A friend of mine very recently posted a blog that really got me thinking about this topic. It doesn't seem to matter what choices you make as a mother, there's gonna be mothers that want to criticize you. I suppose this is true of a lot more things in life than just motherhood. But somehow, at least to me, motherhood is different, set apart as it were. Being a mom has totally awakened the inner "mother bear" in me that was forever in hibernation mode prior to having my son. Most moms really think their decisions through & make what they feel is the absolute best choice for their child/children. Every family & family situation is so different from each other that it's truly impossible for someone else to make those judgments & criticisms. As a mother we bring to motherhood all of our past experiences & knowledge gained as well as trying to learn as we go the best we can. I often hear people saying something about a choice a mother made & I stop to think "what if it was me they were talking about?" I am far from perfect & have definitely made my share of mistakes in my life & I'm sure I have plenty more to make in the days I have left on earth. But I definitely think things through before making a decision & I definitely try to make the best decision for my child. And so whenever I hear someone making a critical comment about a mother I almost always throw in my 2 cents & say something along the lines of "I'm sure she's doing what she feels is best for her child" & that does usually end the negative conversation.
I know for me I am aware of being criticized for being a SAHM. I am sure I have received other criticisms as a mother, but not to my face (& really, how is that right? to be willing to say things behind someone's back, yet not to their face? The more time goes on the more that issue deeply bothers me & I refuse to do it). Anyways, I've heard plenty about me being a SAHM--that I wasted so much time & money on my college education, that financially we'd be doing better if I was working, the list goes on & on. And it's really no one's business, it doesn't even affect anyone except my little family. But hubby & I discussed it & we both felt it was the best for Lil J if I stay at home with him.
And I have a tremendous amount of respect for Dr. James Dobson & he stresses over & over that parents should do whatever it takes to have a child be able to stay at home with a parent at least until they are 2. He says it has a huge impact on their future relationship with their parents as well as their overall development.
But of course not everyone is able to stay at home with the kids no matter what they do. And there are even mothers who don't want to stay at home. And there are even mothers who also work out of the home (talk about tough!!). And I know plenty of families where one parent works day shift & the other works night shift & that way the child is never left with anyone other than it's parents. There are so many options.
My heart always hurts for mothers who HAVE to work yet don't to. I always try to comfort them by reminding them that at least they get a break & get to socialize with adults. I mean, if I had to guess I would say the work at home moms have it the toughest. But second to that would be the stay at home mom. I LOVE being a stay at home mom but it is very challenging at times. There is NEVER a true break. And when sharing this with working moms I have even been criticized by other stay at home moms for saying such a thing. Mind you, there's quite a trend nowadays to call yourself a stay at home mom yet have a maid & put your child in day care. And then there's people who drop their child off with a relative or friend or day care for every little thing they need to do. THAT would definitely make being a SAHM easier if you ask me. But that also means you don't have any business judging or criticizing SAHMs that don't have maids & don't have sitters.
I, personally, have to drag my kid on every single errand. And it is TOUGH, let me tell you. He doesn't always behave & I have to work around napping schedules, etc. Grocery shopping is the absolute worst. I have to make 2-5 stops & I do them as fast as I can, & then when I get home I have to put it all away. And the whole time I have to keep an eye on his attitude & prevent a total meltdown. I usually leave the house at 9am & get home at 1 & am not done putting it all away until 3. It is so exhausting! I have to clean my whole house while keeping him entertained, I have to cook (I know lots of people eat out or eat take out or fast food, etc--but I actually cook, most of it from scratch mind you), & I have to try to get errands ran when needed. I even drag my kid with me when I go to the doctor--does anyone know how hard that is???? The only time I actually got a sitter was for ultrasounds & MRIs that I had done. So I would really like someone to spend a week in my shoes before they choose to criticize me.
Alright, so today's blog was a bit of a rant, I haven't done one of those in quite a while.