Since yesterday was Mother’s Day (Happy Mother’s Day, Moms!) I wanted to do a post on my take on some motherhood stuff.

Baby ShowerThis is my mom at her baby shower in preparation for me. I look at this picture and you can just see that I was going to be one lucky kid–look at that smile. 

In motherhood there are about a million different “sides” to be taken.

Natural Birth/Drugs

Co-Sleeping/Cry it Out

Baby Wearing/Non-Baby Wearing

Cloth Diapering/Disposable Diapering

Breast Feeding/Bottle Feeding

Pacifier/No Pacifier

and the list literally goes on and on.

And there is such a viciousness between sides. One always claiming to have a better plan/better view/be a better mom because of it.

I know which side I lean to for each of these issues (except for anything that has to do with sleeping…with that I’m completely on the fence. Sorry, Mom.) And with those sides, even though I don’t have children, I’ve already felt the weight of being on the opposing side.

I personally plan to have a natural birth when that day comes and I want to go to a midwife. I have had people say really mean things to me in regards to this. Oh yes, I’ve felt the sting of the opinions in motherhood.

Even though I know which options I hope to choose, I also recognize that each mom is going to do the thing that works best for her. She is going to take care of her baby the best way that she can and knows how and that works for her as a mom.

I also recognize that my choices are subject to change once that baby gets here. I also think mothers make changes to their choices with each kid. Differnent time/circumstances/etc., often require a change in plans. There is no “right way” to be a mom.

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Why can’t all of us just join one team: Team Motherhood/Womanhood?

There is one more major argument that completely makes me cringe every single time it’s brought up and that’s: Staying Home versus Going to Work.

I already understand and feel that love, that responsibility, that weight of being a mother. Yes, it’s a gift and a blessing, but I already know that it’s hard and that it brings with it a responsibility directly from God.

Mom’s don’t want to mess up their job.

Whether they work or not, most of them are trying their hardest to do the best they can.

I was raised by a working mom. Did she wish she could stay home? Yes. Did I often wish she didn’t work as a kid? Yes. But my mom was (and still is) an AMAZING mother.

Working didn’t make my mom any less of a mother. To think that by going to work every day you somehow diminish your influence on your child is completely wrong. On that, I speak from experience.

Work Picnic 3These pictures were taken at my mom’s work picnic (see the Albertson’s logo on my shirt?) Picture on the left: One happy little girl Picture on the right: Same old Sharlee, something was bothering me. I’m either mad or being very cautious. I can’t tell, but it makes me laugh.  

It has very little to do with the amount of time you have with your child and much more to do with the way you spend the time you have. This should be the focus rather than rallying around Camp Stay at Home Moms and Camp Working Moms. Rather than trying to validate your case, why not just unite in one single mission: Making the Most of Motherhood.

I had a working mom yet she tucked me in every morning before she left and kissed me. She picked me up each day and I knew she was excited to see me. I would sit out in the kitchen with her and she’d listen as I would tell her about my day while she made dinner. She took us on vacations when she had time off of work.

She watched movies with us on the sofa bed while we drank hot chocolate. She played board games with us. She took us with her everywhere. We knew we were important and we knew we were loved. My mom was constant and dependable and I think that is what truly made all the difference in who I am today. I was SO loved!

Happy KidsThose are some happy kids right there. Even if we did have a couch in the kitchen.

I have a friend who had a mom that stayed at home and she once said to me, “I don’t know where she was. I never saw her, but she was in the house. I don’t know what she did all day.” Her mom was home with her. She had all that time with her. She didn’t “Just have nights/weekends” and yet, she had no real relationship with her mother.

I am sure there are an equal number of stay at home moms who make their kids a priority as working moms. I am sure there are an equal number of stay at home moms that don’t make their children a priority as there are working moms. Staying home guarantees nothing in terms of the relationship/influence you have on your child.

If she stays home she could be the mom on the computer most of the day,the mom who is too busy cleaning, the mom who locks herself in the bathroom so she can “just have one minute of peace and quiet?!”  If so, what good is she doing staying home?

(I am not arguing in “favor” of either of these things: working or staying home. I’m arguing to STOP THE ARGUMENT! It’s unproductive and invalid.

If a mom wants to stay home and can. Awesome! She should and nobody should make her feel like less because of it. She is not less of a contributor to her family. She most likely is not given the job of “Her husband works so she can look hot for him.” (Heard that at school just this week). She is not by any means less of a woman, less of a person, less of anything because her primary role is motherhood.

If a mom wants to work and is making the choice to work. Awesome! She might be a better mother for it. Maybe working helps her maintain her sense of self and therefore helps her to truly enjoy her role in motherhood. Maybe she is out making a difference. Maybe she wants to set a good example for her kids. Either way, she’s not any less of a mom for choosing to work.

And then there are the moms like mine. The ones who prayed for a part-time job so they could spend more time home with their kids. The moms who want to stay home but it is not financially feesible for them at this time. They are not “making excuses.” They are not being financially unsound. They are not lacking in faith.  Just because you can live off of $15,000 a year, doesn’t mean that everyone can. Everyone has varying circumstances. Just because you felt like you should quit your job and everything turned out okay for you, doesn’t mean that is the case for everyone.

I will never say that one of these jobs is harder than the other. I know what I want for my child but that does not mean it’s my place to tear another woman down for wanting/needing to take a different approach.

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I think it’s more than time for women to stop arguing for their side in motherhood like it’s a political campaign. Instead, let’s all grab our favorite morning beverage, read Momastery every morning, and work on encouraging each other, uplifting each other, supporting each other, and becoming confident women. I think it is truly the best gift we could give our mothers.

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