The benefits of being a stay-at-home working mom include being able to manage your schedule in a way that allows you to raise your kids the majority of the time and still pursue your professional endeavors. The downside is that for many women, it means stepping off "the fast track," potentially abandoning a power-girl pay scale, and dealing with fears of how and if you can re-enter the workforce once the kids are grown. Though we've got flexibility as stay-at-home working moms, we make sacrifices. It's only natural to wonder every now and again if we've made the right choice.
Bronnie Ware is the author of "Regrets of the Dying," an article that recently went viral. In it she recalls her experiences of spending the final weeks of life with her dying patients as a palliative-care nurse — and what most said they'd have done differently in hindsight. The article has struck a nerve in many, probably because it contains the truths about simple living that most of us know, but lose sight of too easily -- especially when there are soccer practices to rush to, bills to be paid and beds to be made. (If you haven't read the article, you can view it at the link above). Though geared toward the masses, the article also contains some helpful reminders for stay-at-home working moms — especially on the tougher days, when we find ourselves questioning whether the sacrifices we've made were the best choice after all. Here are few things to remember when you're struggling with self-doubt.
When you're a stay-at-home working mom, expectations abound. We interpret looks from strangers as glares of judgment toward our parenting style and see images in the media of the perfect "mom" -- leaving us with the lasting impression that our best is never good enough. Forget what anyone told you being a parent is about, including your "pre-baby" self. When you raise your kids with true love and tackle every day with the courage to be the best working mom you can be today — it's enough.
Being a work-at-home mom allows far more mommy-time than working out of the home does, but that doesn't mean that you have tons of time to just sit and be with your kids. Check in every day to see what you accomplished and think about whether many -- or any -- of those tasks involved truly being present with your kids. In the midst of trying to do it all, don't forget to shut down, turn everything off and just focus on the precious gift of time that you have -- even when your brood is driving you nuts!
Appreciate the life you have in this moment — including the valleys and peaks that come with each day. Remember that you cannot control most of what happens -- but you can always control your reaction.
Working Mom 3.0
The modern woman is redefining what it means to have a successful career. Rather than feeling torn between climbing the corporate ladder and having a happy family life, many women are choosing to merge the two and transition careers from a traditional role to a more flexible one. Working Mom 3.0 is reinventing the definition of "working mom," as office hours are held at home and revolve around nap times.
This column begins by chronicling the experiences of Stephanie Taylor Christensen, a former marketing professional turned self-employed stay-at-home mom, writer and yoga instructor, as she strives to redefine "having it all" on her own time and terms.
More tips for working moms
Working Mom 3.0: Get happy
Working Mom 3.0: Thank your mother
Working Mom 3.0: What's my worth?