Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Judgmental Tripe

I read a column in today’s paper that profoundly irritates me, but seems to be a common belief. If you can’t be a stay-at-home-mom and quit your job, you are a bad mother and neglectful of your children. At the same time, if you do become a stay-at-home-mom, you are not an ‘achiever’.

It’s as if there are no middle roads to that extreme and all women’s circumstances are the same and don’t impact the decision. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

I know, in our case, we can’t afford me quitting my job to become a full-time-mommy. Not even if we cancel the cable, send the dogs away, return the new station wagon, and live a bare bones existence. Even if we could, I don’t believe I’d be the best person suited to stay home all day with the baby. I can see how it would be attractive to hire a nanny and continue your work life as before.

I’ve been out of work before. I get a little stir crazy when completely cut off from cubeville.

I know several women who’s goals in life deal with having and raising children. These are not underachievers. There achievements are just not those recognized by any corporate entity. It’s just a different goal set for them. If they can somehow finagle it, they will. If not, they will try to do what they can to give their all to their children.

Then there are the middle-roaders: Those who work part time, free-lance, or work from home.

I’m hoping to join those ranks. I know telecommuting is an option in my job and I am lobbying to change my work schedule. I hope to be home 4-5 days a week and in the office 2-3 days a week, still putting in a full 40 hours. Thankfully, the first few months of the baby’s life, Hubby will be home as well on summer break. Junior will have 24/7 parental availability for the beginning. Then we will need to get help, but only on a part-time basis.

Am I a bad momma for doing this? Of course not!! I’m picking the best option for us as a family and going with that one. Anyone who does that, whatever their “best option” may be, is a good parent.

Do I think some parents use work as an excuse to avoid being a parent? Of course!! To be honest, I think all parents do at some point even if it’s just for a half hour. An unnecessary trip to the store; that extra few minutes at the office—it may not be much but parents are people too and need to get away and have time to themselves. Yes, there are people who take this to an extreme, but I feel they are likely very few in the great scheme of things.

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