Full Time Moms

All right, it’s time for an opinion piece! Pardon me while I pound on my pulpit for a minute.

‘Tis the season of Thanksgiving, and here is one thing I am thankful for: moms. I am a doggy-mom at this point in time, but sometime I hope to expand to the human variety. One thing I don’t know yet is if I will be a full-time mom, aka homemaker, or a mom with a job. (Note: a mom with a job is also a mom, all the time, it’s just that some of her time is spent doing something important besides taking care of her kids!)
I know a number of brilliant, talented women who have chosen to leave lucrative job tracks to pour themselves into their children. My mother, for example, spent two decades raising and serving and caring. She made the right choice.

I also know a lot of brilliant, hard-working women who work demanding full-time and part-time jobs while juggling their roles as loving, caring mothers; for example, my mother-in-law. She also made the right choice.

There is no one right choice.

Choosing to be a full-time mom is a decision between a woman, her husband, if she has one, and God. It requires taking the individual children and the support system into account. Motherhood is like jeans. One size definitely does not fit all.

I wish that people would be a little less judgmental about the right choice. I have heard a lot about “why would you have kids if you don’t want to take care of them?” Or “if you can afford to stay home with kids, you should!”

On the other hand I have heard a lot of “Lean in!” “Don’t drop out of the work force!” “She needs a job.” “If I can do it, anyone can.” “Women who leave make a lot less money over a lifetime!”  (News flash: money isn’t everything. It really isn’t.)
The reason I’m thinking about this is because of a piece I read on CNN. The writer, a divorcee, expresses her sadness that she can’t be a “good mom” because the divorce forced her to go back to work. She can’t do crafts and make healthy breakfasts and cuddle. Her life is full of shortcuts and imperfections.

To which I want to say – you are still a good mom!! I am sorry that you didn’t get to make the choice. I’m sorry you didn’t get to keep the life you wanted.  The life of a single, working mother is NOT easy, but you are doing the best you can. You are being the best mother possible and that will pay off in the long run.

And – nobody has the perfect life. There will always be sacrifices, trade-offs, and shortcuts. In this life there will be sorrow, trials, tribulations, and trouble.
Okay, okay. I’m not a mom so I know I don’t “get it” yet. But I know this: there is no one right way for everybody.
So don’t be defensive. Be proud of your choice and hold off on the judgment.

Okay, I’ll get off my soap box now. Thank you moms everywhere; no matter how you do it, we are thankful for what you do!

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