The subject of Working Moms vs Stay At Home Moms is a touchy subject and a complicated one at best. At the risk of offending or alienating friends (so sorry in advance if anyone takes it personally–it’s not meant to point fingers or deem any mom right or wrong in their life choices) I would like to delve into why I consider myself both a Working Mom (WM) and a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM).
Ahem. [Deep breath.]
I am a WM because I work. Simple logic, yes? Currently I have two jobs: babysitting for a friend in her home and delivering a weekly newspaper (more about that tomorrow). So 4 days a week I work outside my home.
But I’m still sort of a SAHM because, excluding the 1 hour a week in which I deliver the paper sans Sweet Baby James, he is with me every second of the day. (Trust me, I’ve tried to lose him. He always comes back. J/K of course!!!) So while we may not be physically in my house 24/7, I get the joy and responsibility of being with my child full-time.
Interestingly, many wonderful, caring mamas around me have given me very very different advice about this. Some, like my MommyPal , would tell you that she will make whatever sacrifices necessary to be at home with her little ones and working is not an option for her. She values spending as much time as possible with them and being the full-time educator/nurturer/cook/etc. for her family. On the flip side, a former boss told me that she truly felt working full time and having her kids in daycare is the only way to go–she felt fulfilled, her kids loved daycare, her husband was happy, and she never felt like a “tired, old mom.”
Just so you know, there is middle ground too! A very wise, seasoned Mom that I crop with has told me that she is a better mom when she works part-time. And she has been blessed to have her husband watch her children while they were very young and then taken them to preschool part-time when they were a bit older. (She also highly recommends teaching college courses as a mom job–she found that she could teach while the children were taking their naps and then be done in time to pick them up afterward so she didn’t miss any of their day!)
In case you don’t know/couldn’t tell, I tend to fall into the “staying at home is best” mindset, but at the same time I want more for myself. That’s right, I’m not lying to myself and pretending it’s all about James. It’s not. You see, there’s this lofty ambition tossing about in my head that my mortgage will be paid off in 2020. That’s only 11 years away, and we’ve only been paying on the house for 3 years. The idea of being 36 years old with a paid off mortgage makes me swoon. How crazy/awesome would that be?
Call me a Dave Ramsey fangirl if you must, but it’s my dream. Toby and I haven’t been the best with money, we’ve made our share of mistakes along the way. (We’ve even had credit cards before but *shhhhh!* don’t tell Dave!) Currently though, we have no debt other than our mortgage and we have 2 months living expenses saved up in case Murphy comes to visit. That’s a great start–but we can do even better! We are willing to work hard in order to pay off our mortgage FASTER than we have to, because the payoff (thousands of dollars in saved interest, financial freedom, psychological benefits of being out of debt, etc.) is totally worth it.
At the same time, this is a challenge because I want to be with my child as much as possible. I want to teach him what I value and believe. I want to spend as much of his day with him that I can because he will be off to college before we can blink. Hence, my quest to find part-time work that will benefit my family financially without sacrificing too much of my precious time.
Tomorrow’s blog post: Mom Jobs.
Jobs that I have tried, others I might be willing to try. Your experiences and input welcome!