Everyone’s an expert. I’m one of those who think they know what’s best – and I do. I know what’s best for my family and no one else’s.
At least once a week I see someone who has posted an article on Facebook on why children are better off with moms (note: it’s never dads) who work inside or outside the home. There’s always science to back it up, and I don’t doubt the data is correct on both sides. What we forget are the variables. Work schedules vs. children’s needs and personalities vs. parent’s needs and personalities vs. a host of others. I often feel as though people post these articles as validation that they are good parents; that they’re doing the right thing. And they likely are.
These people fail to realize that they aren’t just validating themselves, they are throwing a punch at those who believe differently. I’m guilty.
Women are great at this – we can be caddy on a dime. We say things like, “Of course that’s best for you” and “I don’t know what I would do if ___”, all the while judging.
Listen ladies, we need to get over this. No one asks dads why they choose to go back to work. In fact, if they stay home they are often met with “Awwww, what a great dad.” Do you see what I’m getting at? It’s a man’s world and if we decide to have children, we will be forced to justify our decisions when it comes to career and family.
When the husband and I decided to start a family we found that we both preferred that I stay home. Not because I’m not driven, not because I’m not capable of anything else, and definitely not because we’re wealthy (though it would help), but because we felt it was the best decision for our family. It shocked everyone but guess what – those opinions don’t matter.
I think of why parents go to work. Most of the time it is for financial support and often it is because one feels they are a better parent when they channel their energy through outside obligations.
I feel for the working moms when they first return after weeks of newborn cuddles, binge watching The View, and baby bliss. That’s postpartum for nearly all of us with our first. But now that I have a toddler I understand why some of you who have the choice decide to go back to work – especially when I’m cracking open a bottle of wine at 10 am on a Friday (let’s be real, it has happened on a Monday).
And can we please stop saying that stay-at-home moms have it easy? It doesn’t feel easy when my kid takes off his poopy diaper three times in a morning and rubs it on the dog. And sofa. And himself. That happened at 9 am on a Monday (see paragraph above). Yes, I understand I’m fortunate to have the option to be with my little all day, but sometimes I just want to use the restroom alone, ya dig?
So let’s put down our weapons, sisters. We’re all just trying to do what’s best for our families. The women who fought for our rights not even a century ago would be ashamed that we are arguing over such irrelevant nonsense. Let’s support one another, stop judging, and focus on those for whom we are ultimately working – our family.