STOP making working moms feel like they're not good enough!
I was at the peak of my career when my son was diagnosed profoundly deaf. I was promoted to be the head of Galavision on a Monday and that Wednesday we received the devastating news. I remember asking God for forgiveness for being so career-minded. I asked Him to take away my promotion, the home we had just bought. I would have given it all up just so that my son could hear! Ironically it was a mom who had given it all up for her daughter who convinced me to accept my promotion and continue with my career.
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The mom who convinced me had chosen to stay home to help her daughter who was deaf and she said she regretted it and shared that she even resented her daughter for it!
I wish that all moms were as understanding and supportive of the decisions we make. It's hard enough for women to feel completely fulfilled with either choice, so I wish we'd focus on making others feel good about their decision rather than adding to their guilt.
When my son was in preschool, I vividly remember overhearing a group of moms who had gathered around a drawing that my son did. It was a picture of our family. "That's probably the nanny in the picture. The mom is never with him," one of the moms said and the others chimed in with similar comments. Little did they know that when I wasn't working, my son consumed almost 100 percent of my time. In fact, for the next 7 years he consumed most of my family's time as we all focused on making sure he'd learn how to speak fluently. Unfortunately, my daughter got less attention during those years but she's more than made up for it since then!
My son is now 16 and I have no regrets. I decided to interpret my son's diagnosis early on in my career as a message from God that my priorities needed to shift. I focused less on the amount of time that I spent with my kids and more on how I spent my time with them. When I was with my kids they'd get my full attention. I stopped taking work and work-related issues home; no cell phones and no "meaningless" distractions. Most importantly, I focused on having a happy disposition (most of the time) when I was around my kids. And I tried to come up with memorable experiences when we were together (no matter how exhausted I was from work or travel).
I remember my mom telling me to stop feeling guilty about working because it was clear that I spent more "quality" time with my kids than she did, although she stayed home. I am so grateful to have family and close friends who have always been so supportive. Let's stop judging and embrace others who make the choice that works best for them!
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Do your family and friends support your decision to stay home or work?