Is there a value one can place on a mother? Does that value vary if mom is a "stay at homer" versus an "off to worker"? I'd like to believe that the value of mom (the title) is important but being mom (the role) is priceless.
When I became pregnant with Cali, T and I had to decide if I was going to work sometime after having the baby. For our family, we decided that it was more important that I stay with Cali while T is working. This is what worked for us.
NOW, let me be clear, there is no definitive RIGHT or WRONG way to go here. It is what is right for your particular family in your particular situation. Everyone is different and therefore they should take their circumstances into the decision making.
I applaud the women that are driven and able to go back to work after giving birth. Being able to provide for your family's needs is an essential part of parenting. I believe that we need strong women that have deep convictions and that are willing to pass that along for the well being of their children.
And for the stay at home moms, don't let others discourage you in the importance of your "job". T always tells me that I have the harder job and every once in a while I believe him. You may not be responsible for satisfying the financial needs, but you are however drastically impacting your child's physical and emotional development.
This is where it gets tricky...and let me be careful and let you know that this is my opinion. Some may agree, others not. Solely providing the financial needs OR solely staying home to feed and change your baby is not enough. Your baby. My baby. They need more from us. If they had the reasoning skills, they would expect more from us. They need us to be engaged. They need effort. They need everything that we have to give, and when we feel like we've given it all, maybe we can reach down and give a little more. They deserve it.
Whether you spend all day at home with your children or only have an hour with them, what is important is that we are engaging with them when we get the chance. They need (and, I believe, want) our eye contact, our attention, our love. And that's what really matters, isn't it? At the end of a long day (and hot bath) we should be able to rest easy knowing that we can put a check mark next to the boxes of each and every of our child's needs. Or, at the very least, we fiercely tried.
T and I were talking about this topic the other day and he made a very good point. He said that just staying at home with your kids or just providing financially for them doesn't make you a good mother. What makes a good mother is one who is attentive, interactive, loving, giving, and inspiring.
Whew. Too strong? I hope not. As moms (and dads) we're not perfect. Parenting isn't easy by any stretch of the imagination. I'm guilty of having those moments of cruise control. They are natural and they make us human. The key is in these moments of weakness to look down at (insert baby name here) and remind yourself that you can do this and that he/she is more than worth it.
So I challenge you and myself. Don't just have the title of mom...be mom!