To be honest you guys, I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a long time but could never find a starting point. I’ve been asked the question why I don’t stay at home with my kids multiple times and after thinking about it, I have finally decided there’s no better time to share than the present. It’s no surprise that this topic is usually a sensitive one from all sides. People seem to feel very strongly about this one way or the other, and parents usually feel the need to defend their decisions in a pretty aggressive manner. I’m also going to throw this disclaimer in here that I in no way, shape, or form think that being a stay at home mom is a bad thing. On the contrary- I rather envy those who get to spend more time with their kids than I. I also do not think that being a mom who works outside of the home is a bad thing. I really believe that this is one of those topics that depends on what works best for you and your family at the time in which it’s being discussed or decided. With that being said, here’s some insight into why I choose to be a mom with a career in the workforce.
At first, I didn’t have any other option. I was barely 19 when Marek was born and I didn’t have a job with FMLA benefits that allowed for maternity leave. This meant that I went without pay or insurance benefits for however long I decided to stay home with him. My son was just 3 1/2 weeks old when I decided to go back to work. This was not because I didn’t want to stay at home with him, but financially we just couldn’t pull it off.
Since then, I’ve nearly finished my bachelors degree, and worked hard for an awesome career. I have two beautiful boys who mean the world to me, and a wonderful and super supportive husband. The road to getting where I am now was long, there is no other way to put it. Blood, sweat and tears doesn’t even begin to cover where I’ve been to get to where I am today. The following are my reasons:
#1. Financial- As many of you know, having children and a family can be expensive. (Who am I kidding, my husband is much more of a financial burden than my children). We enjoy having a dual income household where we can have some financial freedom to take our kids places and spend money on them when we want. Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t drowning in money just because both of us work. We have two car payments, a mortgage, and the usual utilities. However, it is nice to not have to budget each cent earned by one person right down to the penny. We have just enough wiggle room added to our monthly budget to be able to do something fun for us. For some people, they can make it work on one income and that’s great! For us though, I can’t justify being a stay at home mom if it’s going to limit us as a family.
#2. My degree- I am just 4 months away from completing my bachelors degree. As a “teen mom” this is one of my greatest accomplishments aside from my children and marriage. Obtaining my bachelors degree shows that I put forth the effort needed to learn and master the material of the program and speaks a lot about who I am. I am driven, I am motivated. I have wanted this not only for myself, but also to set an example for my kids that HARD WORK PAYS OFF. Of course they don’t need to accomplish a degree, but it’s the example of working hard- nothing in this world is free. I feel personally that if I were to put my career on hold to be a stay-at-home-mom, I would have worked through all of these classes, homework assignments, and hours of testing for nothing. I want to put my degree that I’ve worked so hard for to use. It feels great to actually be active in a career that utilizes my skills earned from that degree.
#3. My Children’s Benefit- My child has definitely thrived being away from me. Marek has been between my grandmothers house, and daycare since he was just 3 1/2 weeks old. Exposing him to various different people and environments has been undoubtedly one of the best things for his development. He’s very socially advanced and has a vocabulary that lots of children don’t accomplish by the age of 4. He can hold an intelligent conversation with any adult, and that makes me so proud. They always say that “it takes a village” to raise a child. I’m extremely blessed with my village for helping me with Marek. (Auntie Shelley, Grandma, Mom & Dad, Brian, Kristi & Rodney, Katie and Cory, Ruby, and various other friends and family).
I envy stay-at-home moms, I truly do. Brian has offered multiple times for me to stay at home if that’s what I truly want, but at the end of the day I don’t think that it is what would benefit our family the most. There are many moms who stay home with their children who work from home which I think is an awesome option for those who have it. Marketing or small businesses are a great way for moms and dads to get the best of both worlds, but that’s definitely still a lot of work. Daycare can be so expensive, especially in big cities where people are paying almost $2,000 per month in childcare alone. At that point, it doesn’t make sense for many people to go to work when it costs them more than what they make per month to have someone watch their kids.
If nothing else I am sure of this though- we as moms need to stop thinking less of other moms because of their decisions. The “mom community” is a pretty cut-throat place to be, everyone is passing judgement and voicing opinions in unsupportive ways. Working moms need to stop bashing stay-at-home moms because they chose another route. Being a stay-at-home mom is NO walk in the park. Have you ever stayed at home with your kids for 7 days straight, week after week? Cleaning a house, grocery shopping, bathing, entertaining, play dates, school runs, etc? It’s exhausting. With that being said, stay-at-home moms need to stop making snide comments about caring more for their kids by spending more time with them. Moms who work outside of the home still have to cook, clean, grocery shop, and spend time with their kids, they just have less time to do so. Just because some moms go to work everyday doesn’t mean that they don’t want to spend more time with their kids, but staying home with them isn’t an option financially for all of us. And this is all okay, ALL OF IT. The mom community needs to become a more supportive place for everyone. This is 2019- lifting each other up as parents is important because y’all, PARENTING IS HARD regardless of whether you’ve taken the daily route of staying home or leaving for work.
Until next time,