My sitter called in sick today - which, given how sick my kids were last week - is no shock. It was not a good day for me to be off with regards to work...I had alot planned for today. However, it was a wonderful day in general - to be home with the kids. Everyone' s healthy; the sun is shining, it's not too cold - all the components were there to have a great day.
It's interesting because I'm not off much during the week with the kids; rarely do I have the opportunity to be Domestic SuperGoddess during the work week. That's usually a role reserved for after 3:30 p.m. and on weekends. So it was very interesting to take them out and about, and get the approving nods and voluntarily struck up conversations from the "Stay at Home Mom" crowd as we walked around the craft store. I mean, when I take the kids anywhere on a Saturday - it's usually the "Nanas" that strike up conversations with me about the kids...very rarely does another Mom do it. I'm not really sure why. But today, every Mom within a 10 foot radius was trying to get my attention for conversation. It was like I was accepted into this clique...I was the cool "new kid" . I didn't dare say anything about how I just coincidentally happened to be home today. I just nodded and agreed with all the points they brought up...this one had 5 kids and they're all in school so she was getting a few minutes "of peace"...another one had four kids with her and said "she missed being home with only two"... another one commenting "How do you get them to be so quiet ...I can't get them to sit still!"
It was a very interesting change in dynamics. Something I don't get to see during the work week because I'm not out and about. And it is different from the weekends. Would I change being a working Mom to be a stay at home one? No, I wouldn't. It doesn't mean that I don't love my children, or that I don't want to be around them -because I do! But I have to say, that even if I was fortunate enough to be in the position where I didn't have to work, I still probably would - at a minimum on a part time basis. For me - I think I'm a better Mom because I work. I feel good about myself, and so I feel good being around my kids. I enjoy the time away from my kids being a "grown up" , and I'm overjoyed every day when I come home to them. I appreciate my days off, and unexpected days off such as today. I've been judged for not staying at home, despite the fact that it wasn't a smart financial situation for us to do so. But that's okay... I think that there's pros and cons for everything in life. And I'd like to look at the pros. Aside from what I mentioned before - I also think that I'm a great role model for my kids. I'm showing them that they CAN have it all: family, career, and satisfaction. I'm showing my son to respect women and their many strengths in society - and I'm teaching my daughter that she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to.
I'm not saying that Moms who stay at home feel any differently, or aren't accomplishing the same things - because they very certainly are. There is no right or wrong. It's whatever works for you - and makes you feel good about your role within your family, and as a parent. Being comfortable with where you are in life helps make being a Mom easy - and fun.
Being a Mom is one of the greatest gifts life can offer. There's nothing better than it. Nothing.
(Well, except for maybe boot shopping in Paris with a lovely latte - and waiting for a massage from a very handsome man named "Phillipe".... Kidding!)