Thursday, March 15, 2012

Judge me, judge you. Working moms can be connected to their kids

On a popular parenting site, there was a recent post where a SAHM indicated working moms (who aren't single moms who HAVE to work) are basically self-centered and do not know what really being a parent is like.  While I do admit that outside caregivers do sometimes "know" kids better, I don't think that's typical of working parents. And, of course, there are some extremely disconnected stay at home parents as well. Making generalizations about someone's ability to be a good parent because they work (through full necessity to make ends meet or otherwise), is just ignorant and well full of too many assumptions and we know what assuming does...

Among the most likely to start a debate on parenting working is right up there (along with breastfeeding and circumcision, both of which are health issues as well). But working as a parent doesn't mean you don't care about your kids. Some people enjoy work. Some people need to work. I'd love to live on a commune with my friends where we were totally self sufficient, but guess what.... it ain't happening! Even in that sort of environment, kids would have "other" care givers. Back in the day (and still in some countries and cultures), both parents do work and the kids stay with grandparents until they're old enough to train (or today go to school).

The fact is, a sad, barely making ends meet SAHM may be a great one, but she may also be too worried about finances and lack connection with others to be as great of a mom as she may be if she worked part time. But that family has to be able to make the decision. Just as a working mom who may be upset that she misses out on volunteering in the classroom weekly, but is able to do weekend excursions to various historical and culturally significant places has mad the decision that for their family it WORKS for mom to work.

It isn't up to me to judge you. It isn't up to some mom on a popular parenting site to tell anyone what they feel or do not do because of a choice that she's made. I go back to my overall thinking... you can't feel guilty about something with which you are secure. If you're a stay at home mom and happy and your kids are taken care of and you have a great relationship with them... GREAT! If you're a working mom and you are happy and your kids are taken care of and and you have a great relationship with them... GREAT!

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