Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Maternity/Paternity Leave - Going Back to Work

This is our last week together! I still have some time off, but my darling husband has to go back to work (they keep asking when he's coming back). I am soo thankful that we give paid family leave to moms and dads. A lot of people in my parents' generation don't really understand why dads should get to take time off, but the reality is that in a lot of households (like ours) family rearing is shared by both parents. I can honestly say that while Mr. Howard and I both have preferences for activities we like to do with Connor and the babies, there isn't anything that I'm always in charge of or something that Mr. Howard is always in charge of. We both do bath time, diapers, nap time, teeth brushing, playing, etc. So why shouldn't we both get time to bond with our babies?

Another thing that has been on my heart lately has been my desire to work. It's been so fascinating because I  have always heard stay-at-home moms say that they're not respected or their job is not valued. I am blessed because every summer I get to be one and I can honestly say that it is the HARDEST job on the planet. There is no doubt in my mind that their job is incredibly worthy of respect.

But what I have experienced is the opposite. I get asked constantly, "you're going to stay home, right?" When I explain that I'm going back to work, I get the "REALLY?!?" Do you think Mr. Howard ever gets asked if he's going to stay home with them? Do you think anyone would say, "REALLY?!" to him if he told them he was going back? There's a part of me that would love to stay home and then there's a part of me that would go insane. It is SUCH a hard job and for me, personally, I don't think I'm as good of a mama when I'm home all day. I know women who can do it. I'm able to thoroughly enjoy the two and a half months I'm home. I cook; I deep clean; I play with Connor; we read; we go to parks; we laugh; we paint...but then I start to feel myself craving that adult interaction. I love, love, love the people I work with. And I SERIOUSLY love my job. And of course, if I ever felt like my children were being sacrificed, I would quit in a minute. But, that is not the case. The daycare/preschool they go to is spectacular. They have themes every day; they get healthy food all day; they read books and do crafts that go along with the theme; Connor learns how to interact with kids of all ages; they have puppet shows and learn how to dial 911 and learn about superheros and design their own superhero capes...and...and...and.

Why do we always have to knock women down? We criticize them if they stay-at-home. We criticise them if they choose to go back to work. We criticize women if they don't breastfeed. We criticize them if they send their kids to preschool. We criticize them if they can't cook or choose to wait to have kids...Why? Can't we just agree that everybody does the best that they can do. They make the best choices they know how to make. And let's celebrate moms of every make. If we didn't have moms who worked, who would teach our kids? If we didn't have moms who stayed home, our world would be missing some wonderful women fullfilling their calling.


myemergingadulthood said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I was with you until the last sentence. Kids with working moms definitely have compassion, respect, etc. Kids will be loved and learn no matter who takes care of them during "normal business hours."

LittleDreamer said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Amen, Sista!

Mrs. Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I didn't mean to imply that simply because you have a working mom your children won't have those things. I meant it more as something I think stay-at-home moms are able to contribute.

I think I wrote that poorly.

I obviously think my kids are learning compassion, etc., but there is value in moms who choose to stay home.

Thank you for pointing that out.

The Schult Family said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

You say it so well! Think what we could accomplish if all women supported each other and offered encouragement. Let us teach our daughters to value all women....D

Mrs. Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates This woman said it SOO much better than I could have!

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