Lately, I have been thinking a lot about why I am a stay at home mom (see previous post). There are all these reasons floating around like daycare is horrible/for mom’s who don’t want to take care of their kids, it’s what I (as a woman) am supposed to do, yada yada yada. There are just as many reasons to NOT be a stay at home mom – less money, low self-esteem, divorce. It’s tiring hearing people explain their decisions.
The truth, for me at least, is that this is where I am supposed to be. Not because we can afford it. Not because my husband travels for work. Not because I am a woman. I am a stay at home mom because it is what is best for MY family.
That being said, as women, we cannot win this argument between being a working mom and a stay at home mom. If we decide to work, we are neglecting our kids. If we stay home, we aren’t living up to our potential or contributing to society. No matter what we decide, we will suffer the never-ending “mom-shaming”.
For some reason we are told that we need to do it all. We need to take of the children, our husbands, our homes. We need to work and bring home the proverbial bacon. We need to craft. We need to do volunteer work. We need to teach our kids. And we need to look good doing it. If we fail at one of these, we feel like we are failing at life. It is so easy to get wrapped up in any one of these things and look to them to find our identities. If we lose it, we lose our identities and we feel lost. Even if others aren’t “mom-shaming” us, we begin to shame ourselves.
The only way I’m able to get around this, is to remember that my identity is not in being a mom. It is not in being a teacher, or a wife, or even as a woman. My identity is in Christ. I have to remind myself of this daily because it is oh so easy to be blinded by everyday life. This truth takes away so many of these burdens! I want to challenge all the mommies out there reading this (and MYSELF) not to let those thoughts of self-doubt and shame creep in. And almost just as importantly, don’t let those feelings of doubt be directed at other mommies. Whatever type of moms we are, we are doing GREAT work!