The quandary of whether being a Working Mom or a Stay at Home Mom (SAHM) is better for her and her children has been highly debatable. Many moms have written about the struggles they go through as a working mom while others compared the pros and cons of a SAHM. Some even went beyond this and gave credit to one group and meanly criticized the other. I will be doing none of this as I will only be sharing with you a brief yet significant personal experience I have recently passed through.
Last week I had to replace a teacher in the same school where I used to teach two years ago. Trust me the minute I entered the class, it seemed as if I have just left yesterday, and into my world of teaching I found myself.
From that week I understood and lived certain experiences which I would like to share with you;
Contradictory feelings engulfed me during these short working hours. Even though I had my little ones in the safe hands of a dear friend, I felt sadness engulfing me when I left them, especially my little boy who made a scene when I did. Asking myself questions like “Is it worth it?” “How will this affect them?” “What might they be doing now?” “Do they miss me?” made me feel even worse. However, when I used to come back, they would be smiling with emotions flowing out from their beautiful eyes. I could see how much they missed me, and I them. In effect they were just fine! Maybe it is a matter of habit especially when the parents compensate properly for their absence.
Once in school and in class, a feeling of contentment, enjoyment, and satisfaction engulfed me. In fact, every time I stop work for a few years and go back again, I know I have chosen the right career for myself.
Being engaged again in a dedicated practice, made me feel productive and internally fulfilled. It made me realise the importance of working on my career life especially because I love it. Moreover, studies do show that children with balanced working moms do look up to them in admiration and seek their success. Being industrious makes a mom feel that she can be present with her family, and also grow internally to reach higher achievements.
As much as I enjoyed being physically active and involved with the students, by the end of the day I felt drained. By 9:00 pm I could not even feel my legs, and had to sleep early.
Of course it is not easy to be standing up all morning explaining, guiding, supporting, and aiding around eighty students. Then going home, continuing with the same enthusiasm, supporting my own children, helping with homework, showing them love, and enjoying them. Well yes, aren’t mothers simply super?
Although I consider myself an organized functional mom, being at home for a long period of time, develops certain lazy habits which a SAHM struggles with on a daily basis. Here comes the importance of being committed to a fixed schedule where there is a time limit for everything. So instead of releasing myself to social media addiction, long phone conversations, or even laying on the couch staring into empty space while the twins napped, I focused on my interests like writing, reading and baking. Here is how I maintained a sane mind and I was productive while being at home. With an employment, however, this organization is accomplished on its own which makes the struggle a bit easier.
Having worked again for a week, I felt a deep appreciation to my fellow moms, those who have the privilege of having an official job title and to those who work as moms at home. Both statuses drain a mom out. Once she is outside, the guilt, the responsibility, and the career achieving dream engulf her. At the same time, once she is at home, her wishful thinking of having a break, a pause, or a day away from her monotonous rhythm reminds her of the great sacrifice she has avowed upon herself. So whether we are employed or not, we have duties which we will never ignore. There will always be a way to reach out for our children at the proper time, in the precise situation, and at the right moment.
I am thankful to have had this opportunity which gave me an insight of how the coming year will be. I understand that I need to manage my family, our house, my employment, and of course my dear blog! As a matter of fact, the blog made me not only enjoy my time at home, but I also learned a lot through it and met amazing people. I know it will not be easy to manage it all, but I won’t let go.
I would love to know more about your experiences as moms who might prefer work to home or vice versa. By sharing our experiences we know we are there for each other, support one another, and guide each other through this journey of motherhood.