I've been both: SAHM & employed...
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|Mon, 06-02-2003 - 8:32am|
When working, I felt so over-extended. Like I could never catch up. Things would be going on in school that I had to miss, and that killed me, even though I was able to send grandparents in my place. They're little for such a short time that I wanted to be there to enjoy and savor every moment. However, when I worked I also felt some personal achievement in doing my job well and in collecting a salary for that. The money, of course, was helpful to our family budget! It just felt good to deal with adults after years of being home with pre-schoolers all day.
When I stopped working, I felt relieved at first. I caught up on all the house projects that had been "pending", had more time for ME and of course, I was able to attend all the school functions, volunteer in the school library, bake for and be in class for the parties, did a year as PTO president... all great things. But then after living my life around that of my children and husband, I'd get kind of wishful for something of my "own" again!
I think I'll forever be caught in the middle of this debate. There are plus and minus to each -- to work or stay at home. What I am grateful for is that I was always able to choose. I think the real hardship is for single parents or families where the choice is both work, or no one eats.
Sometimes I noticed a real distance at the school between the moms who worked for salary and those who stayed at home; not understanding each other. That's the real shame. Whatever our circumstances, whatever our choice or necessity, we should understand that we all care mostly about raising good, happy, healthy kids. Why not forget the debate and just get over it? I think neither is inherently better or worse.