My kids were watching Sesame Street and I stopped to watch with them. It was the “Elmo’s World” segment with a story entitled “The Kingdom Where Everybody Wore His Hair the Same Way”. A little girl wanted to have a different hairstyle but the kingdom didn’t let her. Of course it’s farfetched (usually kid’s shows are). However, when you stop and think about it, don’t we act the same way at times? How often do we expect others to march along to our same drum?
We see this so often with women in the whole stay-at-home-mom vs. working mom discussion. We want other women to do what we do so we feel better about ourselves. If we stay at home, then we think we are a better mother than those who work outside the home. If we home school our kids, we think we are a better than those who send their children to school. If we send our kids to public schools we think we are better citizens than those who send their kids to private schools. I could go on and on. We could all have the same hairstyle and forbid differences so no one feels better than anyone else, right?
As most things in life, it is not that simple. As women, we have to do what is right for our family and we are part of our family. Is it right for you to home school? It could be. Is it right for me to home school? Not this year, maybe another year, maybe never. Is it right for me to work full-time outside the home? Well, not right now, but maybe later. I know that right now I am doing what I should be doing. And I think that is what it is about. I think we start looking down at others because of our internal conflict — our own insecurity about our choices. If you are at home and constantly battle with the fact that you want to work outside the home, then you should resolve this conflict or you won’t be the best mother you can be. Consider your options. Maybe you are working full-time and are constantly upset that you aren’t at home. Once again, that has to be worked through. Could you work less hours? Do you need to change your career? If you are married, does your spouse have more flexibility to help out more? Perhaps, you need to really consider all the options or maybe, you need to be happy with your circumstances for now.
I don’t like labels too much because I think they tend to isolate and separate more often than define or clarify. After reading a bit on the web, I found out that I am technically a work-at-home-mom (WAHM) but I do work part-time out of the house so I’m a PTWAHM as well? And by putting “work” in front of at-home-mom are we saying the other mom’s aren’t working? I think there should be a dictionary definition of mom that says:
Mom 1. Hard worker. 2. Ultimate multitasker.
Perhaps we can change the label to SM – Super mom. You can be a SM who works in the home, gets paid to work in the home or works outside the home as well as inside. Super Mom — able to proofread marketing proposals, help with home work, write emails and cook dinner at the same time. Super Mom– able to home school, diagnose illnesses, entertain guests and feed the dog at the same time. There are tons of possible combinations. There are some Super Dads (SD) out their as well.
We can’t always control our circumstances but we can control our attitude and make changes that we need to make. If you are conflicted about your choices then you need to reevaluate them. If you are happy with the decisions you have made than wear your hair the way you want to and let others do the same!