Whether you are working full-time, part-time, or stay at home with your kids, it is hard. No option is easier than the other, and every mom works 24 hours a day.
As a working mom, I am tired of apologizing.
My mother always encouraged me to go to college and work. I have been working since I was sixteen years old as a cashier at Bishops Orchards and a video rental store (aging myself there). Now I work full time, and my two children are in daycare full time. My spouse also works full time, and his job requires hours and projects outside of typical business hours.
Is this easier or harder than being a stay-at-home mom? No! However, there are many reasons why women should unapologetically stay in the workforce and encourage others to do the same.
You can not predict the future.
You can’t predict the future with your spouse. Marriages and relationships fail. Infidelity happens. Accidents happen, disability and illness unfortunately happen. If you stay home and your spouse works, it might not always be that way. If you are a stay-at-home mom and were suddenly left as the only capable breadwinner, how would you manage? Working moms, whether part-time or full-time, have that to fall back on in the event of something unpredictable. You will also have more options for disability benefits and retirement if you’ve been paying into those systems through work.
Your world stays big.
Every day I converse and connect with people from backgrounds and places I would never meet if I had stayed at home with my kids. Having colleagues, managers, employees make for relationships that keep your world big. Having the opportunity to sit and chat with someone completely different than you but working towards a common goal is an amazing part of what I do and part of working outside the home.
You are a role model.
My mentor at work was an accomplished surgeon and mother of two. When I was on maternity leave with my first, she had some of us over and said something to me that has stuck with me to this day: You’re an amazing role model for your daughter doing what you do. You are teaching her about work ethic, challenging your intellect, and helping others.
I am forever grateful to that mentor and the encouragement she gave me. It took ten years of schooling to get to where I am, and I encourage my kids even at their young age to aim for challenging career paths. Studies show that daughters of working mothers have better careers, earn higher pay, and have more equal relationships.
Working moms make this world turn. Whenever I see a mom in my friend circle or on social media considering leaving the workforce after maternity leave, I strongly encourage them to stay. For the reasons above and many others.