Reading mom articles and blogs, I find that you can categorize moms into two types. While this is not the only way to split fellow moms, I find that most fall into the category of “working moms” or “stay-at-home moms.” Over the past few years, I have been blessed with being able to call myself both.
With each of my children, I have taken a yearlong maternity leave away from my current school district and classroom. That lead me to return to a classroom, but not the grade level or physical space that I left. Both maternity leaves have allowed me to witness first-hand what stay at home mom blogs put out there for us to read. For anyone that has not had the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom for an extended amount of time, let me tell you from experience, it is no walk in the park. It is hard work!
While I loved every single minute of my maternity leave, there were definitely some trying moments and days. One week I would try to leave the house as much as possible and give my children every opportunity life had to offer. In a week’s time, we would hit up the playground, Children’s Museum, local library, and Target. I loved being on my own time schedule and letting my kids have a voice into what the day would bring for us.
Other times, there were days where we did not get out of our pajamas: mom included. I would count down the minutes until it was nap time or look at the clock every minute on the minute in the final half hour countdown until my husband would walk in the door.
For all of you women out there that your role is a full-time stay-at-home mom this is a public service announcement to each of you.
Each and every one of you are amazing. While some professions end when the work day has reached quitting time, you never get a break. Your work day continues through the evening hours, weekends, and holidays. There is no paid time off or sick days for a mom that stays at home. The list of things to do goes on and on. Remember even on your most trying days, you are a rock star.
And for the moms that choose to return to work, you are no less amazing. I am quickly finding out how hard it is to manage being a mom, teaching adolescent humans in sixth grade, running a household, grocery shopping, trying to plan a first birthday party and keeping up with the laundry. I’m quickly learning to juggle all of the previously listed items with the mom guilt burning inside of me of making sure I am spending enough time with my children. Thankfully I have an amazing teammate for a husband who helps tackle the previous list with me. I also am blessed to work with amazing women that share in the teacher/mom duties that are empathetic in what I’m going through.
No matter what way you look at it, there are pros and cons to both titles. There are ups and downs and moments where you may sit back and reflect to yourself thinking “Why did I choose this role? Is this the path that I’m supposed to be on? Did I make the best decision for my family?”
Regardless of which role or hat that you wear keep something in mind. If you stay at home, you support your family. If you return to your career, you too support your family. What I have learned over the past few years is that no matter what path I chose, I know that either way I was doing what was best for me, my husband and my children. The days when I stayed home I supported my children with unconditional love, time, experiences, and play dates. The years that I’ve worked I’ve supported my children with giving them the opportunities to build relationships, learning to share, and developing trust and independence.
My hope is that no matter what hat I choose to wear, my children will always know how much I love and care for them. In regard to the decisions I have made, their best interest always came first. I hope they look up to me as a mom and educator. My students that I teach year after year were part of the driving force that lead me to return to the classroom and put on my “working mom” hat again. My goal is to give each student the same love and care that my own children receive on a daily basis.