I love, love, love being a stay at home mom. I guess though, technically I'm a work at home mom. I do some contract work for a couple of organizations and I do run The Design Studio which keeps me busy. But, my number one goal is being a stay at home mom.
I was recently asked by someone who barely knows me if I'll be going back to work soon. I simply said no. I mean, it's not as though it's anyone elses business, right? Which then prompted the "well, when the baby is in school?" And again, I replied no. And I was met with a look of, I don't know? Disgust? Shock? Judgement? What was most surprising is that it was from an older person whose generation never would have had a woman working outside the home.
Since then, I've seen some really offensive comments regarding moms that stay home and the dire financial straits the families must be in, how bored, lazy or undervalued the mom must be and how oppressive the father surely is for not allowing his wife to work. The comments go back and forth between being offensive, frustrating and just plain silly.
I do not believe there is a blanket answer on what is right or wrong concerning working moms and stay at home moms. I think the debates between the two are ignorant and a waste of time. I believe that each family situation is completely different and all that matters is that the kids are well cared for and the parents are pleased with the decision they make.
I am incredibly fortunate that I married someone who values the role I play in this home and supports MY decision to be at home with and for our kids day in and day out. I am also incredibly fortunate that we not only had frank conversations regarding what was most important to us and our family regarding myself working out of the home or not. We made a decision and since then we work together to make this happen.
One of the "consequences" of being a one income family is that we do not go out spending silly nilly. Most of the time. We are far from living in a teeny tiny apartment, eating only ramen noodles and wearing shoes that are without soles. Our kids are far from going without, there are few things that we want that we don't have, we still splurge on unnecessary (in my opinion :P) cable channels and our hobbies are supported.
We do not drive new cars. It would be nice, but the trade off to me isn't really worth it. We could live in a bigger house, but really I would need to work full time or we would have to move and we love our families and the bonds they have with our children too much to do that. And really, a bigger house would just mean more cleaning and less playing. We're happy.
I was at Kaitlyn's school last week when I overheard a couple of parents talking. They were frustrated with the school being out all of next week for mid winter break. I understood their frustrations. They both worked and made sure they got off in time to pick their kids up from school, but they didn't work jobs where they could take a week off every month.
Hearing that conversation made me even more grateful that we are in the position that we are in. I'm looking forward to Kaitlyn's week off of school. I'm looking forward to spending the week doing crafts, seeing friends and working to teach her fractions. I'm grateful that I don't have the stress of figuring out what we're going to do for childcare. And, I won't lie, I'm looking forward to sleeping in a little bit.
I couldn't imagine not having all the time that I have with Kaitlyn and Samantha. I think it would literally break my heart every single day. It's worth everything that we do to make it possible and it's worth the days of hard work and lack of lunch breaks. I just absolutely love it.