Have you ever asked yourself: What kind of mom do I want to be? A Working Mom or Stay-at-Home Mom? It’s a question that mothers need to answer. It’s the kind of question that often burdens us as we go through different phases with our family. Whether you are holding an infant or driving one too many kids in your carpool, it’s a choice we make, yet a decision that may not be forever. When I started working in 1994, the answer to that question was clear. I knew the finish line to my corporate career would be when I had my first child. As a result, I raced to gather career trophies and save as much money as I could, so when I looked back, I would be proud of what I accomplished. Ironically, during that focused sprint, I fell in love with my career, the people I worked with, and the challenges that Corporate America presented to me. By the time my daughter arrived, I gained the title of the first female Vice President of my company and managed a 300-person team. For the first time, I really debated the question: What kind of mom do I want to be? There were two choices: A Working Mom or Stay-at-Home Mom.
It was my husband who encouraged me to continue working. He knew my career was fulfilling and that I wanted to accomplish more. We promised each other that as long as it worked for our family and I enjoyed it, I would wear the Working Mom hat. I proudly wore that hat for 13 years. When I finally decided to wear the Stay-at-Home hat, I was like a kid anxiously waiting in line to ride her first roller coaster. Over the past two years, my appreciation for this current chapter of my motherhood strengthens everyday.
When that question classic question reemerged, however, it held a bit more weight & a lot more grey. There is joy and sacrifice in both roles. Neither seem to be a perfect match for me. I’ve witnessed leadership, bravery, loyalty, kindness, joy and countless more descriptions of strength in all moms. It was at this point, I realized the trap I had created by dividing mothers into 2 categories. When I eliminated that endless debate. I could see clearly.
Mothers cannot be defined into a generic category. We are many things. We are the colors that light the world. Together, we are a beautiful rainbow.