Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Year at Home

One year ago today I cleaned out my office, was given a surprise going away ice cream social, and said goodbye to co-workers and to a second income for our household. There are things I miss about working - the structure, the constant adult interaction and the camaraderie of working together toward a common goal. Overall though, I wouldn't trade this year or this current life for afternoons spent in meetings or at my desk whiling away the hours until I could go home.

Leaving my job to stay home with Milo was the right thing to do for our little family. And, yet, I still struggle with that decision to some degree. I am uncomfortable about how stay-at-home mothers are often viewed and the looks I sometimes get for staying at home. It shouldn't matter what other people think about how I spend my time, but somehow it does.

Trying to delve into those feelings a little more, I picked up Mommy Wars at the library. The book is supposed to elicit a truce between those mothers who work outside of the home and those who stay home. The essays in it were intended to shed light on the experiences of both sets of mothers and show both to be valid.

Fine premise, but I couldn't get through the book. I was feeling judged before I even made it through the forward (being how the author couldn't understand how a stay at home mother could put her economic circumstances into another's hands). Plus, the book seemed very dated (it was published in 2006) with references to things that just don't resonate only four years later.

At the end of the day, each woman needs to do what is right for her family. Economics, personality and individual circumstance play a role in this. Each outcome is genuine to that family. No one book of essays is going to be able to explore the vast array of situations that defines motherhood.

No comments: