Thursday, January 26, 2012

I am a Stay At Home Mom

Some women know from birth that they want to be stay-at-home-moms (SAHM). Some know without a doubt that they want to continue working at or outside the home (WAHM or WOHM). Others, for a variety of reasons, don't have a real choice.

Laptop, iPhone, Beer, Dog, Baby - everything a new mom needs

I put myself in the last category because I was unemployed when I got pregnant and, really, who wants to hire a pregnant woman? (legalities aside, I'm talking about reality)

Honestly, I never imagined myself becoming a mother, much less a SAHM, so I sort of fell into it due to the severely lacking local non-profit job market.

Thankfully, I like it.

Chris & I worked hard to become debt free but the house and we had been living on one income since we left California. The cost of childcare in the area combined with the experience of more than a year on a single-income budget made it relatively easy for us to decide that I would continue to stay at home with Klaw.  When Klaw was born with VLCADD, it suddenly became a blessing that I was unemployed.

Staying at home with Klaw has been the best decision several times over for our family. I don't, for a second, think it's the best decision for every woman or every family. My "mom" friends fall all across the spectrum when it comes to this issue, from a mechanical engineer who left a lucrative career because she wanted to be able to stay at home with her children to a mom who, thanks to downsizing, is a stay at home mom due to circumstances not of her own making. Additionally, many of my friends are working moms through both choice and necessity.

What I do believe is that the people who continue to pit WOHMs & SAHMs against each other need to be stuck in a room full of mosquitoes and no fans. (I'm looking at you, Anderson Cooper, cutie pie)

I have been a caretaker to other people's children as a babysitter, an educator, a day care employee, and as a nanny. When people make derogatory comments about childcare providers, I take it personally. I, as do most people who make a career out of working with children, cared & still care deeply for the children who were entrusted to my care. I took the responsibility very seriously and still maintain relationships with many of the families I worked with.

3 of the kids I nannied in Washington supporting me at a concert
 I wasn't raising other people's children; I was doing my best to be another trusted adult in these kids' lives and help instill the values of the family I was working for.

At the end of the day, you need to make the decision that works best for your family. Whether you stay at home or work outside of the home, you need to be happy & confident in your decision. If you aren't, find a way to make a change.

As I've said before, an involved & loving parent is an involved & loving parent whether they are at home all day, at work all day, or deployed.

Are you a SAHM or WOHM? Dad? Have you felt judged for your decision? What is the biggest misconception you'd like to clear up about your role as a stay at home or work outside the home parent?

Mama’s Losin’ It

Inspired by 1.) Return to work after baby was born or stay home? How did you make your decision?

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