As most of my regular readers know I am an elementary school teacher and therefore a working mom. Most of my mommy friends are working moms, but there are a few who are SAHM and are very happy about their choice. One of my closest friends who is a SAHM and I, have had many conversations comparing our choices. I always respond that I think I am a better mom because I work. I am a very driven person and like how a job offers me the chance to excel at something for myself. Furthermore, since I have the opportunity to work outside the house, communicate with adults, and do something just for me I feel that I am a more relaxed mom. I also feel that the time I spend with my children is higher quality time as I treasure the moments we have. Since I haven't seen them all day I want to spend time with them, listen to them, and love on them. On the weekends rather than looking forward to a break, I am ready to play and hang out with them. Don't get me wrong of course I am a bit tired from the week, have laundry piled up, a messy house, and in desperate need of a grocery run, but boy do I look forward to the time to just be with my kiddos. Now I have to say that I am in a unique position as a teacher because my career allows me to be with my kids on most of the same days that they are off, Christmas break, spring break, and best of all...all summer!!! To be honest, while I have always thought about being a teacher one reason I chose the profession was because of the benefits to how it worked with being a mom. Of course my working does affect some things such as not being able to go on every field trip, volunteer in the classroom, attend Zoe's gymnastics class (Daddy takes her), and just hang out with my kids every day. I also have to be very organized and manage my time wisely to stay on top of everything, but I feel that what we have works for our family.
Which brings me to my main point. I think the decision to be a working mom or stay at home mom isn't anybody's business except your own. You need to find what works for you and your family!! Just please don't use the excuse that you don't have a choice but to work, because that doesn't really fly with me. I strongly believe that if you truly want to stay at home it can be done...even if it means downsizing the house, losing a car, not eating out, etc. If it is important enough you will make it happen! However, no matter what choice a mom makes, whether to work or stay at home, the choice should never be thought of as a reflection on the love that they have for their children!!
Now that I have had my say...what better way to end than with a GIVEAWAY! I thought it was such a coincidence that I read Joanne's post considering I have recently read "The Other Mother" by Gwendolyn Gross. Here is a review on the book from Amazon.
From Publishers Weekly
Gross's third novel (following Getting Out) documents the front lines of the Mommy Wars, but its real strength lies in exposing the complex inner battlefields motherhood can open up. Eight months pregnant Amanda, a successful children's book editor and dedicated New Yorker, picks up with her lawyer husband and moves to suburban Teaneck, N.J. Her new neighbor, Thea Caldwell, is a full-time mother of three who still lives in her childhood home and who arrives bearing brownies. When the newcomers take extended shelter in the Caldwells' basement following a damaging storm and, later, when Amanda hires Thea as her newborn's nanny, the growing intimacy between the two breeds resentment, bitterness and misunderstandings. The series of external crises designed to create tension and suspense are, in the end, less compelling than the women's own inner demons, revealed through alternating, and overlapping, first-person narration. Jersey resident Gross shows the strife between SAHMs (Stay at Home Moms) and WOTHs (moms who Work Outside the Home) to be a lot more nuanced than it's often portrayed. (Aug.)
You can also read some of Gwendolyn's thoughts and ideas about her book by reading some of her blog posts here.
Now for the giveaway!! I would like to pass on my copy of "The Other Mother" to one lucky reader. All you have to do is leave me a comment telling me to count you in. Of course if you would be so kind and link to the contest on your blog I would be forever grateful. I will pick the lucky winner on April 20th. So go ahead...leave me a comment and don't forget to spread the word!!