I am lucky to have seen both sides of the coin. I have gone back to work with my first son and know the challenges that come with a working mother. I am now in the midst of my career as a stay at home mom and I am understanding those challenges too.
The one that stand out the most is : no one ever questioned me working at my career and being a mom but I have been asked thousands of times why I am staying at home with my children. Now the guilt I had as a working mother was internal, but the guilt I feel staying home with my children is external. I say that it’s external because I have been flat out asked “why am I still home?”and I am asked almost daily “when am I returning back to work”.
It can sort of wear you down after a while. You start feeling inadequate and start thinking : maybe I am not really contributing. Even though you may feel inadequate you know in your heart the good times are really good and they may not always be that way so your grateful to be there even if not everyone understands why it is you do what you do.
Growing up I had always been a follower, never one to lead; I feared going against the grain because I really don’t enjoy conflict whatsoever. Now that I am staying at home with my kids in today’s world, I am going a bit against the grain and I am experiencing resistance – I can’t say it feels good all the time. The truth is it can feel downright feel lonely and sad and the worst part is when I feel this way I am met with little comfort, the compassion for my daily vocation is few and far between.
I struggle with it because in my heart I am more than happy to live my life this way but I am met with more resistance than I truly anticipated and sometimes it’s just too much. I know the real path is your own and to live that is to do so authentically and with happiness; but it doesn’t mean I am immune to the guilt, the pressure and the loneliness. Every once and a while it does wear me down and break in and all I can do is welcome it. It will pass. But don’t kid yourself, it is there, it does exist and I am a human being capable of experiencing it whole- heartedly.