I appreciate all the great comments made on my last two posts and would like to post a summary of them here in case you don't reread all the comments. Bold and italics are added by me to give emphasis. Let's share our similarities and celebrate our differences.
Aliannetee (a stay at home mom) It's one thing to be a working mother when your children are older, in school or out of the home, but when they are small you have just left the rearing of your children to someone else. I also think a parent should be home when kids come home from school…lots of things can go wrong with teenage kids home alone :) I believe women have gotten the idea in their heads that being a full time stay at home mom is somehow below them. Only idiots do that I guess. I'm glad I get to stay home with my little ones...I wouldn't trade it for the world.
Jo (a retired teacher and working mom) Mommies can have outside jobs too. When everyone's home, that's when you take care of each other. You talk around the dinner table, help with homework, plan activities, share experiences. I don't think happy families are because Mommy was home all day dusting and vacuuming. They are made by the times you are together and the love and companionship you share. I think children need nurturing and attention, yet I hate to say that women cannot do what they are capable of doing simply because they are mothers.
Linda (another retired teacher and mom) There are no absolutes. There are always variables that color any situation, and this topic in no exception. Personality, payroll, proximity, communication, family support or reliable day care, off hours job stress and how you handle it. We always want to be validated, to have it affirmed that we made the right choices. But ultimately we must answer for ourselves - did I make the right choice for me? We lived month to month when our kids were little, on my husband's teacher salary, and I stayed home. I went back to work when they were in school, but even then I worked as a classified staff member until they were gone from home. I felt richly blessed to be able to be a full time mom. I was still able to fulfill my need to achieve. I guess my need to be a mother was greater. The wonderful thing is that we are not all alike, and we can all choose the way that is best for each of us.
Sandy (stay at home mom) I stayed home for the nine years. The world went on without me. We did not live large, but we lived. I work again (as a teacher), and leave it behind me when I come home. It's off my mind and I am mom again. I want my girl to know she's No. 1 and to know that she should always put her family first.
Caryn (stay at home mom?) I have a son who is raising his son on his own. No wife, no grandparents nearby... Is it hard? You bet! Does his son miss out on not having a mother's tender touch tucking him at night? I don't know that he does. Dustin reads to him, says prayers with him, pulls the covers over his shoulders, and kisses him on the forehead just the way I did when my children were young. My son never misses a football game, goes to most of his son's practices, his scout activities, makes sure they sit side by side in church, makes him breakfast every morning and a great dinner every night. He's one of the best "mommies" I know. My point here is that we short change men when we think they can't nurture as well as women can.
Michelle (working mom) I always felt my first and most important job was raising my daughter, but I did need to work after she was a year old.
Kay (working mom and retired teacher) I will say that when I went back to teaching my son was in the 2nd grade and my daughter was in 5th. My husband was very involved in their upbringing as well. And still, I remember my son saying at one point, "You love your students more than you do me." That was very painful.