With the heavy lifting of baby-rearing behind you, now may be the time to head back to work. For those already working and no longer chained to daycare fees, perhaps it's a good time to go after a new career opportunity. Or, the empty house may have your biological clock ticking for just one more baby?
For some reason, society (and especially moms), get caught up in terminology. Moms are categorized as SAHM (stay-at-home mom), WAHM (work-at-home mom), or career mom, as though having a specific "mom label" denotes a certain level of superiority or accomplishment. In the end, regardless of our employment status, we are all moms
I don't judge my friends who work full-time (I'm completely proud and impressed by their success) and I don't judge my friends who don't work at all (I'm amazed by their patience and ability to put their careers on hold). The trouble is that moms feel the need to defend their position (myself included) whenever they feel it's being questioned, and sometimes it gets downright vicious. We've already established that there's no "perfect" solution that works for everyone, so it seems wrong that anyone has to compare themselves to anyone else (and feel guilty or insecure), but we're never going to get past it, it seems.
What's wrong with being moms? What's so awful about this that we feel we need to shout at the world that we are so much more than moms, that we are so much more than everyone else? Fighting fire with fire rarely works and this is yet another case of it. If you were truly proud to be a mom, you wouldn't have to validate your choice on Facebook.
I know that you seldom have a hot cup of coffee or tea. I know that your attention is always divided, often diverted from a moment to moment basis, and you cannot ever count on completing a task in the one go. I know that you probably don't get any down time when you're on your own at home, unless you have a single child who still naps in the daytime. I know the challenges you deal with daily, usually with no peer support or backup. The toddler tantrums, the toilet training accidents, the food battles, the food on the floor, the crayons on the wall, the sibling rivalry, the baby that never seems to stop crying.
I am unemployed again. I'm scared we won't be able to pay the bills. I'm scared that we have set up a life that there is no way we can afford without a second salary, and a decent one at that. I'm scared that I am doing my son a disservice by pulling him from daycare to stay home with me, a mom who loves him dearly but prefers to not be a stay-at-home mom...
How can women who've "opted-out" update their skills and their resume after having been absent from the workforce for 10 years? While being at home with the kids likely won't replace the knowledge gained by working corporately, I would argue that being at home with kids could actually hone the following handy talents.
When does being a housewife become too high risk? Shouldn't we as women be able to head out into the workforce if all of a sudden we're the sole financial provider? As someone who lives in one of the most expensive cities in the world, I can't get my head around how women can walk away from their careers without a worry in the world. Isn't it irresponsible?