The Working Mom / Stay At Home Mom Debate

1378781_597821706942930_1482762124_nThis week I went to the dermatologist.  She asked what I did and I said I was a Stay at Home Mom (SAHM).  She said that she does not know how I do it because she is so tired after the weekend she would not want to do it all week with her three year old.

But I guess saying that I an a SAHM is not the whole story.  I am a SHAM who is getting a Doctoral degree online.  Also, I have the Charlie The Cavalier blog, the 50 Things to Know Books business with 34 books, Xpedition Girl my new travel blog, a large Pinterest following, a gymnastics instructor, and I am starting to create content for online classes.  All things where I can still use some of my degrees, create an income from my family, and keep my brain stimulated after changing diapers, and feeding a child.

I guess what I am trying to say is I don’t think I would survive at home just being a SAHM.  Without checking stats and adding content, I don’t think I would feel as connected to the outside world as I do.  Sometimes when I was home alone and my little girl was sleeping I would watch the stat counter that said the place of the person viewing my site and the content.  Watching the counter made me realize that I was still interacting with people all over the world.

I have to admit, I did give up my dream career at a dream workplace to be a SAHM.  But so far the reward has been worth it.  I would not imagine not being able to sleep in on certain mornings. I know I am very blessed to even have the opportunity to have had a career and leave it to be a SHAM.  I don’t think either way is the right or wrong way but I believe each Mom makes the best choice for the entire family.

My husband and my Mom both were SAHM.  But I don’t think you are just a SAHM.  SAHMs do many things at home.  Some work full and part time jobs.  Others take care of family member.  Some coupon, blog, home school or have business out of their homes.

I guess what I am trying to say is I am blessed to be a SAHM.  I am happy that other woman get to choose what they do while others don’t have a choice.  I could not do it without interacting with people on the internet and having such a good support system.

We are lucky enough to have savings to travel.  I have been out of the country twice since having our little girl: once to Bermuda on a cruise with her and once to Punta Cana without.  I have been to many wedding and day trips including to local state parks.  These trips have really helped us get out of the house and enjoy each others company.

I do try to have a schedule.  Tuesday is ladies night (a bible study with a baby sitter), Wednesday is the library, Thursdays are game night with friends, Friday mornings is a mothers group with a baby sitter, Saturday we usually go to the coffee shop as a family, Sunday we have church (with a Sunday school baby sitter), and then we usually have a friends dinner on Sunday night.  These activities keep me moving forward, allow me to put on make-up and clothes to get out of the house, and give me some adult time.  Without these things I don’t think I would be as good of a SAHM.

I also have an amazing husband.  He makes the SAHM thing possible by helping at nights and during the weekend.  When he is busy at work it gets really difficult.  We also have friends and family who help baby sit.  One of the hardest thing is to ask and receive help.  But these two things help me to stay a SAHM. I also try and help others when I can because God has still given me other gifts that I can use during this time.

I think the biggest thing is presence.  Are you present with your child when you are with them.  For example there are some days that all I do is meet our little girls basic needs and then go on the computer or watch tv.  On these days sometimes I think it would be better if I did work because then I would enjoy my time with her more.  But I do realize that most days this is not the case and I enjoy learning with her every day.

I believe that life is about relationships and experiences.  Deciding to become a SHAM has given me many of these.  Without a long commute I have time to create relationships that I have not in the past.  I get to meet many amazing Moms and children.  I have relationships with children like I never have before.

So I believe I have made the right choice for our family.  I even think God is happy with my choice too. How long will I be a SAHMI am not sure.  But I know I would not trade all the experiences that I have had in the past 3 years (including pregnancy) for the world.  Ok I would probably take away the nauseousness and the painful breast swelling, but that is all.  One of the many things I have learned is how AMAZING mothers are. How strong they can be in any circumstance.  How flexible and vulnerable we are at the same time.

I do have goals of working again.  I want to teach online classes and then be the Director of distance education.  I hope to travel again as a trainer after my children are off to college.  But for now I will enjoy being a SAHM.