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Why Staying Home (or Going to Work) Doesn't Make You Mom of the Year


It's time we tell our truth.  

It's time we are OK with what makes us feel happy.
It's time we were ok with it not being what makes someone else happy.

It's time we were OK with it not being the same for everyone.
We don't judge kids by the same standards - why should we judge moms this way?  What's 'best' for one kid - might be a total failure for another.  Thinking that ONE thing makes a good mom is foolish.  Does every dad have and love the same job?  Why should moms?  

It's time we realized we are all trying to do what's best for our homes, ourselves, and our kids.
So quit it!  Stop assuming that other moms don't know what's best for their family!  Stop thinking what works for 'everyone' will work for you.  Do the best for YOUR family - assume that's what other mamas are doing too.

It's time we stopped comparing our happiness to someone else's.
When we look on facebook, in discussion groups, and in articles we are only seeing what's BEST in everyone else's lives.  Their highlight reel.  Quit comparing your average day to everyone else's best day.  Not.fair.

Bold Statement: It's time we realized there are really great moms who stay home... and really great moms who work - and that doing one or the other doesn't make you great.  

If you're miserable at work because you want to be at home... probably not mom of the year.  If you're miserable at home... probably not mom of the year.  

Happy where you are mamas?  Then mamas of the year you are.

Not happy?  Let's find a place where you can be.

Qualifications for Mamas of the Year (multiple awards are given):
  1. Doing your best (most of the time - there are always going to be days that you sprinkle cereal around the house and hope the kids eat enough to be full and take long enough that they won't find you curled up in your bed/bathroom hiding) - I think many of us compare ourselves to someone else's best.  That's just not fair.  It would have been like comparing my score in high school chemistry to my sister's.  Not.fair.  Her best would be 100% mine would be a 60%.  We're all not great at everything and we can't do better than our best whatever that is for us.  What's best for my family might not be what's best for yours.  I won't impose my 'best' and I will try not to internalize and compare myself to yours.  <side note - just because I talk about what works best in my house - doesn't mean I am imposing it!  I don't judge those who do things differently than I do... especially because most people are smarter than I am!>
  2. Reading and researching but not obsessing - I have said before that this generation of mamas is the most well read and researched one yet.  We read books, blogs (hopefully), studies, reports, and articles.  This can turn to obsession - which keeps us from being happy.  Read a bit, make an educated decision, and move.on.
  3. Not belaboring things that cannot be undone or changed - after we read and research - we wish we could do things over in a new better way.  We hear that condescending phrase "know better, do better."  It makes it sound like we weren't smart enough to know what to do in the first place, and that makes us feel crummy, we should have read and researched more.  Move.on.  Some things can't be changed or done over.  Move.on.
  4. Having a life with and without your kids.  I'm not saying ditch your kids and I am not staying stay with them all the time.  This balance is different for every mama.  One mama might need 20 minutes facebooking every 5 months, another might need 2 hours everyday at Starbucks.  Let's find the amount of time alone that makes US happy, and then spend the rest immersed in the happiness of our kids (or at least some of the rest of the time... or maybe a few minutes here and there).  Happy mama = happy kids.  Modeling happiness for our children, showing them that we love life, we love whatever silly activity we are doing, is what makes them happy - they want us to be happy - they want to make us happy.  Miserable all the time?  They will be too. 
  5. Finding a role that makes you happy.  Again - this is different for every mom.  Some moms might be happy at home, homeschooling, working from home, sewing, running a daycare, making play groups, planting a garden, making snowmen... Some moms might be happy at work, with a career of their own, working in an office, in a classroom, in a factory, treasuring the first 30 seconds they arrive at preschool to pick their ecstatic kids up.  Just because one thing works for one mom doesn't make her better than another.  When a mom is at work - it doesn't mean she 'can't stand' being with her kids.  When a mom is at home - it doesn't mean 'she can't get a job'.  What's happy for one mom isn't happy for another.  
We are better moms when we are happy.  If we resent where we are always wishing we were somewhere else - working at home or working out of the home - we don't be very good at our first job... mommy.  





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9 comments:

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

One of the things I hate the most in this life is women not supporting other women, particularly on this issue. Each woman has to do what's right for her family. Staying home doesn't make you a good mom and going to work doesn't make you a bad mom.

Rachel said...

Great post!! Very reassuring and so true! Everyone is different and we should always do what's best for our own family!

elizabeth_bradt said...

This is a great post! So many moms spend their days doing what they think they "should" do instead of what they want to do. There's a lot of pressure from society to be a working mom, but then you'll read about why staying home for the first few years is so important. So moms end up feeling pulled both ways by society and not even consider which option will maker her happiest, and therefore the best mom she can be. I love the way you framed this topic as a list of how to be the mom of the year. That's very creative! I hope to can stop by my little corner of the web @ www.RocksNoSaltMommy.com

Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama said...

I love this, and everything you have said is so right on! This is also very helpful to me as I am contemplating a decision that could change my day to day life as a mama, so thank you.

And thanks also for linking up at The Tuesday Baby Link Up!

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

Agreed!

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

So much judgement could be avoided if we all just believed that moms are doing what they believe is best for their family!

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

Thanks for the kind words and your honesty! Heading to your world now!

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

Thanks for hosting and for the kind words :)

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