In addition to being a Mom and Stepmom, I work outside the home.
There’s a lot of opinions out there about being a stay-at-home Mom vs. a “working” Mom.
Quite honestly, I don’t give any of the opinions much credence either way. I get tired of hearing about all the “selfish Mom’s who work” , or the “Mom’s who obviously love their kids more because they choose to stay home”. I hear that kind of stuff I guess because I am a “working Mom” and am sensitive to it.
But, I’m guessing that the “Stay at home Mom’s” get tired of hearing a whole slew of things too (like “what DO you do ALL day”).
All I can say, is there are some great “working Mom’s” and some great “Stay at Home Mom’s” and all the mix in between and on the outside. And, then there are the not so great ones on the spectrum too.
I do what I do because that’s what I do. And that’s what I think is the best thing for my family. Lots of experiences, decisions, circumstances and thoughts have led me to where I am now. And things change all the time too.
The other day I went to a Speech Pathology conference where I was able to be surrounded by some great colleagues. Many of these people are seriously accomplished. They have published articles, books and tests. They are presidents of associations, chairs of boards, run their own practices, travel to present at conferences, lead the way with research, lobby to get laws changed, and impact thousands of lives on a daily basis.
I feel blessed to be part of this profession and specifically this area of specialization (brain injury). However, as I looked around the table I was at, and listened to some of the speakers, the thoughts of “I should be doing more” came into my mind. “I need to do research”, “I need to publish”, and “I can do that” and even “I can do that way better:))” kept popping into my mind.
It almost got me feeling a little bit sad. Like I was not living up to my potential. I have been blessed to have an excellent education, amazing mentors, a great clientele and private practice. Should I not be doing more? Should I not be working at pushing myself to do more, become more accomplished, more recognized, more of a leader in my field?
Then, like a loud speaker in my head came the words: “No, you are needed at home. You are doing what you need to be doing. You need to be with your family now. Listen, learn and participate, but your priorities right now are where they should be.”
Now this is not the first time I have had that feeling (just maybe not with the loudspeaker in my head). In fact, I think I’ve written about it before too. It seems to me that every so often I start to doubt the spot or the stage I am in. I start to feel I’m not measuring up to some expectations I have of myself. I start to question if I am successful, or living up to my potential, or need to be doing more.
And every single time, I receive a very direct and comforting message: I am exactly where I am supposed to be. In the thick of raising my family. Draw a circle around myself because this is where I need to be.
Yes, I work outside the home. Yes, I enjoy it. Yes, it stimulates my mind, challenges me, engages me and allows me to help others. And yes, financially it is rewarding too.
But nothing can compare to the joy I get from being a Mom. Nothing can compare to the stimulation, challenges, fun and service I get to provide on a daily basis. (Nothing can come close to the heartache, frustration and worry either:)
So, after the loud speaker message in my head, I sat back and enjoyed the rest of the conference. I enjoyed what I learned, I enjoyed interacting with my wonderful colleagues, and I enjoyed the dessert table.
And then I enjoyed coming home.
Home. The most important work I will ever do is within the walls of my own home. It’s nice to be reminded of that. (And I was reminded of that yesterday too when the first speaker for my church’s semi annual conference said it in his talk – hmmm…I must have needed to hear it).