There has been a lot of finger-pointing, eye-poking, hair-pulling on the playground these days. And I'm not referring to the Republican primary. Ladies, what is going on with the SAHM vs. "working" mom debate? I thought it had started with Anderson Cooper and was prepared to call him out for the worst panel question ever: "are stay-at-home moms lazy?" Apparently, his show was preceded by a survey study that found that moms with jobs outside the home are happier and healthier and the basis for his program was to talk with moms in various forms about the claims - and then one mom made the lazy comment. So we started it? Great.
I still wasn't paying too much attention because I don't really care what someone else thinks about what I do or don't do. But I certainly wasn't always this secure. Then, in the span of a week, I came across two blog posts from a couple of my favorite blogs that brought some dignity to the discussion. Toddler Times via Mommy Shorts and Momastery, thanks for moving this conversation in a constructive direction.
So, how did I make the switch? Very, very carefully. Even before Hubby and I were "trying" I was praying that God would change my heart in such a way that I was without-a-doubt-sure what I was to do. Even if it meant staying at home. I had worked hard for the brief few years of my time in international education, and, as best I could tell, it seemed to be "God's will." Well, actually I had decided that since God had clearly given me an interest in "international" and that I liked working on a college campus, this was the job for me....by God!
It was a good time. I loved the colleauges - many turned friends - that I worked with and had the privilege of working in a supportive environment for the last three years. Still, there was always a voice in the back of my head suggesting that staying at home was going to be in my future, and I was not convinced. See, I've never had a glowing uterus (thanks Scrubs for that line) or an affinity for small children. I ducked and claimed the Bubonic Plague when asked to serve in the nursery at church. I knew if having children and staying at home (i.e. putting my career on hold) were in my future, God was going to need to give me some supernatural peace.
He did. When the time came to decide I knew that was the transition I needed to make. I knew for our family that would be the healthiest and happiest decision. I knew that's where God wanted me. I had peace. Don't get me wrong, I was terrified at the prospect, but I just couldn't see it working any other way, and I was internally calm.
So, that was that. It has worked for us. I'll have a post coming soon about all the unforeseen benefits it has brought to my life. I have friends who have made the decision to continue working outside the home; I love getting together with them when we can coordinate, and I admire their work.
Glennon at Momastery said it best when she wrote: "Because I'm not necessarily trying to raise an executive or a mommy. I'm trying to raise a woman. And there are as many different right ways to be a woman as there are women."