Working from home can be rewarding in many ways, but it's important to see beyond the daydream before making the decision to change your career. Do your research and take the time to plan before you commit to a new lifestyle. Remember that there are always pros and cons to all sides of the working world -- do what works best for you and your family.
I can't spot a single one-dimensional woman for miles. They don't exist. This woman, who lives and breathes only for her kids, who is defined by the existence of her children, doesn't exist. The only women I see today are women who slip in and out of being a friend, a partner, a professional, a creative, the house CEO, all the while being the best mothers they can.
On Mother's Day, I look at my kids and think how blessed I am. Not just because I've had a chance to raise them, with all of the love, pride and fun that brings to my life. But because doing so has been a joyful experience. I've been able to nourish them, keep them warm, and send them off to school in the morning.
I don't want to read any more arguments about who has it harder, whose work is "real work," who is contributing more to society, or who is doing a better job ensuring her kids become stable, non-homicidal adults. I'm proposing a new form of Internet literature, where one group of moms singles out another group of moms for a job well done.
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.
I'm writing this because I often complain about and worry about my new line of work / not work. I feel like I'm missing out on real life by not punching a clock. That I've perhaps sacrificed my career and will never get it back. I want to remind myself that even if I don't get it back, I haven't been wasting my time here. If anything, I've become a better worker, not a worse one.
It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyways. Being a working mother is a never ending balancing act. My children have always had a politician for a mom; I was elected to Toronto's city council before they were born. My chosen career -- and my choice to run for Mayor -- means that my life is, to a certain degree, public.
Growing up in the 50's and 60's, my mother Lillian was primarily a "stay-at-home"mother. It's not that she didn't have high aspirations for her future, as she dreamed of being a dancer. However, times required she go to work directly after graduating high school as a bookkeeper for a dress manufacturer, her professional dancing dreams dashed.
When did the term "working mom" come into the popular vernacular? I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why any woman with a job and children would describe herself as a working mom. My husband is a wonderful father, and great business leader, however, he does not refer to himself as a working dad. In fact, I don't know one man who works while raising a family and calls himself a working dad. So why do we?
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.