So, if you are a mom, at some point you have probably been dragged into the whole Work at Home (WAH), Stay at Home (SAH), Work out of Home (WOH) mom debate. There are folks on each side of the issue who believe that their way is the ONLY way and that is that. Personally, I find the whole thing pretty damn amusing, because I find that it really depends on the mom whether she should WAH, SAH or WOH...and that all too often, she picks the wrong choice because of some other reason other than it is what is best for her and the kids (not including financial need).
Here is the thing, I have done all of these. Here is my history:
1. After Haven was born I worked full time out of the home (WOH), she commuted with me and stayed at my boss's house with a nanny. I was able to nurse her in the morning, at lunch and when I picked her up.
2. Then we moved and she went to some one's house to be watched, I did not see her during the day (WOH).
3. Then I was laid off, I began babysitting two other kids (can we say nightmare!) (WAH).
4. After that ended, I worked PT at a local newspaper doing design work and layout until Brittan was born (WOH).
5. After Brittan, I was a (SAH) Mom until she was 9 months old when I went back to work FT and even traveled for work. Stayed there until Grayson was born.
6. After Gray was born, I was a (SAH) Mom for just over a year until I began adjuncting, one class online, one on ground.
7. Another year later, went FT online (WAH) and taught 2 classes on ground (WOH) which is what I do now.
So I really have done it all, tried it all and can honestly say that I am the best mom when I am working from home. I like teaching on campus too and getting to leave here sometimes, just wish we didn't *need* that income and it could be an on again off again thing. I was not a good stay at home mom, WAY too much free time and I felt restless and useless even though I had a 4 year old, 2 year old and newborn at home. I HATED working FT outside the house, I missed the kids so much and wanted to be able to go to school functions, see them get off the bus, etc.
For me, this works, and I am glad that I found what is best for me and my kids and didn't cave to having to work FT outside the house or stay home full time. I see a lot of SAH moms who should not be SAH Moms. They are home because they feel it is "right" or because someone told them it was what is best, or whatever, but they really need to get out and do something else. These are the moms who don't cook, clean or do things with the kids....yet they stay home? They are also the ones on the fast track to crazy town since you can see it in their eyes that this is just not a good fit. They reach out and try a million different "activities" with other moms and grownups, but quit and fall flat. They are like little whirlpools going down the drain, and all because they couldn't choose a different path that would be a better choice.
Now don't get me wrong, there are LOTS of great stay at home moms that I know too. They cart the kids around, they go to the events, they are there when the kids get home and their lives are fulfilled by being a full time mom. Their eyes are different, they are truly content in their choice, they love their lives and you can tell not by what they say, but what they do. Their homes show pride, their kids are put together and a priority, and they DO all week so that their family can be together on weekends.
The last group are the WOH moms who should be stay at home moms. For them, they really want to be home, should be home, and would be happy at home...but usually for financial reasons, they need to work. However, they should be proud to support their families, and no one should ever think that even though they want to be home and can't that they are not super awesome moms.
So...get off each others back and choose what works best for you. Some of us need to work to be good moms, some of us should stay home and be good moms, and some that stay home should really go get a PT gig because you are not cut out for the FT SAHM job.