Have you ever heard the saying “You cannot please everyone”? No one is more cognizant to the truth in this statement than mothers. Stay at home moms often find that they are criticized by their working counterparts for making the decision to leave the workplace, and moms who work are criticized just as equally for their choice not to stay home and raise children. Unfortunately, the persons responsible for making snap judgments on moms are often moms themselves.
Mothers who choose to work away from home do so for many reasons, just as those who stay home. Some moms simply cannot afford to stay at home. Others thrive on the challenges their career provides for them. One working mom says that she is constantly criticized for her choice to work away from her daughter. She finds it difficult to deal with the criticism at times, especially since it comes from several sources: stay at home moms, her male boss, and oftentimes, herself. She says that while she would love to stay at home, she is a workaholic and enjoys the challenges provided by her job. She and several other moms who’ve made the decision to go back to work after the birth of their children feel an overwhelming pressure to work even harder in order to prove that being a mom hasn’t affected their work ethic. All of the working moms who’ve provided insight into the difficulties they face agree that the most difficult part of working away from home comes not from the office or from those who disapprove, but from the distress of saying good bye to their little one every morning.
The debate between working and staying at home is not a new one. Valid arguments are made regularly for both sides. Are children raised by mothers who stay home with them going to be more well rounded and intelligent children than those who attend daycare? Are moms who stay home with their children instilling lesser ambitions into the minds of their children than those who are raised by mothers who work hard and recognize the value of an education and hard work? There are no answers to these questions, merely opinions. Sites such as: http://nymag.com/nymetro/urban/family/features/n_7837/ and http://www.drphil.com/articles/article/284 provide insight into the ever-lasting debate of motherhood for moms on either side of the fence. The arguments are both intelligent and insightful and offer readers a chance to spend a few moments in the shoes of someone with a differing opinion.
No matter whether a mom works or stays home, the decision is theirs to make, not to be criticized by others. By nature, women tend to be the more judgmental sex, often silently criticizing others for even the smallest of things, such as their choice of hairstyle or stroller. Stay at home moms who believe working moms are not doing their job as parents should remember that their opinions can be, and are, just as hurtful and irrelevant as the negative opinions given to them for the parenting decisions they’ve made. In short, the sheer volume of work and dedication parenting requires is tremendous and not always easy for any mom. Rather than wasting time judging the parenting choices of others, moms should instead focus on making sure that their own children are happy and healthy, because let’s face it-one day they’re all going to be teenagers. When that day comes, moms everywhere are going to need one another for support and understanding, and even to occasionally pour a pitcher of margaritas and fantasize gleefully about the day their teenagers will have teenagers of their own.