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Stay at Home After Children or Go Back To Work?

Aug 17, 2007
Is there any topic that can create more controversy among women then the subject of whether or not its better to stay home with your children while they are young and forgo or at least postpone your career aspirations, or have alternative childcare and give equal focus to both your family and your job?

I have experienced both. I am currently a stay at home mom and I can tell you that it is not easy. In my previous life, I worked as a criminal court clerk in a district court. There are not many happy people who come into contact with the court system. In most cases they are facing the consequences for some poor choices. No one wants to be in court and the clerks are usually the ones who take most of the abuse because not many people are dumb enough to yell at the Judge. I also had to deal with scheduling and anyone who knows anything about attorneys knows that that is not an easy job either. They are often supposed to be in many different courts at the same time and always want their case moved. And they are ALWAYS in a hurry. I dealt with angry people and believe it or not, drunk people. It always amazed me that people could come to court under the influence, but it happened more then one might think. And I will tell you that I would take a drunk, angry defendant that has just been told he has to pay $1200.00 in fines and costs as well as serve 30 days in jail over a two year old in a grocery store. Or an infant just about anywhere. Or the same two year old WITH an infant.

Being a stay at home mom is the hardest thing I have ever done. The social isolation for stay at home moms is worse then I ever thought it would be. My husband works long hours to make ends meet. Our daughter had some health issues and that is why the decision was made for me to become a stay at home mom.. Nothing that serious, but enough to have me at home more then work most of the time anyway and that was not fair to my employer. Then just two weeks after I had happily quit my job and started to settle in with my then 14 month old daughter, I found out that I was pregnant with Baby #2. Quite a surprise. So I found myself home with a two year old and an infant who NEVER slept and a husband who was gone most of the time. And when he was home, did not want much to do with his very cranky stay at home mom/wife. ( I can hardly blame him). I found out that being stay at home mom is not all about smiling kids eating cookies and drinking milk after school. Its more about laundry and grocery shopping and more laundry and shuttling kids from soccer practice to Brownies to doctor appointments. Its about shouldering most of the household responsibilities and trying not to complain too much about the fact that my husband NEVER puts his dishes in the dishwasher and would it kill him just once to put his dirty clothes in the hamper?

Its also about being able to see the smiling faces as your children reach the many milestones in their lives. I was lucky enough to see their first steps and hear their first words and for all my complaining I would not trade that for a maid and a cook AND a nanny. At least not on most days.

So I am a little jealous of the women who get to shower first thing in the morning and go through their day clean and with their makeup on. But would I trade places with them? Not on most days. Most days I count my blessings and am grateful for every moment that I am lucky enough to be a stay at home mom.
Jennie Crawford is the stay at home mom of two small children. She is trying to make a living on the internet.
About the Author
Jennie Crawford is a stay at home mom of two children. Find out more about her journey to make some extra money on the internet at: http://www.jenniecrawford.com/workingathome
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