’s the right decision here?
I wish I could end this post with a conclusion but I cannot. What I can say is that I admire stay at home moms and I admire working moms too. I will write another post once I have figured this all out, I promise. In the meantime ladies, let’s be supportive of each other’s choices. We need to stick together.