Last week, I met my friend for coffee to lament over our little girls going to kindergarten. Aside from discussing how our daughters’ school days are going and how we are adjusting to the new norm, the topic of returning to the workforce popped up. Both of us had been asked when we were going back to work since our children were now in school for the whole day.
This seemed to be a popular question addressed to a few of my mom friends. Once a stay at home mom finds her days childless, everyone else seems to think it’s appropriate to ask what she is now going to do with her life.
Are you going back to work?
Now would be a good time to have another baby.
You must be bored all day. Are you going to get a job?
Just because our children are away from the house or if we join other working mothers, our role as moms doesn’t just cease to exist. Whether a stay at home mom, a work at home mom or a working mom, we choose what works best for us and our families. For me, we decided it was best for me to stay at home while my husband went to work. My past career requires that I work long hours and travel sporadically. If I had stayed on that career path or even tried to return now, it wouldn’t work for our family. My daughter would have no one available to take her to any after school activities. I would be home closer to bedtime than dinner time. If something happened to my little one during school/work hours, it would take me too long to commute all the way to where she was. It’s just not an option for me.
In today’s landscape, virtual offices and flex work style is nothing new. So why is it that stay at home moms get these questions? I work while my daughter is in school or late in the evenings, teaching fitness classes, blogging or freelance writing. It gives me balance to do what’s best for my girl, my family and me. I feel blessed to be able to do so. And there should be no shame in that.
So anyone who wants to ask me what I’m going to do now that my little one is in school, all I can think of to say is….
I’m going to continue to try and be the best mom I can be.
The best mom I can be by my definition, not by anyone else’s.