Before I got pregnant (and really up until my 5th month) I had a deep prejudice toward working moms. When someone told me they were so excited to go back to work after having their baby I would usually think the same thing: “What a cold-hearted monster!”
How dare a woman not want to stay home with her baby that she just carried for nine months and delivered? That’s just not right. That woman should want to be home with her child, 24/7, loving and caring for his or her needs.
“After all,” I thought, “my mom stayed home with us girls until we were all in school. Then she decided to go back to work. That’s how everyone should do it.”
Now, however, my mind has completely changed.
I’m not going to lie: I was really excited about going back to work today. Granted, I’m only in the office one day a week so I’ve got a pretty awesome deal that I know many women would like to have. Plus, I really like what I do. So the days I work from home don’t really feel like work because I like it, and it comes pretty easy to me.
As the end of my maternity leave got closer and my excitement to see my coworkers increased, I realized what a narrow-minded jerk I had been to all those working moms in the past (of course they didn’t know about it because it was all in my thoughts). I knew some moms had to go back to work—most homes need two incomes to survive (especially if this recession has taught us anything) but I suddenly realized something else: some moms like to work. And…I’m one of those moms.
I always thought I would be a stay-at-home mom. My mom stayed home and I LOVED it. She was always available for class parties, she was involved in so many of our activities, and I felt a deep bond with her that lasts to this day.
My sister is a stay-at-home mom too. And let me tell ya, that woman is like freaking Midas; everything she touches turns to gold. She bakes, she cooks, she sews, she scrapbooks, she blogs, AND she home schools.
So because they are SAHMs, I thought I would be too. After all, we’re from the same gene pool; I’m bound to get some of those awesome mommy chromosomes, right? Right?
I do think I’m doing pretty well with this parenting thing. I’m really feeling a close bond with Hermione and I’m learning to function on not a lot of sleep. And, to be honest, I don’t mind the late-night feedings and blow-out diaper changes. I want to do that. I want to take care of my baby.
But I also want to have something outside of the house. I want some adult-only conversations (not that the subject matter has to be “adult”; although you know I love poop and fart jokes). I want time to focus on something that stimulates my creativity. I know I could pick up a hobby like sewing or crocheting, but I love to write. And I really like my job. And I feel like I’m good at it. And—though I know this may sound selfish to some—but I feel like if I’m feeling fulfilled in something that I enjoy, I’ll be a better mother to Hermione.
So now I get it.
I get that some moms have to work, some moms like to work, and some really like staying at home. I get that whether you work in the home or out of the home, it doesn’t mean you love your child any more or any less. And I also get that we women get enough crap from other sources; we shouldn’t be giving each other a hard time just because we make different choices about work.
To any mom, whether you’re at home or climbing the corporate ladder, I want to tell you you’re awesome. And I promise to stop the judging. Unless you wear socks with sandals. You’ll really just be setting yourself if you do that.